2019-20 Offseason Discussion

Seels

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Career combined? 12 war for both of them seems insane, even if you're just talking their cost controlled years, 5 years of Verudgo alone is probably projected for about 15-20, he's projected for about 3 in 130 games this year
Trot Nixon and Josh Reddick are two guys who had 20 WAR. You are just penciling in Verdugo, a guy with 2.2 WAR last year as getting 20 over the next 5? That's...optimistic. There are 6 guys in baseball who played outfield and have 20 WAR over the last 5 years. Seven if you round up Lorenzo Cain.
 

Plympton91

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Trot Nixon and Josh Reddick are two guys who had 20 WAR. You are just penciling in Verdugo, a guy with 2.2 WAR last year as getting 20 over the next 5? That's...optimistic. There are 6 guys in baseball who played outfield and have 20 WAR over the last 5 years. Seven if you round up Lorenzo Cain.
So what does that tell you about the probability of getting 20 WAR from Mookie Betts over the next 5 years, for $180 million at his asking price?
 

scottyno

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Trot Nixon and Josh Reddick are two guys who had 20 WAR. You are just penciling in Verdugo, a guy with 2.2 WAR last year as getting 20 over the next 5? That's...optimistic. There are 6 guys in baseball who played outfield and have 20 WAR over the last 5 years. Seven if you round up Lorenzo Cain.
That 2.2 war was in 106 games, expecting a guy that's already projected to have about 3 war this year to slightly improve in his age 24-27 seasons doesn't seem that optimistic
 

StuckOnYouk

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Downs is a bit farther away of course but was rated the #15 prospect in all of MLB today in Fangraphs' mathematical ZiPS top 100 list:

This is why I like NY fans like JA on this site - great nuggets of info, even when its not NY-related.
 

BaseballJones

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I'm just going to very much disagree that what they got back is a hugely valuable asset. What's the over under on career war from Downs and Verdugo, maybe 12 or so? I'd at least like to enjoy Mookie's last year, and if they lose him because some team offers him a crazy amount, it is what it is. This team may not have been good enough to have a deep playoff run even with him, but without him (and Price) they have zero shot of getting out of the AL. Why should any fan be invested in this?
I don't understand this line of thinking. The Red Sox have the best group of 3 hitters in the league in Bogaerts, Devers, and Martinez, all of whom went .300/30/100, 135 ops+. They've got young guys with legit upside in Benintendi, Verdugo, and Chavis, and maybe even Jeter Downs now. They're going to score a ton of runs, even without Mookie, barring some catastrophe. The pitching looks pretty iffy, but if Chris Sale is CHRIS SALE again, then even in a one-game wild card playoff they're as good a bet as anyone. Then...all bets are off. We've seen MUCH worse teams win the whole thing.
 

Sausage in Section 17

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I'm just going to very much disagree that what they got back is a hugely valuable asset.
Mookie was the hugely valuable asset. The Sox got 2 dimes and a nickel for a quarter, but they get to keep them all for the next several years. Maybe one of those dimes or nickels will come close to a quarter, we'll see.
 
Jan 31, 2020
69
JONATHAN LUCROYC, CHICAGO CUBS
Chris Cotillo of MassLive.com reports that the Red Sox are close to a deal with free agent catcher Jonathan Lucroy.
It sounds like it will be a minor league deal. Lucroy would provide some depth for the Red Sox behind Christian Vazquez and Kevin Plawecki. The 33-year-old batted just .232/.305/.355 over 328 plate appearances between the Cubs and Angels last year.
RELATED:
SOURCE: Chris Cotillo on Twitter
Feb 18, 2020, 7:30 AM ET
Interesting. Probably only Pawtucket depth. He fell off the cliff one year and never recovered.
 
Jan 31, 2020
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I don't understand this line of thinking. The Red Sox have the best group of 3 hitters in the league in Bogaerts, Devers, and Martinez, all of whom went .300/30/100, 135 ops+. They've got young guys with legit upside in Benintendi, Verdugo, and Chavis, and maybe even Jeter Downs now. They're going to score a ton of runs, even without Mookie, barring some catastrophe. The pitching looks pretty iffy, but if Chris Sale is CHRIS SALE again, then even in a one-game wild card playoff they're as good a bet as anyone. Then...all bets are off. We've seen MUCH worse teams win the whole thing.
After watching the Nationals last year I'm still going to put $250 on 25/1 odds for the Sox. I'm not even confident that they'll make the playoffs but anything can happen. Baseball is the ultimate team sport.
 

