2024 Core

jbupstate

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Fair enough.

Catcher just seems a place where you've got a couple of guys who are JAGs and seeing whether what you've got in the minors will play seems worthwhile.
Not sure Wong is a JAG at catcher. His defense alone makes him valuable and his offense isn’t terrible for a catcher. As discussed previously, if he can make a bit more contact he’s a better than average hitting catcher. Defense, decent hitter for catcher and inexpensive = pretty good player.

That said… with Teel on the rise and potentially with the Sox in 2025. At some point next year year… would Wong have trade value?
 

Red(s)HawksFan

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Not sure Wong is a JAG at catcher. His defense alone makes him valuable and his offense isn’t terrible for a catcher. As discussed previously, if he can make a bit more contact he’s a better than average hitting catcher. Defense, decent hitter for catcher and inexpensive = pretty good player.

That said… with Teel on the rise and potentially with the Sox in 2025. At some point next year year… would Wong have trade value?
Catcher is the one spot where you don't really need to move your incumbent starter to "make room" for the rising star. In fact, I'd argue you don't want to do that. Ideally, you want a platoon partner for Teel that you trust to take the bulk of the starts until the kid gets his feet under him. Might as well have that be the guy already taking the bulk of starts, especially since Wong's right handed swing better compliments Teel's left handed swing. And if it gets to the point where Wong isn't getting enough playing time for his abilities, he's got the flexibility to move out from behind the plate on occasion. Also, if it reaches that point, Wong will arguably still have trade value so he could be moved after Teel has established himself.
 

bosockboy

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Catcher is the one spot where you don't really need to move your incumbent starter to "make room" for the rising star. In fact, I'd argue you don't want to do that. Ideally, you want a platoon partner for Teel that you trust to take the bulk of the starts until the kid gets his feet under him. Might as well have that be the guy already taking the bulk of starts, especially since Wong's right handed swing better compliments Teel's left handed swing. And if it gets to the point where Wong isn't getting enough playing time for his abilities, he's got the flexibility to move out from behind the plate on occasion. Also, if it reaches that point, Wong will arguably still have trade value so he could be moved after Teel has established himself.
Yes. Catcher is kind of like a hockey goalie. Backup is super important.
 

YTF

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And also where will this RH power bat will play if two of the traditional power slots at 1B and 3B are covered, and this team can't carry a full time DH.

But to quote the great sage Cyndi Lauper, money changes everything.
I mean depending on who they might target and who they move during the off season it could be any of the OF positions, a 2nd baseman or an everyday type that carries 2 gloves.
 

Fishy1

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Not sure Wong is a JAG at catcher. His defense alone makes him valuable and his offense isn’t terrible for a catcher. As discussed previously, if he can make a bit more contact he’s a better than average hitting catcher. Defense, decent hitter for catcher and inexpensive = pretty good player.

That said… with Teel on the rise and potentially with the Sox in 2025. At some point next year year… would Wong have trade value?
Sorry, but he's probably a JAG. He might still recover but he's getting his third crack at the league and is coasting on a .350 BABIP to a WRC+ of like 86. He's striking out an insane amount for a guy who's only hit nine homers. Even if he cut his K rate down some, it'd still be around 30%.

On the strength of his throwing game, he's been worth about 1 WAR this year, according to Fangraphs, which is, I think, pretty much JAG levels. His control of the running game is good, his framing is bad, and his offense is bad, and he's cost controlled, which, yes, so is McGuire. But look at the other teams in the AL East. The Rays and Yankees are the only ones getting weak production at catcher, and the Rays are fielding borderline All-Stars at seemingly every other position. We can dream bigger than Connor Wong.

Obviously the team can survive with him and McGuire at catcher, but it's also a position where they could obviously upgrade. If you want to wait for Teel, I think that makes sense, I just don't see why Hernandez can't compete for the job next year given how mediocre the production has been from that position. If we want to make the playoffs next year it's the position player where I would guess they're projected to derive the least value.
 

