Where the Red Sox have gone wrong

Red(s)HawksFan

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Who would want Rick Porcello? He is expensive and has been really mediocre. Which rotation does he noticeably improve?

JDM's market would be fringe AL contenders. So who gives up pieces for him? The Rangers?
Is Porcello any better/worse than, say, Jake Peavy in 2013? Could he not fit a similar innings-eating 4th/5th starter to get through the season type of role that Peavy did? There's also the potential for injuries to create a need for a team.

And considering Martinez was acquired by an NL team two years ago in a mid-season deal, I have a hard time believing he couldn't be again. He's not a complete mess in the outfield such that no NL team would pass up his bat if they had the opportunity.

That said, I still think talk of trading off pieces is premature. The Sox are as likely to be buyers as sellers right now. But if they are sellers, Porcello and Martinez would be prime candidates to be moved...way more so than Price or Betts, as has been suggested by some.
 

BaseballJones

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Who would want Rick Porcello? He is expensive and has been really mediocre. Which rotation does he noticeably improve?
- Atlanta has put Kevin Gausman on the mound for 13 starts this year. 6.21 era, 1.51 whip. They've also gotten 9 starts from Mike Foltynewicz (6.02 era, 1.32 whip).
- Philly has put Jerad Eickhoff on the mound for 10 starts . 5.20 era, 1.20 whip.
- Milwaukee has gotten 12 starts from Jhoulys Chacin (5.74 era, 1.48 whip) and 8 from Freddie Peralta (5.81 era, 1.52 whip).
- The Cardinals have 4 pitchers with 10 or more starts that have eras above 4.00. Flaherty (4.08 era, 1.20 whip), Wainwright (4.46 era, 1.40 whip), Mikolas (4.83 era, 1.23 whip), and Wacha (5.63 era, 1.71 whip).

Since his impossibly and historically bad start, Porcello has put up this line over his last 11 starts: 3.63 era, 1.08 whip, 7.3 k/9. Dude has been solid since those first three games and would definitely improve any of those four teams' rotations. As a bonus...he is a good hitter, for a pitcher.
 

Sandy Leon Trotsky

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I can only see the Sox becoming sellers if they somehow fall more than 7 games out of the Wild Card by July 25th. That would mean that nagging injuries to JDM haven't gotten better (it also means he likely wouldn't be getting dealt), along with the team still playing pretty craptastically with no sign of improvement. How much would 2 months of Porcello actually bring in a return? Obviously he's not getting resigned by the Sox so anything would be worth it IF they go in that direction. Obviously a guy like JDM (assuming he's not injured) can be a game changer for a contender and a team would be willing to part with a major prospect. I still think Rodriguez (yes, I know he's a "cost controlled starter") would likely bring something much better than 2 months of Porcello would. The question of who would replace him in '20 (already an issue with Porcello, and no starting candidates in the mL clubs ready to step in) is something I'm kicking down the road.
 

Hawk68

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You understand WAR is a stat one accumulates and that Price missed a big chunk of the 2017 season right? Yet with that missed time, he's still top 20. That suggests that when healthy, he's been damn good.

But you're right on one thing...for the right offer, anyone can go. If we're going to be in sale mode, why not trade Sale for the "right offer"? Maybe Benintendi? Martinez? Why limit it to the three you initially named?
Strange you equate Sale (2x the BWar at 0.50x the cost) to Price. But in any event Sale I would want to keep, so the acqusition cost would be much greater.
 

E5 Yaz

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Strange you equate Sale (2x the BWar at 0.50x the cost) to Price. But in any event Sale I would want to keep, so the acqusition cost would be much greater.
Yeah, the difference in your thinking is as clear as black and white
 

santadevil

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Strange you equate Sale (2x the BWar at 0.50x the cost) to Price. But in any event Sale I would want to keep, so the acqusition cost would be much greater.
But he's about to cost a shit ton more than he used to with his new contract for 2020-2024
Past performance does not equate future success, but we've seen Price finally make the adjustment as he aged. Are we sure we're going to happy with Sale's performance over the next 4 years (to be the same age as Price now)?
Should we expect Chris Sale to be Chris Sale over the next 5 years? I sure don't, but only because of his age and his seemingly now annual ouchies that put him on the shelf.

Through their age 29 seasons, they have each thrown roughly the same innings, with Sale in the slight lead in regular season (1,482.1 to 1441.9) and but Price leading in Post Season innings (65.2 to 25.0).
I expect that Sale won't earn his contract either, which is what you're saying David Price hasn't done
 

Mueller's Twin Grannies

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You understand WAR is a stat one accumulates and that Price missed a big chunk of the 2017 season right? Yet with that missed time, he's still top 20. That suggests that when healthy, he's been damn good.

