Winter Meetings 2018: Rumors and Speculation

chawson

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Add another first baseman to the FA scrap heap.

Adrian isn’t Adrian anymore, but I could see the Rays or some rebuilding team with a near-ready 1B prospect (the Mets?) opting to pick him up at league minimum on a bounce back bet over shelling out for Duda, Morrison, or Moreland. Should depress FA first base prices a smidge.

Edit: Would be league minimum.
 
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E5 Yaz

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Add another first baseman to the FA scrap heap.

Adrian isn’t Adrian anymore, but I could see the Rays or some rebuilding team with a near-ready 1B prospect (the Mets?) opting to give him $2M on a bounce back bet over shelling out for Duda, Morrison, or Moreland. Should depress FA first base prices a smidge.
There isn't a chance in hell that AGon being a free agent affects any of the salaries for the others. Agents would laugh a GM right out of the room if they said "take this offer or we'll sign what's left of Adrian Gonzalez"
 
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feel free to point out if its a stupid question, but are there scenarios where the MFYs can still make a play for Harper next year? I'd always assumed they would be splashing out to get him, but could they have Stanton, Judge, Harper (and Machado?) without seriously messing up their finances for a long time.
As others have said, it feels like overpaying for JDM would be a mistake if it was an alternative to waiting out and having the front seat in getting Harper on board
There is definitely a possibility of the Yankees making a bid for Harper even without dealing Stanton. Though it's not necessarily likely to remain this way, there is a scenario where the bulk of the Yankees starting 9 are young and cost controllable after 2018:

CF Aaron Hicks
RF Judge
LF Florial
1B Bird
2B Torres
3B Andujar
SS Grigorious
C Sanchez

This leaves Stanton (26M), Chapman (17M), Tanaka (22M), and Ellbury (22M) as the only big money contracts after 2018. Grigorious will likely be in the 12M-15M arbitration range. Sonny Gray will still be under $10M. They'll need to replace Robertson and they'll probably want a new rotation piece, so that will likely add some payroll, but unless I'm missing something, their commitments for 2019 are under 100M even with arbitration.

They may opt to instead use that money on pitchers, or they may need to upgrade the lineup if some of those infield prospects don't pan out, but the scenario above is a distinct possibility, and a bid for Harper is possible, even if unlikely.

EDIT: slightly above 100M not below
 

MikeM

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Your Cafardo nugget for today



He also posits trading Bogaerts, ERod or Pomeranz, plus Chavis and Travis to Baltimore for one year of Machado.

http://www.bostonglobe.com/sports/redsox/2017/12/16/manny-machado-should-red-sox-primary-target/s1qRIuc6ys1V54f4KphkEK/story.html
This actually might make some sense in parallel universe where we were projected to stay under the LT this year, David Price wasn't such a humongous question mark going forward, and the Sox actually had some on the near rise pitching prospects to lessen the sting of sacrificing ERod. With bonus points given to the potential that we win him over enough where he would then seriously consider us within a competitive offer field next winter, which isn't going to happen otherwise. But alas...

On a different note, with all the talk that surrounding Cole at the WM I'm kind of surprised that we didn't hear at least some chatter on McCutchen.
 

chawson

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It’s maddening that the Dodgers just shaved $30M of deadweight off their payroll one week after they supposedly couldn’t find the money to get Stanton.
 

Ford Frick's Asterisk

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Are you confusing baseball with beer league softball? Teams don't typically put their best corner outfield defenders in left.
Most teams I've ever watched prefer the corner outfielder with better range in left, and the guy with the better arm in right... and Manny Ramirez certainly wasn't playing right field in Cleveland because he was a better defender than their left fielders.

*
 

crow216

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I'm not sure how what I posted and what you replied are different? If the Red Sox are the only team even in the ballpark then they don't need to outbid themselves.
I took your implication to be that they wouldn't need to pay that much, not that they could get him at the price. Sorry if I misinterpreted.
 

MikeM

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What's the best case scenario there? 110 OPS+ and 20 HR? So Mitch Moreland with less defense?
Maybe, but that 3 year split is all but screaming a textbook cooked scenario imo.