Red(s)HawksFan

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Obviously the team can survive with him and McGuire at catcher, but it's also a position where they could obviously upgrade. If you want to wait for Teel, I think that makes sense, I just don't see why Hernandez can't compete for the job next year given how mediocre the production has been from that position. If we want to make the playoffs next year it's the position player where I would guess they're projected to derive the least value.
Hernandez can absolutely compete for the job next spring and I don't think anyone is arguing against that idea specifically. I think the pushback is more on the notion that one of Wong or McGuire would have to go before that can happen. Sure, one would have to go if Hernandez wins a job in spring training but I don't think he's quite at a level where you clear the decks in advance to give him that chance.
 

walt in maryland

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I hope your wrong about your 2 more years of Devers at third assessment. If Turner leaves after the season, as we suspect he will, I'd put Devers at DH immediately. He is what he is - a poor fielding third baseman.
The Red Sox didn't give Devers all that money and all those years to move him to DH at age 26. He may never be better than a below-average 3B, but he can and has been a lot better than he's played this season. Work with him.
 

Fishy1

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Hernandez can absolutely compete for the job next spring and I don't think anyone is arguing against that idea specifically. I think the pushback is more on the notion that one of Wong or McGuire would have to go before that can happen. Sure, one would have to go if Hernandez wins a job in spring training but I don't think he's quite at a level where you clear the decks in advance to give him that chance.
Yeah the more I think about it that's totally fair and makes sense. Any trade at that position would probably have to come after someone's won the job outright.

I'm just looking at the core though and I see only a few guys with upside as, like, 4 or 5 win players - Story, Devers, and Casas if he straightens his defense out, but all of those guys could just be 2 win players. Verdugo is max a 2.5 win player, so are Duran, Urias, and Yoshida.

Makes you realize they don't really have any two -way players who you can slot in for a great season. If Story bounces back he's the obvious one, and I think there is a good chance of that. Rafaela turning into Jose Siri with less strikeouts could be a breakout guy too over the next few years.
 

Big Papi's Mango Salsa

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Yeah the more I think about it that's totally fair and makes sense. Any trade at that position would probably have to come after someone's won the job outright.

I'm just looking at the core though and I see only a few guys with upside as, like, 4 or 5 win players - Story, Devers, and Casas if he straightens his defense out, but all of those guys could just be 2 win players. Verdugo is max a 2.5 win player, so are Duran, Urias, and Yoshida.

Makes you realize they don't really have any two -way players who you can slot in for a great season. If Story bounces back he's the obvious one, and I think there is a good chance of that. Rafaela turning into Jose Siri with less strikeouts could be a breakout guy too over the next few years.
I'm generally one that questions the "core", at least on the pitching / prospect side, and while I get your point on many of the others, how do you arrive at this conclusion of a 2.5 WAR for Verdugo and Duran being their max?

Verdugo is currently a 3.5bWAR this season and it's certainly not unheard of, and borderline "expected", that someone would have their best seasons in their age 27-32 range.

Duran is a 2.2 bWAR in only 100 games played, will be entering his "prime" next year, and has shown an ability this year to make his own adjustments as the league adjusts to what is working for him (looking at his cycle of OPS by month in his splits). It's certainly possible that Duran's mental health will prevent him from ever getting a full season's worth of time, but I think it's a bit early to make that claim and I'm not sure what else you're basing his "ceiling" on. The "care" associated with mental health struggles as it relates to the game of baseball have come a long way (for the better) in this generation ie Zack Greinke or even Daniel Bard.

Don't get me wrong, it's certainly possible that both guys could have career seasons at age 27 and 26 and never replicate / build on that. But it's also generally speaking a good practice to bet on guys in their age 27-32 seasons (it's those past 32 where things generally get problematic). Of course the world does have it's Jason Heyward's (stud through age 25; pretty terrible offensively the rest of his career) but that profile is generally the exception to the rule.
 
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JM3

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The "max" 2.5 win player thing seems a bit wrong.

Duran was a 2.3 fWAR, 2.2 bWAR player this season in 362 PAs.

