2019-20 Offseason Discussion

Savin Hillbilly

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The wrong side of the bridge....
All 30 teams are looking for guys that are undervalued. We can't expect Bloom to be smarter than everyone else.
We don't necessarily need him to be smarter than everyone else--though that's not impossible and would be nice--but we do need him to be (not to put too fine a point on it) smarter than Dombrowski, at least when it comes to evaluating bargain-bin talent.
 

Tyrone Biggums

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Before he got hurt, he was a 23-year-old who had just put up slash lines of .301/.353/.500 in AAA and .261/.343/.529 in MLB. Injuries have kept him from realizing his potential, but he was on his way to becoming a useful everyday player, a power-hitting 1B with average defense. At 27, it's not inconceivable he could put the pieces back together, though the smart money would certainly be against it.
Correct. I think we are in a pretty unusual situation for this organization. To this point since the internet era began, we have not seen a Red Sox team that has a hard cap on spending and more or less a mandate not to spend. In order to fill the holes on this team, you need to look internally first and then outside the organization. Part of this is identifying talent that has either fallen out of favor with their current organizations for a variety of reasons. Guys like Bird who at 23 looked like the next big thing and have been derailed by injuries are perfect for this team simply because they won't cost anything and the upside, if he hits, is astronomical.

Jharel Cotton is another guy who will cost nothing and would give this team pitching depth. Remember if someone is DFA'ed it doesn't mean the player is useless. Cotton especially might be a good get since he was good before having TJ. Not much more you can ask from a guy to be your 5th starter/swingman. If he has a good season then you can either keep him or flip him for a return of someone you have control of for 4-6 years.

We have to be realistic here. The Sox aren't going to sign anyone to a pillow contract or a big-money deal this offseason even if they trade Mookie or JD. They also have the 23rd ranked farm system with no real rotation options on the horizon. If I was Bloom I'd claim both and use them as cheap flyers to round out the roster.
 

Red(s)HawksFan

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All 30 teams are looking for guys that are undervalued. We can't expect Bloom to be smarter than everyone else.

Ortiz said that he was mediocre for the Twins because they wanted him to hit ball to the opposite field to minimize strikeouts. Did the Sox realize he would become a HOF DH if they let him pull the ball or were they just lucky.
Easy with hindsight to say they knew, but they were absolutely lucky.

They took a flyer on him because Pedro made a call, at a time when their gameplan was throwing a bunch of stuff against the wall to see what stuck. This was the same off-season they also acquired Mueller, Millar, and Jeremy Giambi as corner IF options. Let's not forget how close Ortiz came to requesting a trade or release because of lack of playing time in early 2003. It took the Hillenbrand for Kim trade, plus Giambi getting hurt, to free up the log jam that afforded Ortiz regular playing time. He took advantage and the rest is history, but no way should that be characterized as anything but a stroke of luck for Theo and the Red Sox.
 

jon abbey

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Yankees DFAed Greg Bird. IMO absolute no brainer to claim him based on potential alone.
I said it in the other thread, but I don't think he is a free agent yet and I don't think there is a claiming process involved. I believe that after NY DFAd him yesterday, now they have 10 days to trade or release him, and my guess is they will send him somewhere out of the AL East just in case he does get healthy and good again.
 

Red(s)HawksFan

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I said it in the other thread, but I don't think he is a free agent yet and I don't think there is a claiming process involved. I believe that after NY DFAd him yesterday, now they have 10 days to trade or release him, and my guess is they will send him somewhere out of the AL East just in case he does get healthy and good again.
DFA involves waivers prior to outright release, so there will be an opportunity to put a claim in for him if he's not traded.
 

Savin Hillbilly

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The wrong side of the bridge....
DFA involves waivers prior to outright release, so there will be an opportunity to put a claim in for him if he's not traded.
But the team has a week to try to make a trade before they have to put him on waivers. At least that's how I interpret what the interwebs are telling me -- the language is annoyingly vague about the exact sequence of events on most sites.
 

Red(s)HawksFan

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But the team has a week to try to make a trade before they have to put him on waivers. At least that's how I interpret what the interwebs are telling me -- the language is annoyingly vague about the exact sequence of events on most sites.
True. I was only correcting jon abbey saying that no waivers are involved at all. The Yankees can trade him, but if they fail to do so, he must clear waivers before he is released (or, potentially, outrighted to the minors).
 

jon abbey

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Yep, I was wrong about that, but I doubt it will get to that, someone will give up something small for him. He has all three options still also, even though he has been up (albeit rarely healthy) since 2015.
 

