Who should start for this team in 2021?

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MLB Rumors reviews the worst starting staffs from 2020 and the list doesn’t include the Sawx...how is that possible?

You need a staff to be considered the worst. The 2020 team was TBA, TBA, TBA, Martin Perez, and TBA.
 

nvalvo

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After a perusal of twitter, here's a quick roundup of some Sugano rumors, most of which seem to be based on a Jeff Passan article:
  • The most aggressive teams are thought to be San Francisco and Boston, followed by Toronto and Anaheim.
  • Mets are reportedly out. San Diego is presumed out, after their flurry of moves.
  • Passan thinks Sugano is disappointed by the offers and might choose to pitch for another NPB team in 2021 and try again as a pure free agent in a year when the FA market might be less depressed by pandemics. (Then again, that would be more or less what I would tell Jeff Passan if I were Sugano's agent.)
 

jon abbey

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After a perusal of twitter, here's a quick roundup of some Sugano rumors, most of which seem to be based on a Jeff Passan article:
  • The most aggressive teams are thought to be San Francisco and Boston, followed by Toronto and Anaheim.
  • Mets are reportedly out. San Diego is presumed out, after their flurry of moves.
  • Passan thinks Sugano is disappointed by the offers and might choose to pitch for another NPB team in 2021 and try again as a pure free agent in a year when the FA market might be less depressed by pandemics. (Then again, that would be more or less what I would tell Jeff Passan if I were Sugano's agent.)
You're missing the crucial part that Yomiuri (the Japanese team that Sugano forced his way to earlier in his career, so his Japanese team of choice) offered him a four year deal with optouts after every season, so he could easily try again in a year or two when MLB's finances are more clear.
 

JBJ_HOF

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That is not a correct roundup, Passan wrote San Francisco and Boston are not expected to pay the needed price for Sugano.
 

ehaz

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That is not a correct roundup, Passan wrote San Francisco and Boston are not expected to pay the needed price for Sugano.
I wonder what the “needed price” is. Arihara is younger and just got 2 years at like ~$6M total. Missing out on a guy that compares favorably to earlier MLB career Tanaka/Maeda because you won’t even approach ~$8 - $10M would be disappointing given the state of the rotation. He won’t even cost draft compensation.

It’s still so early but this rotation is very gross.
 

allmanbro

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Given that the team is building for 2022 as much as 2021 (rightly so), it's worth keeping in mind that we can't expect Sale to be the kind of ace who can carry a staff anymore when he comes back. He can still be very good, but if he's not that "true ace," the rest of the rotation needs to be really deep to compete in the division. So, as I see it, you can start 2022 with Sale as the #1, but to hedge the risk in his performance, you need a really strong 2, 3, and 4. Erod can be that strong 2, but the 3/4 need to be filled in, where a strong #3 (credible #2 type) is the hard one to find, especially given their current resources. (I also think they have pretty good depth at 5-7 or so if the rest of the current group gets pushed down the ladder - Eovaldi, Houk, Pivetta)

This is a big reason why I prefer high risk, high reward moves for 2021. For example, Sugano is much more interesting to me than Odorizzi: Sugano has more risk, but he could be that strong #3, while I don't see any way that Odorizzi could. Kluber and Rodon might also be good upside plays, depending on health. Similarly, in trades, I think a Padres trade should target Morejon, a Pirates trade should target Taillon (I guess Musgrove also fits, but he just seems to keep falling short of anticipated breakouts). A salary dump trade might be the most likely route, so that's the key piece to target. That kind of guy is very hard to trade for, but maybe this is a year where they can get more creative than normal.

We'll know about Sugano soon enough anyway.
 

Dewey'sCannon

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Seems like Bloom has a lot of irons in the fire - Sugano, Odorizzi, Kluber. I'm pretty confident we'll end up with two solid additions to the rotation, whoever they might be. I guess I'd be disappointed if we lose out on Sugano because the offer is just a couple million short, but I trust that they know what they're doing.