But you're right on one thing...for the right offer, anyone can go. If we're going to be in sale mode, why not trade Sale for the "right offer"? Maybe Benintendi? Martinez? Why limit it to the three you initially named?
Don't be silly. Those three aren't black, so he is cool with them.
 

Bergs

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Yeah, the difference in your thinking is as clear as black and white
Hey, no need to be uppity about it.

As for this team, I imagine there will be a pretty serious internal evaluation in early July about what the best realistic path going forward is. I don't see trading JD and Porcello if we're within shouting distance, but I also don't see them making a big splash to upgrade if we're still 7+ games behind 2 ALE teams while being out of (or tied) the 2nd WC slot, either.
 

E5 Yaz

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Hey, no need to be uppity about it.

As for this team, I imagine there will be a pretty serious internal evaluation in early July about what the best realistic path going forward is. I don't see trading JD and Porcello if we're within shouting distance, but I also don't see them making a big splash to upgrade if we're still 7+ games behind 2 ALE teams while being out of (or tied) the 2nd WC slot, either.
The same people panicking now will take existential credit for the team's turnaround once the Sox start playing better in the second half. I look forward to the posts about how "they're finally doing what I said they should do."

I also get a huge kick out of wanting to trade starting pitchers from a squad that so many say has no depth in starting pitching. the only way out of this hole is to keep digging.
 

Hawk68

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You wouldn’t unless you lost your mind or were planning an Astros (now Orioles) - style teardown. And the latter is not remotely in the cards. The circumstances don’t come close to justifying it, and this fan base would not tolerate it. Price is a guy you continue to build around.

What might be wise in a month, depending on circumstances, is a Brain Cashman-style retool with a view to competing the very next year. The pieces are probably not there for that, but it should at least be considered if we’re trailing TB and NY by 10 and are more than 5 out in the WC.
Buried in your post is an interesting question: "What is the timing and decision process for an ostensible contender to become a seller and rebuild?"

I think the process is that plans are in development NOW. Who can be dispositioned, probable market value, desired return...
Timing may be more difficult. The first mover presumably has greatest possible return flexibility, but keeping the in-season revenue generation high pushes teams toward deadline deals.

Lot of judgement on the part of the President.
 

YTF

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The changes to the trade deadline take effect this season so there will be no waiver wire trades made after July 31st as there have been in the past. It will be interesting to see how that changes the view of teams as to whether they become buyers or sellers. With the end of July being the final call for trades, will buyers feel the need to step up their offers and might potential sellers feel a bit more inclined to move players? Granted most of the waiver deals don't see huge names being moved, but that opportunity to fill a need will disappear. As of now the Sox are by no stretch of the imagination out of contention, but if they are still a .500 team in another 6 weeks they may find themselves in a position where they will need to make that call. Also in the case of the Red Sox, being a seller doesn't mean you're tearing things down and going into rebuild mode. Moving a piece or two that might help other teams might bring back a player/players that put the Sox in a better spot next season.
 

nvalvo

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I must say, that while it is underperforming, this doesn't seem like a roster that is crying out for a rebuild.

I see the pieces you could potentially move as fitting into one or more of the following categories:
  • On deals large and long enough to be hard to move in-season: Price, Bogaerts, Sale, JDM, Eovaldi.
  • The core we presumably want to build around: Betts, E-Rod, Devers, Benintendi. If we're dealing any of these guys, we're doing it in the offseason to maximize the teams interested and thus the return.
  • Broken: Pedroia, Moreland, Velazquez, Pearce, Thornburg.
  • That leaves guys like Porcello, Bradley, Vazquez, Leon, Chavis, Holt, Wright. All of those guys have little enough value in a trade market that I can't see us getting a return sufficient to compensate us for the step back for this team's small but plausible chances of a deep postseason run trading them would represent.
(Maybe Chavis could be dealt for veteran bullpen piece(s), but a) I doubt he has much value, and b) certainly no one's taking him for *younger* players with a higher ceiling, which is how a rebuild works.)

While I wouldn't say I favor Boston's 2019 vintage in a playoff series against Houston or LAD, a team with our offense and starting pitching could get hot at the right time and steamroll some teams without anyone really being surprised.
 

lexrageorge

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Porcello is on an expiring contract and has value as a rental for a playoff contending team that is looking for starting pitching depth. And, while it would entail some risk, it's not inconceivable that the team decides to move on from Ed-Rod. Bradley's fielding gives him some value as well. JDM could be sought after if the acquiring team thought he would opt out.