Plympton91

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You can put him on waivers at any point to see who puts in a claim to gauge interest and make the trade, I think.
 

jon abbey

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DFA'd has always been permanently gone.
Although if he clears waivers and hits free agency, a player is allowed to come back and sign a minor league contract with the team that released him if he chooses, I know NY did this with Domingo German a couple of years ago coming off surgery.
 

Coachster

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And for the home team option you’ve got Sam Travis at .215/ .274/.313, healthy as a horse, but unable to hit major league pitching or field a position.

Taking a flyer in Byrd can only be a step up.
 

Savin Hillbilly

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The wrong side of the bridge....
And for the home team option you’ve got Sam Travis at .215/ .274/.313, healthy as a horse, but unable to hit major league pitching or field a position.

Taking a flyer in Byrd can only be a step up.
Yeah, looking at Travis one more time, it's been 3-4 years since he's looked like a hitter. He hasn't even hit LHP since 2017. And while "unable to field a position" is a little harsh, he's a mediocre defender at best. Mea culpa for even contemplating him as a platoon option. Since he has no options left, it's hard to imagine the Sox holding onto him much longer.
 

The Gray Eagle

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Yep, I was wrong about that, but I doubt it will get to that, someone will give up something small for him. He has all three options still also, even though he has been up (albeit rarely healthy) since 2015.
Wait, Bird has 3 options that could be used? As in, he could come up and down from AAA all year for 3 years? If that's true then on potential alone he would be way more valuable than the likes of Sam Travis, who has no options left, doesn't do anything well, and shouldn't be considered a realistic option for the Red Sox next year.
 

Red(s)HawksFan

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The thing with Bird is that while he's got options left, he's also arbitration eligible. He's not going to be expensive by any means, but for a team allegedly on a budget, do the Sox want to spend $1-1.5M on a flyer like Bird?

Are the Yankees letting him go primarily because of a roster crunch, or do they just want to give him a clean chance somewhere else, or do they know something no one else does (like he's never going to get healthy)?
 

jon abbey

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The thing with Bird is that while he's got options left, he's also arbitration eligible. He's not going to be expensive by any means, but for a team allegedly on a budget, do the Sox want to spend $1-1.5M on a flyer like Bird?

Are the Yankees letting him go primarily because of a roster crunch, or do they just want to give him a clean chance somewhere else, or do they know something no one else does (like he's never going to get healthy)?
I mean, it's always the first to one extent or another, if Voit and Ford didn't exist, they would not have released Bird.

That being said, trying to predict which underappreciated assets Chaim is going to scoop up on the cheap is a fool's errand, he will almost certainly bring in guys most of us are barely aware of and they will often be better than the guys people have been clamoring for. Ji-Man Choi is a recent 1B example for TB.
 

Plympton91

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The thing with Bird is that while he's got options left, he's also arbitration eligible. He's not going to be expensive by any means, but for a team allegedly on a budget, do the Sox want to spend $1-1.5M on a flyer like Bird?

Are the Yankees letting him go primarily because of a roster crunch, or do they just want to give him a clean chance somewhere else, or do they know something no one else does (like he's never going to get healthy)?
This is likely a big part of the reason why he was DFA’ed, and why the Yankees may not receive a trade offer for him. A team that trades for him or claims him and puts him on the 40-man has to offer him arbitration. They could also issue a take-or-leave deal with the threat of releasing him again if he doesn’t accept. But if he goes untraded and then unclaimed he’s a free agent. So he’d then get whatever the market dictates, and a team can maybe get him on a minimum-salary, split deal with incentives.
 

jon abbey

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Problem with Hill is that even in this market he's going to get 1/10 from a team. Boston is going to by all accounts operate like a small market franchise this offseason so I can't see them making even a 1 year committment for that number. Besides Hill cannot stay healthy. Great pitcher when he can but it probably wouldn't work out.
Rich Hill is out until June or July after surgery, so could presumably be had quite cheaply now, details in this piece.

https://weei.radio.com/articles/column/taking-a-look-at-new-red-sox-pitching-coach-dave-bush
 