The trade market also represents an interesting opportunity, given the apparent ability to take on money to reduce the price we would otherwise have to pay in prospects. Castillo would obviously be a great get, assuming we'd have to take on Moustakas and/or Castellanos, but it would still be a challenge to put together a workable package - a lot depends on how strongly the Reds are motivated to move one or both of those big salaries, and how expensive they think Castillo is going to get as he hits his arb years. And as noted by allmanbro, the Padres and Pirates are also possibilities.

Something will get done. Just not as fast as we'd all like.
 

chawson

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Given that the team is building for 2022 as much as 2021 (rightly so), it's worth keeping in mind that we can't expect Sale to be the kind of ace who can carry a staff anymore when he comes back. He can still be very good, but if he's not that "true ace," the rest of the rotation needs to be really deep to compete in the division. So, as I see it, you can start 2022 with Sale as the #1, but to hedge the risk in his performance, you need a really strong 2, 3, and 4. Erod can be that strong 2, but the 3/4 need to be filled in, where a strong #3 (credible #2 type) is the hard one to find, especially given their current resources. (I also think they have pretty good depth at 5-7 or so if the rest of the current group gets pushed down the ladder - Eovaldi, Houk, Pivetta)

This is a big reason why I prefer high risk, high reward moves for 2021. For example, Sugano is much more interesting to me than Odorizzi: Sugano has more risk, but he could be that strong #3, while I don't see any way that Odorizzi could. Kluber and Rodon might also be good upside plays, depending on health. Similarly, in trades, I think a Padres trade should target Morejon, a Pirates trade should target Taillon (I guess Musgrove also fits, but he just seems to keep falling short of anticipated breakouts). A salary dump trade might be the most likely route, so that's the key piece to target. That kind of guy is very hard to trade for, but maybe this is a year where they can get more creative than normal.

We'll know about Sugano soon enough anyway.
Totally agree with you here. Odorizzi and Sugano seem useful but we’d be fortunate to get annual Lackey or Porcello-type production — 2-3 WAR -- from them. Kluber would also be fantastic if he recovers and ages gracefully, but that's hard to count on.

I think Musgrove is a better bet than you do but you’re right that he’s perennially stalled.

The high reward salary dump trades I can dream up from here are the Rockies for Marquez (taking back Desmond), the Brewers for Woodruff or Burnes (taking back Cain, Narvaez or Garcia), or the Reds for Castillo or maybe Mahle (taking back Moustakas, Castellanos and/or Akiyama). Those still don’t seem possible without giving up someone like Verdugo too, but it’s probably worth it for an ace.

I think a big trade or two is inevitable, but Bloom will know how much pitching he needs to target after those three pitchers decide.
 
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nvalvo

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That is not a correct roundup, Passan wrote San Francisco and Boston are not expected to pay the needed price for Sugano.
My mistake: I was passing along some snippets I saw online, and I may have participated in a game of telephone. I don’t subscribe to ESPN+. We regret the error.
 

allmanbro

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Totally agree with you here. Odorizzi and Sugano seem useful but we’d be fortunate to get annual Lackey or Porcello-type production — 2-3 WAR -- from them. Kluber would also be fantastic if he recovers and ages gracefully, but that's hard to count on.

I think Musgrove is a better bet than you do but you’re right that he’s perennially stalled.

The high reward salary dump trades I can dream up from here are the Rockies for Marquez (taking back Desmond), the Brewers for Woodruff or Burnes (taking back Cain, Narvaez or Garcia), or the Reds for Castillo or maybe Mahle (taking back Moustakas, Castellanos and/or Akiyama). Those still don’t seem possible without giving up someone like Verdugo too, but it’s probably worth it for an ace.

I think a big trade or two is inevitable, but Bloom will know how much pitching he needs to target after those three pitchers decide.
Marquez would be great (better than any of the names I mentioned) and feels not-impossible. I can't seem to find any indication of the Marlins' plans since Ng took over, but the have a lot of interesting SPs including Lopez, Acantara, Garrett, Hernandez, Castano. Starling Marte might be an interesting target too if they aren't trying to force their window open right now. I've been considering starting a thread on pie in the sky trade ideas, since there is so little to talk about with the Sox, but I'm not sure how productive that discussion would end up being.
 