Urias has had 3.3 & 3.1 bWAR seasons.

Verdugo is having a 3.5 bWAR season & previously had a 3.0 season.

It's fair not to project any of those guys for more if you're so inclined, but yeah.
 

Fishy1

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Yeah, my concern with Duran is that he had a hysterically high BABIP this year and strikes out 25% of the time. I worry we can't expect him to hit this well again. But yes, improvement is not impossible for him or Verdugo. I just don't see either of those guys being 5 win players, I guess.

As for the WAR numbers, I was using Fangraphs, a different one than you all, I guess. Seems like some have lower counts for these guys than others. But the point is well-taken.
 

dhappy42

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Yeah, my concern with Duran is that he had a hysterically high BABIP this year and strikes out 25% of the time. I worry we can't expect him to hit this well again. But yes, improvement is not impossible for him or Verdugo. I just don't see either of those guys being 5 win players, I guess.

As for the WAR numbers, I was using Fangraphs, a different one than you all, I guess. Seems like some have lower counts for these guys than others. But the point is well-taken.
Duran’s high BABIP is more likely the result of his speed than luck. It’ll stay high as long as he stays fast.
 

Fishy1

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Duran’s high BABIP is more likely the result of his speed than luck. It’ll stay high as long as he stays fast.
Depends on what you mean by high, but .380 is too high to sustain. We discussed this in another thread: A fast guy might expect a BABIP around .330 to .340... but not .380, season in, season out for his career. It just doesn't happen. Take a look throught the careers of various speedsters if you want.

And if he's not posting a BABIP of .380, he's gonna hit more in the range of .250-.270, which is fine, but will leave him around WRC+ of 100. If he cuts down on the K's further, then there's more reason for optimism, but that'll be hard to do. He's already got them down to 25%, which is impressive.
 

Big Papi's Mango Salsa

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Yeah, my concern with Duran is that he had a hysterically high BABIP this year and strikes out 25% of the time. I worry we can't expect him to hit this well again. But yes, improvement is not impossible for him or Verdugo. I just don't see either of those guys being 5 win players, I guess.

As for the WAR numbers, I was using Fangraphs, a different one than you all, I guess. Seems like some have lower counts for these guys than others. But the point is well-taken.
Fair enough. I don't fully grasp the difference in methodology - but to the best of my understanding (minimal at best) BBRef seems to award what "did" happen in their WAR numbers whereas FG focuses more on what the underlying statistics say should have happened (as an example in 2008 Matsuzaka had a 2.7 fWAR and a 5.4 bWAR).

I don't necessarily expect a ton of improvement from either player FWIW, but I do tend to think that generally guys are going to be at their best in their prime seasons, give or take ages 27-32. I'm not trying to say they're awesome, but also I don't think 3 or even 3.5 WAR seasons for the next 5 are that far out of the realm of probability.
 

nvalvo

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Depends on what you mean by high, but .380 is too high to sustain. We discussed this in another thread: A fast guy might expect a BABIP around .330 to .340... but not .380, season in, season out for his career. It just doesn't happen. Take a look throught the careers of various speedsters if you want.

And if he's not posting a BABIP of .380, he's gonna hit more in the range of .250-.270, which is fine, but will leave him around WRC+ of 100. If he cuts down on the K's further, then there's more reason for optimism, but that'll be hard to do. He's already got them down to 25%, which is impressive.
A prearb CF with a 100 wRC+ is a really good player, though.
 

Fishy1

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A prearb CF with a 100 wRC+ is a really good player, though.
Don't get me wrong, I like Duran. But whether he's prearb or not doesn't affect how good he is. How good he is affects how good he is. The fact is he's still a bad defender, below average by most measures.