BaseballJones

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After watching the Nationals last year I'm still going to put $250 on 25/1 odds for the Sox. I'm not even confident that they'll make the playoffs but anything can happen. Baseball is the ultimate team sport.
Yeah you have to wonder how the Nationals won it all last year. They "only" won 93 games, which is fine but not exactly dominant. They had two hitters that were as good as the Sox' top three: Soto and Rendon. They had other fine hitters but nothing really any better than the Sox have. Depending on their starting lineup (looking at b-ref), they only had four guys starting with an ops+ over 100. They literally had the worst bullpen in baseball last year, as their relievers ranked #30 in MLB in era (5.66, more than a full run worse than the Sox' own mediocre bullpen, who checked in at 4.40). They did have two great starters (Scherzer and Strasburg) plus two other good ones (Corbin and Sanchez), but they had a LOT of holes.

They got hot in the playoffs and won it. It happens. It would be crazy to rule out the Sox already as if they have no chance.
 

IpswichSox

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I'd at least like to enjoy Mookie's last year, and if they lose him because some team offers him a crazy amount, it is what it is...
As a fan of this team, you have every right to hold that opinion. I'm grateful the team didn't try to play to the fans but instead evaluated that the worst-case scenario (Mookie signs with another team and we get a draft pick) could actually be the most likely outcome if they let this play out. That wouldn't have been an "it is what it is" result. Between the fifth round pick for Mookie and the other burdens with being a repeat offender on the CBT, we would have hamstrung the team's ability to be competitive potentially for several years. That to me was worst-case scenario, and the Red Sox avoided that by choosing among the least-worst of what were only bad options.

When the team has made decisions that seem like fans are in charge, we get signings like Pablo and Hanley, and Pearce. I hated seeing Mookie in another uniform last week -- but I would have hated it more if it happened 10 months from now and all we would get is a fifth round pick in the 2021 draft.
 
Jan 31, 2020
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Worth noting Lucroy was Roenicke’s catcher in Milwaukee, so some familiarity.
It certainly would help. But, I wouldn't bet on him playing much in Boston. The days of him hitting .300 are over. I'd like to know more about his framing and his game calling skills. That would probably become more beneficial for the pitchers down in AAA than anything he's going to contribute in the bigs.
 

nvalvo

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Trot Nixon and Josh Reddick are two guys who had 20 WAR. You are just penciling in Verdugo, a guy with 2.2 WAR last year as getting 20 over the next 5? That's...optimistic. There are 6 guys in baseball who played outfield and have 20 WAR over the last 5 years. Seven if you round up Lorenzo Cain.
Well, to be fair, he said 15-20, so that adds ~10 more, depending on how you round.

Remember, he had 2.2 WAR in about half a season of PA, 343. Obviously, he needs to show he can stay healthy after the stress fracture, but if he can, he's a fair bet to make that mark.

Yeah you have to wonder how the Nationals won it all last year. They "only" won 93 games, which is fine but not exactly dominant. They had two hitters that were as good as the Sox' top three: Soto and Rendon. They had other fine hitters but nothing really any better than the Sox have. Depending on their starting lineup (looking at b-ref), they only had four guys starting with an ops+ over 100. They literally had the worst bullpen in baseball last year, as their relievers ranked #30 in MLB in era (5.66, more than a full run worse than the Sox' own mediocre bullpen, who checked in at 4.40). They did have two great starters (Scherzer and Strasburg) plus two other good ones (Corbin and Sanchez), but they had a LOT of holes.

They got hot in the playoffs and won it. It happens. It would be crazy to rule out the Sox already as if they have no chance.
Like the Sox, they started very slowly and then played much better. They were terrible until mid-May, elite thereafter.
 

chawson

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I like the Lucroy pickup a lot. His decline over the last few years was pretty mysterious and he still makes a lot of contact. It’s likely just idle spring chatter, but the note about his neck having healed is encouraging.

At this point, the Sox should just grab as many conceivable upside plays as possible. Lucroy is one and hitters will be easier to flip.

For pitchers, I’d really like to see them bring in Tony Cingrani, who was not far off from Andrew Miller when he was last healthy in 2018.
 

Savin Hillbilly

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The wrong side of the bridge....
Trot Nixon and Josh Reddick are two guys who had 20 WAR. You are just penciling in Verdugo, a guy with 2.2 WAR last year as getting 20 over the next 5? That's...optimistic. There are 6 guys in baseball who played outfield and have 20 WAR over the last 5 years. Seven if you round up Lorenzo Cain.
Nixon produced 16.8 of his career 22.4 WAR in the 5 years starting with his age-25 season.

Reddick produced 13.9 of his (to date) career 19.5 WAR in the 5 years starting with his age-24 season, and was not as highly regarded a prospect as Verdugo.