Even at league min I honestly wouldn't bet on AGon landing a starting gig this winter. There is just too many guys like Moreland fighting for chairs. Guessing he ends up a ST retiree if anything.
 

Adrian's Dome

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Is this sarcasm or stupidity? Kelly has been low leverage his entire career. Thornburg might never pitch effectively again, we have no clue. Smith has pitched a handful of largely meaningless innings the last two years. And Kimbrell again sucked in his one big playoff game opportunity last year.
I could ask the same of this. Kelly was a very above-average reliever and you could do a hell of a lot worse for a 6th inning guy that's death on righties.

Thornburg is a question yes, but when healthy is a top setup man.

There's no logical reason to be down on Smith, who again is a top setup man.

Kimbrel is one of the best closers in the game and has been his entire career, but hey, let's put stock in one game over that massive sample.

Christ, it's like some of you don't remember the Timlin/Seanez/Pineiro reliever corps of not all that long ago when talking about what is and isn't a "playoff pen."
 

E5 Yaz

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Christ, it's like some of you don't remember the Timlin/Seanez/Pineiro reliever corps of not all that long ago when talking about what is and isn't a "playoff pen."
I don't remember when they had Timlin, Seanez and Pineiro in the same bullpen
 

Adrian's Dome

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I don't remember when they had Timlin, Seanez and Pineiro in the same bullpen
You get the point. The 05-06 teams had rough pens before the emergence of Papelbon and Okajima coming out of nowhere. Those were playoff teams that didn't have playoff pens.

Kimbrel/Smith/Thornburg/Kelly is a starting point a lot of MLB teams would gladly take.
 

Snodgrass'Muff

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You get the point. The 05-06 teams had rough pens before the emergence of Papelbon and Okajima coming out of nowhere. Those were playoff teams that didn't have playoff pens.

Kimbrel/Smith/Thornburg/Kelly is a starting point a lot of MLB teams would gladly take.
The Red Sox didn't make the playoffs in 06.
 

RedOctober3829

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I could ask the same of this. Kelly was a very above-average reliever and you could do a hell of a lot worse for a 6th inning guy that's death on righties.

Thornburg is a question yes, but when healthy is a top setup man.

There's no logical reason to be down on Smith, who again is a top setup man.

Kimbrel is one of the best closers in the game and has been his entire career, but hey, let's put stock in one game over that massive sample.

Christ, it's like some of you don't remember the Timlin/Seanez/Pineiro reliever corps of not all that long ago when talking about what is and isn't a "playoff pen."
Thornburg isn't just a question. The success rate of TOS isn't great in terms of coming back just as good as before the injury. I don't think we'll see the Thornburg we saw in Milwaukee.

Smith is someone to be optimistic on, but has pitched less than 10 innings in the big leagues since 2015. To count on him to be a big part of the pen is a stretch. I think he's a useful piece, but to pencil him for high-leverage innings currently is not smart.

Robby Scott is coming off of surgery. Matt Barnes fell off a cliff in September.

It's clear that the Red Sox need to add a couple of pieces to bolster the pen.
 

Adrian's Dome

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Thornburg isn't just a question. The success rate of TOS isn't great in terms of coming back just as good as before the injury. I don't think we'll see the Thornburg we saw in Milwaukee.

Smith is someone to be optimistic on, but has pitched less than 10 innings in the big leagues since 2015. To count on him to be a big part of the pen is a stretch. I think he's a useful piece, but to pencil him for high-leverage innings currently is not smart.

Robby Scott is coming off of surgery. Matt Barnes fell off a cliff in September.

It's clear that the Red Sox need to add a couple of pieces to bolster the pen.
Again, not against adding anything. But to call it a priority in the face of dealing with Boras and JDM?

They could realistically walk into the season right now with that pen and be fine if things bank right, especially given that most relievers are volatile and you very easily could get a career year out of a guy like Barnes. You can't say the same about the lineup. To blast DD over "being asleep" when it comes to working on the pen right now is stupidity. It's not a top priority, and it's unrealistic to expect a full major-league pen without any question marks. There's not one MLB roster that can claim that.
 

grimshaw

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I am fine with them spending every last dollar they need to get the bat first. If Martinez prices himself out then they have some money to play with at the deadline to get a reliever which they typically do.