Tyrone Biggums

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Rich Hill is out until June or July after surgery, so could presumably be had quite cheaply now, details in this piece.

https://weei.radio.com/articles/column/taking-a-look-at-new-red-sox-pitching-coach-dave-bush
That is a new wrinkle. I'd think that he'd only require a 1/5 contract at this point. But maybe the Sox would be better attempting to find someone who is buried under the depth of another team. Atlanta has a lot of pitchers that might have potential. Not sure who they'd want outside of Mookie but something, where the Sox could trade from a position of strength to get pitching help from a strong pitching system, would be good. I would have taken flyers on Cotton and AJ Cole but both are now off the market. I wonder what the price would be for Teheran on the open market?
 

chawson

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Teheran’s lost a lot of velocity for a 28-year-old. He seems like he’s ready to join the Cashner, Cobb & Kennedy firm of once-good pitchers turned into anchors for rebuilding teams desperate for innings.

In Boston, I think he’d put up a line that falls somewhere between Porcello’s ‘18 and ‘19 seasons. Velazquez might also be able to do that, but I think we’ll see a different strategy altogether.
 
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nvalvo

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An intriguing MiLBFA stuck out of a recent Grant Brisbee article at the Athletic (paywalled): Aderlin Rodriguez, 1B/3B/LF. 27 y/o RHH in the Padres system; just posted a .321/.363/.634 line in the PCL. That sounds like a guy I could see a role for as a corner infield/corner outfield RHH slugger, especially if we can stash him in Worcester for depth.
 

Red(s)HawksFan

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An intriguing MiLBFA stuck out of a recent Grant Brisbee article at the Athletic (paywalled): Aderlin Rodriguez, 1B/3B/LF. 27 y/o RHH in the Padres system; just posted a .321/.363/.634 line in the PCL. That sounds like a guy I could see a role for as a corner infield/corner outfield RHH slugger, especially if we can stash him in Worcester for depth.
I'd be wary about that line in the PCL, a league notorious for inflated offensive numbers (no doubt aided by the use of the "juiced" MLB ball in 2019). Also a bit wary about a guy who OPSed ~.800 for two years in AA and never saw a promotion (and wasn't injured). Seems like a red flag to me, especially at age 25-26. Looking at his defensive usage, he doesn't appear to be as versatile as his positional description. 4 total games in the outfield, and an apparent disaster defensively at 3B. So much so that he went from being a full time 3B in his first few years to a 1B/DH with occasional appearances at 3B (12 games there in the last two years).

His potential slot seems filled at Pawtucket (no Worcester until 2021) by Dalbec and Ockimey at the least. He'd be a pass for me.
 

Savin Hillbilly

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The wrong side of the bridge....
Yeah, a guy whose best two minor league seasons were in A+ at 24 and AAA at 27 does not sound like a prospect. It seems like he would basically be replicating what we already have in Tommy Joseph (though they might decide he would be an improvement).
 

Plympton91

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https://www.baseball-reference.com/players/a/aguilje01.shtml
Buy low candidate? He was bad last year but has more proven track record than Bird. I was about to say platoon with Bird but Aguilar has no marked splits.

edit: sorry thought i was posting the tweet

View: https://twitter.com/tbtimes_rays/status/1199747504016887811?s=21
Wow. I’d almost wonder what the backstory is there. Bad year, but some revival with the Rays. 2018 he got some MVP votes. Doesn’t seem like someone you’d give up on yet unless there’s more to it.
 

Red(s)HawksFan

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I think the Aguilar thing is pretty simple. He's arbitration eligible and the Rays are on a budget. He's probably not going to make all that much in arbitration, maybe 1.5-2M, but for a 1B/DH type coming off a rough year, who's likely only a bench player for the Rays, that's probably too much.

The only surprise is they didn't find a taker to trade for him, but again, if you don't expect the Rays to tender him anyway, why not wait until he's available for nothing but cash.
 

jon abbey

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Most first basemen are disposable in recent years, there always seem to be some floating around in an emergency. At one point last summer, NY literally had four first basemen on their AAA team who ended up back in MLB by the end of the year (Ford, Brad Miller, Logan Morrison and Ryan McBroom). Three of those guys are gone now and they still didn't really have room for Bird, with Voit and Ford ahead of him, Chris Gittens right behind, and LeMahieu an option there too.