Verdugo is about to turn 24.

20 WAR in his next 5 years is an ambitious projection, yes, but not entirely implausible. 15 only assumes good luck, I think--if he stays healthy he should produce about that much value. Take a look at his prospect rankings. Personal issues aside, he's a significant talent, and he's already shown he can make that talent work at the MLB level.
 

chawson

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I was about to make another Verdugo = Michael Brantley comparison, but maybe the overarching point is that the Red Sox really seem to like hitters who make a lot of contact.

Among all 388 MLB players with >170 PA* last year, here are some notables.

4. Brantley - 90.8%
20. Betts - 86.6%
21. Lucroy - 86.6% (2nd among catchers)
34. Peraza - 85.4%
36. Verdugo - 85.2%
45. Holt - 83.8%
52. Pillar - 83.4%
69. Plawecki - 82.2% (7th among catchers)

High contact rates are obviously not purely correlative with production, but it seems more than a coincidence that all five MLB acquisitions** the Sox made this year rank in the top 20% in baseball in this stat.

*Arbitrary threshold I used in order to include Plawecki.
**Lucroy is obviously an mL deal, but I’m counting him as a major league acquisition here.
 

YTF

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I'm fine with the Lucroy deal. Low risk, depth move that COULD add a helpful piece if healthy. The absolute worst that could come from it is that he spends a bit of time in camp and serves as a veteran presence for others to hopefully gain a bit of knowledge from.
 

Red(s)HawksFan

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I'm fine with the Lucroy deal. Low risk, depth move that COULD add a helpful piece if healthy. The absolute worst that could come from it is that he spends a bit of time in camp and serves as a veteran presence for others to hopefully gain a bit of knowledge from.
Yeah, there's no possible downside to the Lucroy deal. No risk, potential for reward if he's now healthy and can recapture even a bit of what he was 3-4 years ago.
 

YTF

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Yeah, there's no possible downside to the Lucroy deal. No risk, potential for reward if he's now healthy and can recapture even a bit of what he was 3-4 years ago.
Not only that but if he makes the team as a back up catcher and is healthy he could benefit from a lessened work load. Less than 40 games started at 1st out of 1032 GS so not sure how much help he'll be there, but still some experience in a pinch and maybe he gets some extended time there in spring training.
 

RedOctober3829

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On the front burner of Preller’s extended hot stove cooking is a continued attempt to move outfielder Wil Myers. Sources said in the past two days that talks between the Padres and Boston Red Sox are ongoing, and a deal seems contingent on the Red Sox assuming about half of the $61 million owed Myers over the next three years. The Red Sox are interested in pitcher Cal Quantrill, as well as highly touted prospects Luis Campusano and Gabriel Arias, though the Padres are unlikely to part with all three. Quantrill is a central piece in the talks.

It is unclear who the Padres would get in return from Boston, and the main purpose of a trade is characterized as attaining the salary flexibility moving Myers would create. The Padres have long been willing to eat about half of Myers’ money, though they did ask the Red Sox to take on more in talks regarding Mookie Betts due to the size of Betts’ 2020 salary ($27 million).

Would JBJ be going back to SD?
 

DeadlySplitter

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yuck. Myers for 3/30 is still likely negative value, are we that desperate to buy prospects?

EDIT: I might be willing to give up Chavis for Myers, Quantrill and Campusano. Benintendi isn't going anywhere, right? right?
 

Red(s)HawksFan

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Would JBJ be going back to SD?
Gotta say, Cal Quantrill as the centerpiece of a deal isn't that inspiring. I know the Sox want good young pitching, but I'm not sure Quantrill is the guy you take on Wil Myers' albatross to obtain.
 

chawson

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Would JBJ be going back to SD?
I love this. Not necessarily the JBJ part, though I’m not sure it’s necessary to include him. They’ve still got Pham, Grisham, Franchy, Naylor and Lagares in the outfield.

Question: If SD pays half of Myers’ contract, would the Sox be on the hook for half of his $13.833m AAV against the luxury tax or the whole thing?

The Sox still have $13.35 to play with under the CBT tax. Myers still has some room to right himself and getting guys like Quantrill and Campusano in order to find out if he can is a great move. Now that we’re under the tax, Bloom should be collecting as many assets as he possibly can.
 

DeadlySplitter

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half of his AAV. Price is on our books for 16, so Dodgers have the other 16.

JBJ going to SD would balance out half of Myers' deal for this year. I'd hate it but they are set on moving on from JBJ, you could "cash in" on him and get a hopefully #4/5 starter and the catching prospect.
 