I don't see it happening, but if the team did tailspin between now and late July, any of those players could and probably would be made available.
 

AB in DC

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A big question coming into this year was whether we'd see 2017 Mookie (.265/.344/.459) or 2018 Mookie (.346/.438/.640). At this point it sure looks like odd-year Mookie with a few more walks (.260/.382/.446).
 

patoaflac

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I know the proximity to 246 has stopped DD from doing a lot of things. However, the MFYs trade for EE, giving a low prospect and paying him 3.5 millions could have been achieved by the Sox.
Maybe the front office continues to sleep in the 2018 glory.
 

DeadlySplitter

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We don’t need a 1B/DH though.

Seattle is literally selling and buying a prospect here.... no decent reliever is available yet
 

Mystic Merlin

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I know the proximity to 246 has stopped DD from doing a lot of things. However, the MFYs trade for EE, giving a low prospect and paying him 3.5 millions could have been achieved by the Sox.
Maybe the front office continues to sleep in the 2018 glory.
Yikes.

I thought we were beyond an unhealthy fascination with the Yankees?

Where’s Encarnacion go when Pearce and Moreland are healthy? Are you DFA’ing one of them?

This is a team desperately needing relief help, not throwing lux tax money at a hit only 1B/DH
 

patoaflac

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Yikes.

I thought we were beyond an unhealthy fascination with the Yankees?

Where’s Encarnacion go when Pearce and Moreland are healthy? Are you DFA’ing one of them?

This is a team desperately needing relief help, not throwing lux tax money at a hit only 1B/DH
That’s the thing “ both healthy”. I prefer EE than Pearce and he could play third those days Devers is benched against a tough lefty. He also has played 4 games in LF. Relievers have been taxed all year long, in part because SP pitch 1,2,3 runs behind in almost every game.
Besides, if that’s the price for the AL HR leader, you could get a relief pitcher that stabilizes the bullpen at a low cost.
 

Adrian's Dome

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That’s the thing “ both healthy”. I prefer EE than Pearce and he could play third those days Devers is benched against a tough lefty. He also has played 4 games in LF. Relievers have been taxed all year long, in part because SP pitch 1,2,3 runs behind in almost every game.
Besides, if that’s the price for the AL HR leader, you could get a relief pitcher that stabilizes the bullpen at a low cost.
EE is bad defensively (Moreland and Pearce are not,) unnecessary for us, and would strain the payroll even more. Let the Yankees stack high-K power hitters, that won't win them a championship unless they trade one of said bats for more pitching. Furthermore, relievers will dictate the reliever market, not aging 1B/DH types.
 

YTF

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Yikes.

I thought we were beyond an unhealthy fascination with the Yankees?

Where’s Encarnacion go when Pearce and Moreland are healthy? Are you DFA’ing one of them?

This is a team desperately needing relief help, not throwing lux tax money at a hit only 1B/DH
It's a shell game. Do the Sox have greater needs? Yes. Does acquiring Encarnacion address those needs? On the surface, no. Does Moreland become trade bait for an effective reliever? Perhaps, but Moreland isn't healthy at the moment and that works against the Sox trying to maximize what they could potentially get.
 

dcmissle

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Yikes.

I thought we were beyond an unhealthy fascination with the Yankees?

Where’s Encarnacion go when Pearce and Moreland are healthy? Are you DFA’ing one of them?

This is a team desperately needing relief help, not throwing lux tax money at a hit only 1B/DH
It’s not the right move for us.

Brian Cashman, though, provides a constant reminder that he’s effective, creative and resourceful. First rate. This is the first shoe for them, not the last.

Ultimately, that’s a good thing for us in certain respects.
 

Red(s)HawksFan

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Do go on. . .
I'm not sure what dc was getting at, but acquiring Encarnacion makes the Yankees lineup that much more RHH-heavy. Their most potent LHH bats right now are Gregorius and Gardner (and Hicks, I suppose). Everyone's long been bemoaning how the Sox don't have a truly effective LOOGY for a couple years now. Such a thing is quite unnecessary when facing the Yankees at this point. Obviously they're not the only opponent to be concerned with, but what LHHs do the Astros or Rays have that need to be neutralized with a LOOGY?

So whatever bullpen help DD can go out and get, it doesn't need to be left-handed.
 

dcmissle

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Do go on. . .
Cashman sets a high bar that the Red Sox must meet to compete. Nobody understands the benefits of being in the AFC East more than many of us, but ultimately if you continually must face first rate competition, you end up better. That’s a good thing, not to mention the benefits to mlb of having the RS and NYY at a high level.
 