As for TB and Aguilar:

"Ji-Man Choi is under team control thru 2023 and continues to rake vRHP (132 wRC+ in 2019). Yandy Diaz is MUCH better defensively at 1B than 3B and MASHES LHP (158 wRC+ in 2019)."

Plus they have Nate Lowe waiting and they're still talking about Encarnacion or Kendrick in FA, very tough times for a 1B these days.
 

Tyrone Biggums

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1B is so deep with potential buy low candidates. Love to see the Sox get Bird but if they don't then they should be able to at least find a competent platoon partner for Travis.
 

Savin Hillbilly

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The wrong side of the bridge....
Aguilar isn't a bad defender by the numbers--nothing special, but OK: UZR/150 hovering on the good side of 0 and DRS always positive though in low single digits. His K/BB and plate discipline numbers have steadily improved in his 3 years as a semi-regular. Looking at Statcast, it seems like he really wasn't squaring the ball up as well this past year, but the impact on his results was disproportionate--his actual wOBA trailed his xwOBA by about 30 points. He seems like a pretty good candidate for a modest bounceback, to something like his career line (.256/.334/.472) rather than his 2018 line; if that happens, he'd be a decent budget pickup at $2-3M. Bloom, of course, is in a better position than most rival GMs to judge how good a gamble that would be.
 

StuckOnYouk

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Jonathan Villar on waivers?????

Orioles reportedly place Jonathan Villar on Waivers

It’s an extreme cost-cutting measure for the tanking Orioles — one that frankly looks unnecessary. Even with Villar in the fold, the Orioles’ Opening Day payroll projects to come in south of $80MM, so it’s not as if there is (or should be) any real pressure to shed salary.

Beyond that is the simple fact that Villar has been a fine player in Baltimore — arguably the organization’s best in 2019. The 28-year-old batted .274/.339/.453 with 24 home runs, 33 doubles, five triples and a whopping 40 stolen bases (in 49 attempts) this past season. Defensive metrics soured on his work at second base but gave him passable marks at shortstop — and Villar does have a track record as a useful glove at second prior to the 2019 season.
 

chawson

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Most first basemen are disposable in recent years, there always seem to be some floating around in an emergency. At one point last summer, NY literally had four first basemen on their AAA team who ended up back in MLB by the end of the year (Ford, Brad Miller, Logan Morrison and Ryan McBroom). Three of those guys are gone now and they still didn't really have room for Bird, with Voit and Ford ahead of him, Chris Gittens right behind, and LeMahieu an option there too.

As for TB and Aguilar:

"Ji-Man Choi is under team control thru 2023 and continues to rake vRHP (132 wRC+ in 2019). Yandy Diaz is MUCH better defensively at 1B than 3B and MASHES LHP (158 wRC+ in 2019)."

Plus they have Nate Lowe waiting and they're still talking about Encarnacion or Kendrick in FA, very tough times for a 1B these days.
Funny to compare a freely available Aguilar to another first baseman entering his age-30 season.

2018-19:

Eric Hosmer: .259/.316/.412 7.6 BB%, 22.7 K%, .153 ISO, .309 wOBA (1344 PA)
Jesus Aguilar: .259/.341/480 10.8 BB%, 24.0 K%, .221 ISO, .348 wOBA (935 PA)
 

Sandy Leon Trotsky

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Crikey! Both Villar AND Aguilar seem like perfect guys to grab for one season 2mil deals, no? Add those two as your regular 1B and 2B... try Chavis as a regular in LF... trade JBJ... move Mookie to CF or Beni there (I'm feeling Benitendi has a breakout season... and remember... I was laughed at when I predicted Devers would be a .950OPS player AFTER June 1... so no more laughing at me... hurts my feelings....) and I'd be feeling good about the offense (defense a little suspect). But moving from JBJ to Villar and Aguilar would reduce payroll a little, no?
 

Sandy Leon Trotsky

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I'd guess that he'd actually command a much bigger salary than the $2M I tossed out in my prior post as a Free Agent, no? Why wouldn't the Orioles try to trade him... as a good defensive and above average offensive 2B... you'd think the Orioles would be able to get a decent return... at least something better than nothing.
 

Cesar Crespo

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I'd guess that he'd actually command a much bigger salary than the $2M I tossed out in my prior post as a Free Agent, no? Why wouldn't the Orioles try to trade him... as a good defensive and above average offensive 2B... you'd think the Orioles would be able to get a decent return... at least something better than nothing.
I'm sure they tried and there was no market. He'll get more than $2 mil but less than his arb figure.
 