NJ_Sox_Fan

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I would rather gamble on Odorizzi than Sugano. At least we know Jake can pitch effectively in the AL East.
 

chawson

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Marquez would be great (better than any of the names I mentioned) and feels not-impossible. I can't seem to find any indication of the Marlins' plans since Ng took over, but the have a lot of interesting SPs including Lopez, Acantara, Garrett, Hernandez, Castano. Starling Marte might be an interesting target too if they aren't trying to force their window open right now. I've been considering starting a thread on pie in the sky trade ideas, since there is so little to talk about with the Sox, but I'm not sure how productive that discussion would end up being.
The Marlins are indeed flush. Problem for us is almost no one's making money there. I could see Marte playing CF here for a year but it seems pointless to give up prospects for him. Dickerson isn't useless but would be redundant with Beni.

Verdugo and Dalbec for Marquez, Desmond (1/$14M AAV) and Oberg (2 years, $4.3M AAV) is roughly in the same ballpark. Adds about $26M to our payroll next year but Desmond comes off the books before it matters.

I think pie-in-the-sky trades and other teambuilding ideas are fun if the people making them are decently informed. But I've never listened to WEEI so I might not get it if people are burnt out on that kind of banter. DD had a very blunt tool approach to making trades, but I'm really looking forward to watching Bloom make some shrewd ones that don't immediately make sense. (PIvetta seems like one of those already. No one talks about him, but there's a pretty good chance he has a better year than Odorizzi.)
 

jon abbey

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Sugano signs a 4/40 deal with Yomiuri, with a player opt-out every offseason if he wants.
 

Yo La Tengo

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Sugano signs a 4/40 deal with Yomiuri, with a player opt-out every offseason if he wants.
Any reports on what Sugano was looking for dollars/years? I really wanted the Sox to sign him but I'm guessing the asking price must have been massive. Otherwise, this seems like a missed opportunity.
 

jon abbey

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Any reports on what Sugano was looking for dollars/years? I really wanted the Sox to sign him but I'm guessing the asking price must have been massive. Otherwise, this seems like a missed opportunity.
I heard he was looking for 4/56, but presumably something between that and 4/40 might have worked.
 

jon abbey

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Oh, that makes sense, although Japan is the worst it's been so far right now also. But with his new deal having an opt-out every year, he can watch the CBA negotiations play out also next winter.
 

Manramsclan

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Oh, that makes sense, although Japan is the worst it's been so far right now also. But with his new deal having an opt-out every year, he can watch the CBA negotiations play out also next winter.
Right. All in all he was smart to take the deal he took. Not a great time to come over to MLB with all of various uncertainties in this country and around the world (economic, public health, governmental).
 

amRadio

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I'm really of the irrational opinion right now that Kluber is very important for the Sox. I know I'm clinging to a big name here but the talent level is just so high. The Sox would really be leaning heavily into the lane of having SP's with large health and availability questions, but the talent level is so high with him I feel like that is exactly the kind of pitcher we want to be in on over the next 2-4 years. When the team is in better shape and when Kluber has proved his health one way or the other, a pitcher of his caliber could be unavailable or prohibitively expensive. Roll the dice. Don't be cheap.

From 2013-2018 over 185 starts Kluber averaged 31 starts per season, 206 IP, 227 K's, a 2.89 FIP and sported a 143 ERA+

Even a diminished Kluber should be a difference maker.
 

Minneapolis Millers

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My fear is someone offers Kluber 2/$35m, and I don’t think Bloom goes to that level. I think most are hoping to get him for 1/$10-12m, maybe with incentives.
 
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bosockboy

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I'm really of the irrational opinion right now that Kluber is very important for the Sox. I know I'm clinging to a big name here but the talent level is just so high. The Sox would really be leaning heavily into the lane of having SP's with large health and availability questions, but the talent level is so high with him I feel like that is exactly the kind of pitcher we want to be in on over the next 2-4 years. When the team is in better shape and when Kluber has proved his health one way or the other, a pitcher of his caliber could be unavailable or prohibitively expensive. Roll the dice. Don't be cheap.