I'm not necessarily expecting a repeat of last year but they should be in the top 3rd with some upside if Thornburg shows anything. They just need to keep getting enough innings out of Price, Sale and Porcello and space them apart. Most teams aren't going to get that many starter innings.
 

RedOctober3829

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Again, not against adding anything. But to call it a priority in the face of dealing with Boras and JDM?

They could realistically walk into the season right now with that pen and be fine if things bank right, especially given that most relievers are volatile and you very easily could get a career year out of a guy like Barnes. You can't say the same about the lineup. To blast DD over "being asleep" when it comes to working on the pen right now is stupidity. It's not a top priority, and it's unrealistic to expect a full major-league pen without any question marks. There's not one MLB roster that can claim that.
He's working on multiple things besides JD Martinez. It's not like he's sitting on his couch waiting for Boras to call. Besides Martinez, I'd say the two biggest priorities for this club are the bullpen and a stopgap for Pedroia. They don't have a setup man that you can count on to pitch in high leverage situations in the late innings besides Kimbrel. Sorry, but I'm not putting my eggs in the Joe Kelly basket when the game is on the line.
 

Rough Carrigan

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And yet Martinez might get $30 million anyway.

If Ortiz of 2004 was playing now, he’d get it.
Yup. You can complain that this year's salaries have gone up from last year's or the year before's and take some sort of stance that you're not going to go along or you can adjust to reality. MLB is doing very well financially.
 

tonyarmasjr

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Manny's last season in Cleveland, Richie Sexson and the corpse of David Justice were the primary LF's.
And Albert Belle was in LF when he came up. They were probably of similar defensive ability, but Manny did have a better arm.
 

The Gray Eagle

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This team would have a really good offense if they just added Moreland or Duda and Nunez.

If Martinez wants to sign a reasonable contract to play here that would be great, they'd be even better offensively. If not, they can move on and be a good offense with more flexibility going forward. No need to bid against themselves.
 

DisgruntledSoxFan77

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This team would have a really good offense if they just added Moreland or Duda and Nunez.

If Martinez wants to sign a reasonable contract to play here that would be great, they'd be even better offensively. If not, they can move on and be a good offense with more flexibility going forward. No need to bid against themselves.
How was this offense last year after adding Moreland?
 

The Gray Eagle

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It was a good offense after adding Nunez, and took a hit when he went down.

Hopefully if Moreland breaks his foot this year too they won't play him for a full month of horrendous hitting, since now we have a new manager and I am hoping that he will approach these issues differently.

I also expect some good players who hit poorly last year to bounce back this year. But then again maybe everything lasts forever, who knows.
 

tonyarmasjr

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How was this offense last year after adding Moreland?
It was a good offense after adding Nunez, and took a hit when he went down.

Hopefully if Moreland breaks his foot this year too they won't play him for a full month of horrendous hitting, since now we have a new manager and I am hoping that he will approach these issues differently.

I also expect some good players who hit poorly last year to bounce back this year. But then again maybe everything lasts forever, who knows.
If Mookie, X, Hanley, and JBJ give you what they did last year, it won't matter who is playing 1B.

Part of any confidence in this year's team has to be an expectation that most of those guys produce more in 2018.
This is the crux of the whole offseason. This offense was 10th in MLB (6th in the AL) in runs scored last year. To answer DisgruntledSoxFan, it was fine. And that came in spite of disappointing offensive years from 1B, SS, CF, RF, DH and a partial season of acceptable production from 3B. The easiest/most effective place to upgrade is by effectively replacing Moreland with Martinez. But that in and of itself doesn't push the offense over the top. I think most people expect at least some improvement from most of the guys who either suffered through injury or underwhelmed. If both those things happen, they're a top-notch offense on the level of the Yankees and Astros. If only one does, they're marginally better than 2017 - a good offense that will make the playoffs. And if neither happens, they're basically the 93-win playoff team again. But even expecting both to happen doesn't make them prohibitive WS favorites (like last year) or ensure they get past the first round. So, how much is the upgrade of JD Martinez worth to the Red Sox, both in 2018 and beyond?
 

chawson

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You get the point. The 05-06 teams had rough pens before the emergence of Papelbon and Okajima coming out of nowhere. Those were playoff teams that didn't have playoff pens.