I get that there's still room for improvement. A leap on defense could instantly make him a huge difference maker - I just haven't seen it yet.
 

nvalvo

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below average by most measures
This is true. A quick run-down:

Total Zone: -2 runs in CF
DRS: -5 runs in CF
UZR: -0.6 in CF
OAA: 0

That said, the trend is in the right direction. All of these 2023 numbers reflect improvement over 2022.
 

nighthob

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Particularly if this plays out where Teel seems like The Guy. That's awesome but unless his bat is positively nuclear you probably want to increase his workload gradually. Wong still gets maybe 60-80 starts in this amazing scenario.
If his bat is positively nuclear the backup becomes even more important because you’d really want to limit his games at C to no more than 120 and have him DH the rest of the time to keep his bat in the lineup and his knees healthy.
 

Max Power

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Don't get me wrong, I like Duran. But whether he's prearb or not doesn't affect how good he is. How good he is affects how good he is. The fact is he's still a bad defender, below average by most measures.

I get that there's still room for improvement. A leap on defense could instantly make him a huge difference maker - I just haven't seen it yet.
He made a leap from embarrassing to merely bad from 2022 to 2023. It may be possible to further improve.
 

bloodysox

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If it's just about 2024, I'd prefer Duvall to Verdugo too. But Duvall turns 36 next year and doesn't have anywhere near the long-term value that a Verdugo extension might give. Gotta at least try to agree on a Verdugo contract first before exploring trades.
Fair point but with Roman Anthony's recent emergence as a potential star (hit his first HR in his 3rd AA game today, only 19) and Rafaela's dominance in AAA, it makes a Verdugo extension unwise if they can extract great value this off season. Obviously prospects don't always turn out but Rafaela has looked great so far in Boston and players like Anthony who are good enough to be in AA at 19 tend to go on to have great careers.

Verdugo is going to be coming off of his best season by far and it's painfully obvious that we desperately need starters. When you factor in the off the field stuff it makes a lot of sense to sign Duvall, trade Verdugo, and roll with an OF of Yoshida/Rafaela/Duvall/Duran/Ref (with Yoshida at DH half of the time).
 

GrandSlamPozo

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Depends on what you mean by high, but .380 is too high to sustain. We discussed this in another thread: A fast guy might expect a BABIP around .330 to .340... but not .380, season in, season out for his career. It just doesn't happen. Take a look throught the careers of various speedsters if you want.

And if he's not posting a BABIP of .380, he's gonna hit more in the range of .250-.270, which is fine, but will leave him around WRC+ of 100. If he cuts down on the K's further, then there's more reason for optimism, but that'll be hard to do. He's already got them down to 25%, which is impressive.
Wade Boggs sustained a .378 BABIP over his age 27-30 seasons which covered 612 games and 2837 plate appearances. And he wasn't even fast! Not that I expect Duran to put up Wade Boggs numbers, but I'm skeptical of the notion that BABIP is more luck=based than skill-based.
 

DeadlySplitter

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This pitching slide since the Dodgers series is making me wonder just how much of a pitching core we currently have under control.

The position player side looks very strong on the farm. The offense despite being very up & down this year will turn over a lot in the next 2-3 years, so I'm not that concerned about it relative to the pitching. Bottom line, they have to cash in some of these chips for an impact starter, and soon.

In the minors, Mayer and Anthony are untouchable, and you can argue maybe Yorke too. On the current ML roster, Devers/Casas/Bello are untouchable. Everyone else? I'd put on the table for the right guy (Burnes/Woodruff? Cease?).

View: https://twitter.com/redsoxstats/status/1700331095298887885
 

Sandy Leon Trotsky

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This pitching slide since the Dodgers series is making me wonder just how much of a pitching core we currently have under control.

The position player side looks very strong on the farm. The offense despite being very up & down this year will turn over a lot in the next 2-3 years, so I'm not that concerned about it relative to the pitching. Bottom line, they have to cash in some of these chips for an impact starter, and soon.

In the minors, Mayer and Anthony are untouchable, and you can argue maybe Yorke too. On the current ML roster, Devers/Casas/Bello are untouchable. Everyone else? I'd put on the table for the right guy (Burnes/Woodruff? Cease?).