From 2013-2018 over 185 starts Kluber averaged 31 starts per season, 206 IP, 227 K's, a 2.89 FIP and sported a 143 ERA+

Even a diminished Kluber should be a difference maker.
Or at minimum another Eovaldi, which is very useful.
 

Max Power

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My fear is someone offers Kluber 2/$35m, and I don’t think Bloom goes to that level. I think most are hoping to get him for 1/$10-12m, maybe with incentives.
I'd give him a $10m base with $5m incentives for 15, 20, 25, and 30 starts. If he's healthy enough to make 30 starts, he's probably going to be good enough to be worth $30 million.
 

Niastri

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I'd give him a $10m base with $5m incentives for 15, 20, 25, and 30 starts. If he's healthy enough to make 30 starts, he's probably going to be good enough to be worth $30 million.
I like that idea, but start at 1/12, make the incentives based on innings and add a club option with similar incentives and a small buyout.

Kluber has the top end resume of an outside shot at the HoF, he's only missing the counting stats and the longevity... It's amazing how his JAWs is actually lower than his 7 year peak, but he got to the majors late (for a potential hall of famer). And what a peak! Two Cy Young awards and 3rd place votes in two other years.

If he bounces back with anything like his prime, he is well worth that hypothetical ~30 million to a team with cap room and a solid offense, like our Sox.

Sale, Kluber, Rodriguez and Eovaldi could be a very dangerous playoff rotation, given a whole lot of injury luck.

 

Yo La Tengo

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Matt Andriese makes so much sense in the context of a Sale, Rodriguez, Eovaldi, Kluber rotation. Which other swingmen should the sox be targeting? Resign McHugh? Petit?
 

Manramsclan

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I like the incentive plan idea too, but you better believe that with 25 teams interested he is going to try and maximize guaranteed money, and will likely get it. I don't think $10 or $12 is going to get it done. Offering that even with incentives seems too cute by half.

I think it would be better to lead with a higher AAV and have the incentives reward that upper level performance if he is to get back to being a Cy Young contender. (I'm not up on what kind of incentives are currently allowed in the CBA. I know things have changed on that front recently)
 

bohous

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The problem I see with the incentive deal is that he may need to be on an innings limit, at least for the first couple of months. I wouldn't want him pushing it too hard or getting pissed for getting pulled early in starts.
 

BaseballJones

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If the Yankees are really serious about him, honestly, what is the likelihood that Boston gets him? Can't be more than about 10% chance.
 

amRadio

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Why is that? They have money under the tax to use, I think as of Dec 3 it was 37M worth of space and I can't think of any contract commitments made since I read that. I agree the incentive path is too cute, if you have 37M to spend and you only offer a slice of that to Kluber, something is wrong here. BOS absolutely has money to spend and can show down with NY over a free agent.

I have a lot of faith in this ownership group, and I'm definitely putting an irrational amount of stock in a Kluber signing for the Red Sox, but if they don't A. spend to the limit and B. aggressively pursue *good* pitchers I'm gonna have a lot of questions. I don't expect this team to win the division and I'm not expecting a scorched Earth campaign through free agency in an attempt to win the offseason. They do owe it to the fans to make every attempt to put a better (or even an average) MLB product on the field. If we're going to slide back and make small market moves while watching Cashman feverishly try to put the Yankees in the World Series that would be inexcusable.
 
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If the Yankees are really serious about him, honestly, what is the likelihood that Boston gets him? Can't be more than about 10% chance.
For Kluber, the decision comes down to getting enough innings to re-establish his value and show teams he's healthy. The Yankees, who have designs on the WS, might well prefer a surer thing, like bringing back Tanaka. I could see Boston being a better option for Kluber than NY.
 

jon abbey

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For Kluber, the decision comes down to getting enough innings to re-establish his value and show teams he's healthy. The Yankees, who have designs on the WS, might well prefer a surer thing, like bringing back Tanaka. I could see Boston being a better option for Kluber than NY.
I don't think NY wants Tanaka back, I expect him to go back to Japan or maybe the Angels. Cressey and Blake (both now Yankee employees) both have long histories with Kluber, so they know him well and they seem to be pursuing him hard.
 

amRadio

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It just seems like putting a 10% chance of Boston beating NY in a bidding war for the one resource in the game the Red Sox need desperately - pitching - is kind of a Yankee fan wish.
 

jon abbey

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It just seems like putting a 10% chance of Boston beating NY in a bidding war for the one resource in the game the Red Sox need desperately - pitching - is kind of a Yankee fan wish.
To be clear, it was a Sox fan who said that, not me. I have no idea how he will decide, although I do think it will likely be BOS (near his home) or NYY (Cressey/Blake history plus a WS contender).
 