Kimbrel/Smith/Thornburg/Kelly is a starting point a lot of MLB teams would gladly take.
Did you see the Yankees’, Astros’, or Indians’ bullpens last year? Or the Dodgers’, Cubs’, or Nats’? They’re elite. Sliders are up across the league. Starters are going fewer innings. There’s a ton of cheap relief arm labor now. The game has changed a lot since 2005.

The original point was that if it’s considered a high probability that we’re one of the top five teams in the AL as is — and it is — then I’m not sure why DD isn’t adding an arm or two for explicitly the purpose of winning those games, facing those teams’ hitters. Especially when it’s crystal fucking clear that Rick Porcello should not be starting a playoff game.

Kimbrel is a top-three reliever. Kelly, Smith, Thornburg (who is so-so against RHH even when healthy), and Barnes each have a shot at being solid set up guys next year, but questions haunt them all.

Some cheap and very good relief pitchers just flew off the shelves, some of them to our playoff opponents. I hope DD does something smart. I feel like he’s gonna swing an iffy trade for Soria or something.
 

sean1562

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The Nationals had an elite bullpen? Better than the Red Sox?

I think Thornburg can be a solid middle reliever, along with Kelly. I have high hopes for Carson Smith
 

sean1562

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According to Fangraphs, the Red Sox bullpen had the 4th highest WAR in the league last season.

http://www.fangraphs.com/leaders.aspx?pos=all&stats=rel&lg=all&qual=0&type=8&season=2017&month=0&season1=2017&ind=0&team=0,ts&rost=0&age=0&filter=&players=0

The Nats were 17th and the Cubs 14th(now without Wade Davis). You look at just the second half and the Sox and Nats are tied at 3rd. We had a great bullpen last year, and will have a full season of Carson Smith and maybe Tyler Thornburg. Our big problem was our SP sucking in the ALDS. A decent Porcello and healthy Price and Erod would be huge for this team
 

NJ_Sox_Fan

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This actually might make some sense in parallel universe where we were projected to stay under the LT this year, David Price wasn't such a humongous question mark going forward, and the Sox actually had some on the near rise pitching prospects to lessen the sting of sacrificing ERod. With bonus points given to the potential that we win him over enough where he would then seriously consider us within a competitive offer field next winter, which isn't going to happen otherwise. But alas...

On a different note, with all the talk that surrounding Cole at the WM I'm kind of surprised that we didn't hear at least some chatter on McCutchen.
I'd give up ERod in a second if it meant getting Machado, and not even think twice about it.
 

Snodgrass'Muff

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According to Fangraphs, the Red Sox bullpen had the 4th highest WAR in the league last season.

http://www.fangraphs.com/leaders.aspx?pos=all&stats=rel&lg=all&qual=0&type=8&season=2017&month=0&season1=2017&ind=0&team=0,ts&rost=0&age=0&filter=&players=0

The Nats were 17th and the Cubs 14th(now without Wade Davis). You look at just the second half and the Sox and Nats are tied at 3rd. We had a great bullpen last year, and will have a full season of Carson Smith and maybe Tyler Thornburg. Our big problem was our SP sucking in the ALDS. A decent Porcello and healthy Price and Erod would be huge for this team
Kelly and Barnes aren't going to repeat their ERA's next year. Addison Reed is gone. The pen lacks late inning arms aside from Kimbrel. They need help there. Not as much as they need in the middle of the order but if they do nothing about the pen they will regret it. That can be addressed at the deadline, though.
 