View: https://twitter.com/redsoxstats/status/1700331095298887885
The discussion here is almost consensus that only Bello is a sure thing. After that Houck has been argued, Whitlock is presumably conclusively set for the pen. Crawford is a question.
I’ve been putting no. 5 down for ‘24 as Sale/Pivetta and Houck as 4.
I can squint and see Winkleman up after the ASB but basically everyone agrees the Sox need a FA or two and possibly a 3rd via trade.
 

The Gray Eagle

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Particularly if this plays out where Teel seems like The Guy. That's awesome but unless his bat is positively nuclear you probably want to increase his workload gradually. Wong still gets maybe 60-80 starts in this amazing scenario.
Wong has made real progress defensively this year.
https://theathletic.com/4824092/2023/09/08/connor-wong-red-sox-starting-catcher

Wong entered Friday tied for seventh among all position players in Baseball Reference’s dWAR (1.7). He was tied for second among all catchers with 4 Defensive Runs Saved and seventh among all catchers in FanGraphs DEF at 2.8. His arm strength among catchers (82.2 mph average) ranks in the top 10 as does his 28 percent of runners caught stealing. According to a new statistic from Baseball Savant, Wong is second in the league in Catcher’s Caught Stealing Above Average, which measures the number of caught stealings compared to the expectation for an average catcher. He’s not perfect, he’s still below average in Statcast’s catcher framing runs (-5) and blocking runs (-1), but the progress he’s made in one full season hasn’t gone unnoticed.
Wong has already appeared in more than 110 games this season either as a starter or defensive replacement, by far the most of his career. He’s logged the seventh most innings (821 1/3) of all major-league catchers this season, too.
He still hasn't caught that much in his career, so there should be room for more improvement.

A utility player throughout much of college at the University of Houston, Wong didn’t catch a full slate of games until his junior year in 2017. But even after being drafted in the third round of the 2017 draft by the Dodgers, he still played about a quarter of his games in the infield in 2018 and 2019. The 2020 trade and the subsequent minor-league shutdown during the pandemic-altered season meant Wong had limited game action behind the plate before his big-league debut in 2021.
Offensively, he is at 252/308/420 on the season. In the second half, he's at 279/328/443.
 

AB in DC

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Crawford is a question.
Is he, though? His walk rate is down this year, and he's showing decent FIP (4.18), xERA (3.62), and SIERA (4.09). Not bad for his first season as mostly a starter.

There's definitely a need for one high-end FA starter, but a rotation of Bello, FA, Sale, Crawford followed by whoever out of Pivetta/Murphy/Winck/Houck/Whitlock has the best spring seems pretty decent.
 

cantor44

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Neither Houck nor Whitlock has acquitted themselves particularly well as a starter (Houck still can't get through a line up three times), and probably should be relievers. Crawford, actually, has performed better as a starter. It seems to me three rotation slots are taken next year, as well SP depth: 2. Bello, 3. Sale, 5. Crawford/Houck/Whitlock/etc. They need to try to acquire an ace, and then a 3/4 guy. And probably a lefty reliever. And maybe RHH power hitter ....
 

JM3

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Neither Houck nor Whitlock has acquitted themselves particularly well as a starter (Houck still can't get through a line up three times), and probably should be relievers. Crawford, actually, has performed better as a starter. It seems to me three rotation slots are taken next year, as well SP depth: 2. Bello, 3. Sale, 5. Crawford/Houck/Whitlock/etc. They need to try to acquire an ace, and then a 3/4 guy. And probably a lefty reliever. And maybe RHH power hitter ....
Crawford is significantly worse the 2nd time through the order (5.86 ERA) than either Houck (4.00) or Whitlock (2.35).

All 3 are terrible the 3rd time through.
 

JM3

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Crawford is significantly worse the 2nd time through the order (5.86 ERA) than either Houck (4.00) or Whitlock (2.35).

All 3 are terrible the 3rd time through.
The reason I think the narrative is Crawford > Houck is that Crawford pitches so inefficiently that he rarely gets to the 3rd time through the order compared to Houck. & Crawford has been lights out the 1st time through.