Red(s)HawksFan

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I love this. Not necessarily the JBJ part, though I’m not sure it’s necessary to include him.

Question: If SD pays half of Myers’ contract, would the Sox be on the hook for half of his $13.833m AAV against the luxury tax or the whole thing?

The Sox still have $13.35 to play with under the CBT tax. Myers still has some room to right himself and getting guys like Quantrill and Campusano in order to find out if he can is a great move. Now that we’re under the tax, Bloom should be collecting as many assets as he possibly can.
If the Padres cover half of his remaining $68M, I believe the Sox get to credit that proportionally against his CBT number, which would reduce his hit to less than $4M a year.

Still not a deal I'd do. Not for those prospects.
 

nattysez

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If the Padres cover half of his remaining $68M, I believe the Sox get to credit that proportionally against his CBT number, which would reduce his hit to less than $4M a year.

Still not a deal I'd do. Not for those prospects.
If a subsidized Myers at 3/$30 is getting so few bites that Preller is having to "frantically" offer him around, the general consensus must be that he is done.
 

nvalvo

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JBJ is my favorite player, but if you can pick up a controllable 5th starter and a good catching prospect in exchange for downgrading your 2 WAR CF to a 1 WAR OF in a year when you’re a fringey competitor, that might make some sense.
But a lot will depend on the details.
 

chawson

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If a subsidized Myers at 3/$30 is getting so few bites that Preller is having to "frantically" offer him around, the general consensus must be that he is done.
Done or no, a $4m tax hit (per @Red(s)HawksFan above) is nothing to us now that we’re under the cap, and buying prospects is exactly what we should be doing. JBJ still rips in my book, but it doesn’t seem like we’d be sending anything of actual long-term value.
 

jon abbey

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The point of the Padres doing that would solely be to dump money, so JBJ would almost certainly not be involved.
 

E5 Yaz

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The point of the Padres doing that would solely be to dump money, so JBJ would almost certainly not be involved.
Maybe so, but if the Padres would be saving close to 30M on the Myers contract, JBJ for one year and $11M still nets them a 19M gain
 

Hank Scorpio

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Cal Quantrill wasn’t good last season, and wasn’t particularly good in the minors either. Uninspiring K/BB numbers, pretty bad WHIP, probably not a guy who belongs in the AL East. I’d even say it’s questionable he belongs in the MLB.
 

chawson

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Franchy Cordero is exactly the sort of toolsy, high exit velocity project that the Rays have targeted in previous years. He’s obviously not part of Preller’s GFIN plans and I’d love it if we were to liberate him as a second or third piece here.
 

chawson

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Cal Quantrill wasn’t good last season, and wasn’t particularly good in the minors either. Uninspiring K/BB numbers, pretty bad WHIP, probably not a guy who belongs in the AL East. I’d even say it’s questionable he belongs in the MLB.
He was selected 8th overall in an MLB draft not four years ago. His fastball sits 95 and he has six years of team control.
 

BaseballJones

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JBJ is my favorite player, but if you can pick up a controllable 5th starter and a good catching prospect in exchange for downgrading your 2 WAR CF to a 1 WAR OF in a year when you’re a fringey competitor, that might make some sense.
But a lot will depend on the details.
I.....think I'm in agreement with this. Let's just compare 2019 seasons, for example.

Myers: 490 pa, 18 hr, 53 rbi, .239/.321/.418/.739, 95 ops+, -0.3 bWAR
Bradley: 567 pa, 21 hr, 62 rbi, .225/.317/.421/.738, 90 ops+, 2.0 bWAR

Myers: Owed $22.5m in 2020, $22.5m in 2021, $22.5m in 2022.
Bradley: Owed $11m in 2020, free agent after that.

Obviously Bradley is light years better of a fielder than Myers is. But despite not being a great hitter, Myers is nonetheless a much better hitter than Bradley is. Last three seasons: Bradley .727 (90 ops+), Myers .768 (105 ops+). The Sox could use Pillar in CF, and he's pretty damned good as a fielder. Then use Myers and Verdugo to platoon in RF. Obviously a massive downgrade from Mookie (but who isn't?), but a Myers/Verdugo platoon could actually probably work fairly well from an offensive side of things.

Against lefties last year, Myers had a .877 ops (compared with .705 vs RHP). Verdugo hits lefties better than righties so that doesn't exactly scream platoon player, but even Verdugo against lefties, while better than he hits righties, put up "only" an .843 ops against LHP. So that means that Myers could be pretty useful either platooning with Verdugo or even Benintendi (.796 ops vs. LHP last year). And in Fenway, Myers' defensive issues could be minimized.