BaseballJones

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As a general rule, when it comes down to the Yankees and the Red Sox engaging in a bidding war over the same player, I would never put my money on the Red Sox.
 

amRadio

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Recent history doesn't really support that but I understand the pessimism as a rule of thumb, I guess.

If I were Kluber, I would be looking for a softer landing spot than the AL East in an attempt to secure the largest possible bag next offseason. If I'm the Red Sox or Yankees, I would be very motivated to make it worth it for him to roll the dice and play in a hitters park. Assuming the teams in the north east have an advantage makes sense with COVID but for Kluber it might be more about finding a soft landing spot for 1 year.

Geographically, the Sox and Yankees have an equal chance. If salary in a 1 year re-establishment contract is the biggest concern, I don't agree that the Yankees are better suited to offer the most. It will be about who wants him more because both teams can afford him equally. I really hope the Sox aren't comfortable taking a slow re-building approach to the pitching staff or plugging in a lower grade player like Odorizzi.
 
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BaseballJones

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I mean, how often to the Yankees NOT get a player they really want? I can't think of too many cases.
 

chawson

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Why is that? They have money under the tax to use, I think as of Dec 3 it was 37M worth of space and I can't think of any contract commitments made since I read that. I agree the incentive path is too cute, if you have 37M to spend and you only offer a slice of that to Kluber, something is wrong here. BOS absolutely has money to spend and can show down with NY over a free agent.

I have a lot of faith in this ownership group, and I'm definitely putting an irrational amount of stock in a Kluber signing for the Red Sox, but if they don't A. spend to the limit and B. aggressively pursue *good* pitchers I'm gonna have a lot of questions. I don't expect this team to win the division and I'm not expecting a scorched Earth campaign through free agency in an attempt to win the offseason. They do owe it to the fans to make every attempt to put a better (or even an average) MLB product on the field. If we're going to slide back and make small market moves while watching Cashman feverishly try to put the Yankees in the World Series that would be inexcusable.
I'm putting a lot of stock in it too. I'd be more pessimistic about Kluber if it weren't for the strong local ties made more important by pandemic-related concerns.

It feels a bit like the Schilling negotiations. We're obviously not the team we were in 2003, but a potential "twin ace" scenario plus Bloom's other expected moves might sneak us deep into the postseason. Bloom will move swiftly to trade options if this doesn't work out, but signing Kluber saves us bullets for other trades that can make us real contenders.
 

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It feels a bit like the Schilling negotiations. We're obviously not the team we were in 2003, but a potential "twin ace" scenario plus Bloom's other expected moves might sneak us deep into the postseason. Bloom will move swiftly to trade options if this doesn't work out, but signing Kluber saves us bullets for other trades that can make us real contenders.
Schilling was traded to the Red Sox. It gave them a potential of "twin aces," but it's a different acquisition scenario
 

chawson

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I mean, how often to the Yankees NOT get a player they really want? I can't think of too many cases.
Ohtani was a pretty big one. Hopefully Kluber is a similar situation: offers of roughly equal money, so geographic needs are weighted more heavily.

Schilling was traded to the Red Sox. It gave them a potential of "twin aces," but it's a different acquisition scenario
Of course. IIRC Schilling needed some convincing by Theo that he'd succeed here so that's what I'm conjuring up, but the comparison is mostly about having two CY Young contenders at the top of the staff.
 

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If the report that Kluber is only considering a one year deal in order to rebuild his value, I hope the opportunity to work with Cressey and Blake again outweighs the Boston family times.

I agree with the assessment that it will probably be one of the two organizations that pulls it off.