Jul 5, 2018
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Cashman sets a high bar that the Red Sox must meet to compete. Nobody understands the benefits of being in the AFC East more than many of us, but ultimately if you continually must face first rate competition, you end up better. That’s a good thing, not to mention the benefits to mlb of having the RS and NYY at a high level.
I don't know if being in a competitive division makes much difference. The 2015 Royals won their division by 12 games and the 2017 Astros by 21.
 
Jul 5, 2018
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By the way, I am honored to now being referred to as "Luddite" (I had to look it up) rather than "Lurker". My only phone is on a wall and I have an 8 Track Player in my car.
 

ehaz

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So the Red Sox are right in the mix for the wild card and 5.5 games back of the Yankees. Devers broke out, Sale fixed himself, Price has been right outside one start, Xander might actually be an MVP candidate, JDM is the same, Vazquez looks like prime Yadier Molina (well, offensively at least), Chavis is doing something. And we're still waiting on Mookie to really turn it on.

This is one horrible, no-good, very-bad season.
 

[icon]

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Snapshot of 538 Playoff Odds. Sox up nearly 10% in the last few weeks.

To Make Playoffs:
MFY 91%
TBR 77%
BOS 58%

To Win Division:
MFY: 61%
TBR: 26%
BOS: 13%
 

Pedroia's Itchy Nose

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Honestly, the single biggest thing the Red Sox have done wrong this season is be un-clutch.

2018 hitting: 6.23 (1st, and by a wide margin)
2019 hitting: -2.78 (24th)

2018 pitching: 2.31 (11th)
2019 pitching: -2.93 (27th)

Both in terms of hitting and pitching, the Red Sox have been way worse than expected in situations that matter more.

The good thing though is that clutch is not at all predictive of the future and not something we should really worry about going forward.
 

Sandy Leon Trotsky

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Honestly, the single biggest thing the Red Sox have done wrong this season is be un-clutch.

2018 hitting: 6.23 (1st, and by a wide margin)
2019 hitting: -2.78 (24th)

2018 pitching: 2.31 (11th)
2019 pitching: -2.93 (27th)

Both in terms of hitting and pitching, the Red Sox have been way worse than expected in situations that matter more.

The good thing though is that clutch is not at all predictive of the future and not something we should really worry about going forward.
But David Price crumples under the bright lights on the biggest stage!!!
 

Al Zarilla

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Honestly, the single biggest thing the Red Sox have done wrong this season is be un-clutch.

2018 hitting: 6.23 (1st, and by a wide margin)
2019 hitting: -2.78 (24th)

2018 pitching: 2.31 (11th)
2019 pitching: -2.93 (27th)

Both in terms of hitting and pitching, the Red Sox have been way worse than expected in situations that matter more.

The good thing though is that clutch is not at all predictive of the future and not something we should really worry about going forward.
Do those numbers have any units to go with them?
 

Pedroia's Itchy Nose

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Do those numbers have any units to go with them?
clutch-grams per cubic foot
Thanks. No conversion factor for AL vs. NL or day vs. night?
Perhaps I'm just getting trolled, but I figured people would be familiar with this stat.

Clutch = (WPA / pLI) – WPA/LI

(full description here), TL;DR version: Clutch measures “…how much better or worse a player does in high leverage situations than he would have done in a context neutral environment.” (David Appelman, quoted from the linked article).

I'm not entirely certain how Fangraphs calculates team clutch. Individual clutch compares the player against himself, so I am guessing that team clutch is just a sum of the individual player's total clutch. Note that WPA is a counting stat, so clutch is as well and wouldn't need to be normalized by PA or anything like that.

If the Red Sox were to continue at their current pace, their hitting clutch at the end of the season would be -6.04 and their pitching clutch would be -6.37 compared to last season's marks of 6.23 and 2.31 respectively
 

Mueller's Twin Grannies

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No more did that deficiency manifest than in last night's game. If guys had been even 5% more patient, they probably win by 3 in regulation. At the very least in the first couple of extra frames. No wonder Cora blew up at the umpires: he was probably seething inwardly for the final 6 innings watching his team squander every opportunity that came their way by swinging away.

On an unrelated note, Signs was a shit movie.
 

dhappy42

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The Red Sox are currently tied with Texas as the fifth-best team in baseball. At what point should we stop saying things have “gone wrong” this season? When they make the playoffs? Or only if they win the wild card game?
 

jon abbey

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The Red Sox are currently tied with Texas as the fifth-best team in baseball. At what point should we stop saying things have “gone wrong” this season? When they make the playoffs? Or only if they win the wild card game?
They are tied for the 5th best record in the AL, not in all of MLB, in a league where 5 of the 15 teams are basically not trying.