The money is a problem, but if a deal could be worked out whereby JBJ goes to SD and a chunk of Myers' contract is picked up by the Padres, and they deal the Sox a useful prospect or two in return....

That's probably a deal I agree to.
 

Red(s)HawksFan

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Maybe so, but if the Padres would be saving close to 30M on the Myers contract, JBJ for one year and $11M still nets them a 19M gain
As it is, the Padres are a bit crowded in the outfield, even after trading Margot. Not sure they need JBJ in return. A month ago, a trade for Myers fit the roster the Sox had but they've filled holes that Myers would be a fit (1B and 4th OF). Now, acquiring him would almost require them to move an outfielder out. So if JBJ were to be involved, I would think it's the Sox pushing for it rather than the Padres asking for him.
 

E5 Yaz

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As it is, the Padres are a bit crowded in the outfield, even after trading Margot. Not sure they need JBJ in return. A month ago, a trade for Myers fit the roster they had but they've filled holes that Myers would be a fit (1B and 4th OF). Now, acquiring him would almost require them to move an outfielder out. So if JBJ were to be involved, I would think it's the Sox pushing for it rather than the Padres asking for him.
Oh I agree ... I was just saying that the Padres shedding salary wouldn't preclude JBJ being in such a deal. I should've been clearer.
 

RedOctober3829

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Cal Quantrill wasn’t good last season, and wasn’t particularly good in the minors either. Uninspiring K/BB numbers, pretty bad WHIP, probably not a guy who belongs in the AL East. I’d even say it’s questionable he belongs in the MLB.
He had an up and down end to the year last year. They stuck him in the bullpen at the end of June and he found some success so they stuck him back in the rotation. Then he had 8 starts in a row where he gave up 3 runs or less. But then 3 starts in a row from end of August to September he gave up 8 runs in each. It would be an interesting addition to see if he can repeat what he did for 2-3 months late last year.
 

BaseballJones

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Myers might be declining right out of any MLB role. saying he's comparable to JBJ offensively is not a lock.
Here's Myers' ops+ numbers the past five seasons: 112, 115, 109, 110, 95. Remarkably consistent from 2015-2018. Then a bad 2019. One bad year after four years where the ops+ numbers were virtually the same. That doesn't scream "decline" to me. It screams "bad year; maybe a decline, but maybe just a bad year". And as I pointed out, his numbers vs LHP were really pretty solid (.877 ops).
 

geoflin

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Don't like this at all. How does it make sense that the Sox just made a huge trade in order to get salary relief, then immediately take on another team's salary problem? Even though there is room under the cap this year, 3 years of Myers limits flexibility for 2021 and 2022.
 

RIrooter09

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Don't like this at all. How does it make sense that the Sox just made a huge trade in order to get salary relief, then immediately take on another team's salary problem? Even though there is room under the cap this year, 3 years of Myers limits flexibility for 2021 and 2022.
If we can get some premium prospects to re-stock the system it could make sense. I have my doubts though.
 

nvalvo

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Don't like this at all. How does it make sense that the Sox just made a huge trade in order to get salary relief, then immediately take on another team's salary problem? Even though there is room under the cap this year, 3 years of Myers limits flexibility for 2021 and 2022.
Myers has a very low AAV, because his extension included some prearb seasons. So although he is *owed* ~$60m over three years, his deal has an AAV around $14m ($83m/6). If SD is kicking in $30m, his AAV falls to around $9m ($53m/6). So this could be a way to spend a lot of the ownership group's actual money and a smaller amount of our CBT space to buy some legit prospect talent from a desperate team with a deep farm system.
 

JBJ_HOF

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Don't like this at all. How does it make sense that the Sox just made a huge trade in order to get salary relief, then immediately take on another team's salary problem? Even though there is room under the cap this year, 3 years of Myers limits flexibility for 2021 and 2022.
It may drastically increase roster flexibility if you get the right players in return that fill roster sports that won't need to be filled by free agency. Myers' AAV is going to be low anyways.
 

BaseballJones

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If we can get some premium prospects to re-stock the system it could make sense. I have my doubts though.
Right. I would think that the idea is to take on a little more salary (because now they have the room to do that) in order to add overall organizational talent while not crippling the current team (which a move from JBJ to Myers would not do). If they take on too much money it makes no sense. If they get no real talent addition it makes no sense. But if it doesn't cost too much and they can add real talent, then it might make sense.
 

chawson

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Myers and his moderate lefty-mashing would likely spot some at first base in a Moreland platoon too. Chavis is penciled in right now, but he hasn’t been able to hit anything offspeed or breaking from lefties yet.