Cesar Crespo

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I was just looking at some stats and found these 2 lines interesting/disturbing

Darwinzon vs R: 92 PA, .319/.462/.472 17bb/26k. 18.5% BB%, 28.3% K%.
Darwinzon vs L: 55 PA, .089/.255/.133 9bb/31k. 16.3% BB%, 56.4% K%

That's insane. He'd have a 10-15 year career as a loogy a few decades ago.

Colten Brewer vs R: 151 PA, .299/.404/.472, 23bb/25k 15.2% BB%, 16.6% K%
Colten Brewer vs L: 102 PA, .244/.337/.360, 11bb/27k 10.9% BB%, 26.5% K%

Makes him more intriguing to me since he's right handed. Seems like it would be easier to fix a righty who can't get righties out than a righty who can't get lefties out.
 

JBJ_HOF

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As a reliever Darwinzon allowed a .393 wOBA to RHH, but it was expected to be .277.

Agaisnt lefties it was .211/.221.
 

Cesar Crespo

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As a reliever Darwinzon allowed a .393 wOBA to RHH, but it was expected to be .277.

Agaisnt lefties it was .211/.221.
It's the first year he's really struggled. These splits are just overall for the year, they don't take level into account. .449 BAbip vs R explains a lot.

2014
114 PA .255/.381/.287 vs R, .296 BAbip
14 PA .000/.286/.000 vs L, .000 BAbip

2015
234 PA, .199/.289/.238 vs R, .268
45 PA, .389/.511/.500 vs L, .609

2016
156 PA, .205/.355/.320 vs R, .273
68 PA, .241/.353/.276 vs L, .389

2017
332 PA, .251/.345/.376 vs R, .311
117 PA, .134/.276/.196 vs L, .231

2018
331 PA, .225/.347/.297 vs R, .332
140 PA, .216/.374/.279 vs L, .348

2019
236 PA, .290/.444/.459 vs R, .449
176 PA, .119/.284/.210 vs L, .218
 

BaseballJones

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I'd guess that he'd actually command a much bigger salary than the $2M I tossed out in my prior post as a Free Agent, no? Why wouldn't the Orioles try to trade him... as a good defensive and above average offensive 2B... you'd think the Orioles would be able to get a decent return... at least something better than nothing.
Villar in 2019: 4.0 bWAR, 24 hr, .274/.339/.453/.792, 109 ops+

Last 4 years: 6.8 bWAR, 68 hr, .268/.336/.423/.759, 101 ops+

Very solid player. Would be a really nice little pickup for the Sox if, you know, they could afford him.
 

jon abbey

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“ The #RedSox today traded catcher Sandy León to the Cleveland Indians in exchange for minor league RHP Adenys Bautista.

Boston’s 40-man roster is now at 37.”
 

Tyrone Biggums

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“ The #RedSox today traded catcher Sandy León to the Cleveland Indians in exchange for minor league RHP Adenys Bautista.

Boston’s 40-man roster is now at 37.”
Seems like Bautista is more of a JAG used for a salary dump. Shaves some money off the bill for the Sox so thats good.
 

jon abbey

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Seems like Bautista is more of a JAG used for a salary dump. Shaves some money off the bill for the Sox so thats good.
Yep, Eric Longenhagen of Fangraphs has him as a non-prospect, he just tweeted:

“ I have new Red Sox righty Adenys Bautista 89-93, touching 94, was 21 and repeated the DSL to start 2019, came stateside in a bullpen role. It's possible I'm missing something, but I just have him as an NP.”
 

azsoxpatsfan

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Hearing Leon is gone is just the news I needed to cheer me up after a pats loss. I know he lead in catchers era and every pitcher loved throwing to him but watching him hit was so unbelievably tedious. Thanks for a sick 2016 tho
 

Murby

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Hearing Leon is gone is just the news I needed to cheer me up after a pats loss. I know he lead in catchers era and every pitcher loved throwing to him but watching him hit was so unbelievably tedious. Thanks for a sick 2016 tho
I wanted him to stay, but oh well. For the record, watching him hit was far less tedious to me than Salty and he was a better framer of pitches. (makes it sound like he was setting someone up for murder - ha)