Green Monster

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Albers rumored to have signed a 2yr deal. Team not yet known.....might be a nice add. Nice slider for Judge, Stanton, etc......I am going to guess Cleveland rather than the Red Sox

12/16:Jerry Crasnick of ESPN.com reports that relief pitcher Matt Albers is expected to sign a two-year contract within next week.The 34-year-old posted a 1.62 ERA, 0.85 WHIP and 63 strikeouts over 61 innings for the Nationals in 2017. It was a strong for the right-hander and with the bullpen market drying up, he should be nice addition to someone’s bullpen.--Daniel Burdeen - RotoBaller
 
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Tyrone Biggums

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Albers rumored to have signed a 2yr deal. Team not yet known.....might be a nice add. Nice slider for Judge, Stanton, etc......I am going to guess Cleveland rather than the Red Sox

12/16:Jerry Crasnick of ESPN.com reports that relief pitcher Matt Albers is expected to sign a two-year contract within next week.The 34-year-old posted a 1.62 ERA, 0.85 WHIP and 63 strikeouts over 61 innings for the Nationals in 2017. It was a strong for the right-hander and with the bullpen market drying up, he should be nice addition to someone’s bullpen.--Daniel Burdeen - RotoBaller
No thanks on Albers. Team doesn’t need any more RPs. Smith Thornburg you have to figure one of those two will compete with Kelly for 8th inning duty. The exception is Rosenthal. I’d like to see the Sox get creative and offer him a 2 year deal with an eye towards 2019.
 

DeadlySplitter

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let's remember the 93 wins we got had a huge luck component in extra innings.

if we do nothing, 93 wins again is not close to a safe bet.
 

E5 Yaz

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let's remember the 93 wins we got had a huge luck component in extra innings.

if we do nothing, 93 wins again is not close to a safe bet.
Well, considering they have had the same number of wins three consecutive years since 1961-63, I agree.

Funny thing is, they had a different number of losses each of those years
 

Rough Carrigan

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No thanks on Albers. Team doesn’t need any more RPs. Smith Thornburg you have to figure one of those two will compete with Kelly for 8th inning duty. The exception is Rosenthal. I’d like to see the Sox get creative and offer him a 2 year deal with an eye towards 2019.
We had Matt Albers here and he was a zero. Good for him that he had a good year but he's seemed like bullpen filler his whole career. Did he just come up with a great new pitch or something? If not, what are the odds that Albers isn't bullpen filler Matt Albers again next year?
 

DanoooME

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I would hope the organization learned a hard lesson about throwing elite money at non-elite players in weak FA years after Sandoval and Hanley. I'm fine with no big free agent signings this year.
This post states my opinion pretty succinctly. After Santana went for 3/$60 to a team that arguably didn't need him (Phillies), I think the market is going to be more than people expect for Martinez. I'd rather the team tinker around the edges and make small improvements than tie up the team's little remaining flexibility in a guy who's really not that good of a hitter.

Martinez hit .251/.309/.558 last year on the road. He hit .373/.448/.891 in Chase Field last year. Let that sink in a minute. A 1339 OPS is Bonds/Ruth territory and that's it. Do you really think he's going to hit that well in Fenway? I mean the road OPS is nice (especially from the power perspective) and all but is anyone going to be happy paying $150M or so for that?

Justin Upton just got 5/$106M from the Angels. Upton is 4 days younger than Martinez. Martinez has a little more power than Upton, but otherwise Upton is a better player. That salary level is where Martinez should end up. But it looks like he's going to get somewhere in the range of 50% more than Upton with more years. Paying 50% more for a lesser player makes little sense to me especially if the market is as limited as some folks on here claim. If they could get Martinez for Upton's numbers, great. But it's foolish to think that's even going to be close and it just doesn't make sense to totally destroy the future AND any possible in-season flexibility that may be needed on the chance that he's going to be the player he was last year.
 

sean1562

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Yea, I think that is how DD and co. Are looking at it too. He had long tenures at his last posts and I’m sure he isn’t just going all in on this core. The “window” could easily stay open if benintendi and/or devers become stars. JUst need a few prospects to pan out to turn around the farm.

JD Martinez is a DH looking for superstar money. 7 Years would be very dumb and I think DD understands that. I am hoping we wait it out to see how far this inflated market falls