Here's all 3 if they only pitched through the order twice as a starter:

Crawford: 77.2 IP, 4.40 ERA
Houck: 71.2 IP, 3.39 ERA
Whitlock: 41.2 IP, 3.89 ERA
 

Red(s)HawksFan

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Crawford is significantly worse the 2nd time through the order (5.86 ERA) than either Houck (4.00) or Whitlock (2.35).

All 3 are terrible the 3rd time through.
Yeah, I've been puzzled by the collective love for Crawford as a starter, particularly in contrast to the lack of it for Houck and Whitlock. He's not necessarily exhibiting any qualities that puts him ahead of either guy as a starter.

This year...
Crawford as a starter: 19 games, 85.2 IP (4.5 innings per start), 5.04 ERA, 1.284 WHIP, 9.4 K/9
Houck as a starter: 17 games, 87 IP (4.57 innings per start), 5.28 ERA, 1.345 WHIP, 8.3 K/9
Whitlock as a starter: 10 games, 51.2 IP (5.16 innings per start), 5.23 ERA, 1.316 WHIP, 8.2 K/9

edit to add...I want to see all three continue to develop as starters. They may not all fit in the rotation together but none should be auto-relegated to the pen yet.
 

JM3

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So Tanner Houck has a .387 wOBA against lefties & .258 against righties.

Pivetta has a .362 against lefties & .283 against righties.

Crawford & Whitlock are quite neutral.

This tells me, if you were going to want to run 3 starting roles from this group of 4 (which obviously probably isn't optimal to begin with), but let's just assume for the sake of this we're not bringing in any new guys, I think the optimal setup would be:

Bello
Lefty opener + Houck
Sale
Whitlock
Same opener + Pivetta

With Crawford a 2-inning guy out of the pen.

Pivetta has been terrible as a starter, but out of the pen, he has a 3.19 ERA the 1st 2 times through in 53.2 IP (& actually 2 scoreless innings the 3rd time through).
 

JM3

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What they'll be hopefully looking at is something more like...

Yamamoto
Bello
Sale
Montgomery
Lefty opener + Houck

With the following depth options in rough order:

Whitlock
Lefty opener + Pivetta
Crawford
Righty opener + Murphy
Wikelman
Drohan
Etc.
 

Petagine in a Bottle

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The biggest problem is that none of these guys is particularly young- all three will be in their age 28 season next year, so how much growth is expected? Any one would be fine as your #5, in the pen, starting depth- but not sure how a rotation can have all of them in it and be expected to be good- especially since there’s no guarantee any of them can handle a full season of a starters workload.

Will be interesting to see how they handle this off-season, wouldn’t surprise me to see one of those guys dealt.
 

JM3

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The biggest problem is that none of these guys is particularly young- all three will be in their age 28 season next year, so how much growth is expected? Any one would be fine as your #5, in the pen, starting depth- but not sure how a rotation can have all of them in it and be expected to be good- especially since there’s no guarantee any of them can handle a full season of a starters workload.

Will be interesting to see how they handle this off-season, wouldn’t surprise me to see one of those guys dealt.
I wasn't building any projection into that. Just ordering the options we have assuming similar performance next year.

Lefty opener + Houck would appear to be a really good rotation slot without any improvement.

The problem is, you're only getting about 4-5 innings of Houck most of the time in that scenario so you can't run a whole rotation like that so you need more guys who can comfortably give you 6-7 innings at a time.
 

Fishy1

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I know this is chasing the box score but that Wilyer Abreu is just a professional hitter. One more reason why Chaim has to do something ballsy with the OF situation.
Funny to me so many are clamoring for Ceddane to start over him because it's not so clear to me who's better presently, and Wilyer is off to an insane start. With his plate discipline and pop, sky is the limit, even if he ends up being a 25%-30% K guy.

Assuming the K's doesn't become an issue, he, Devers and Casas could be anchoring the middle of the lineup for the next decade.
 

chrisfont9

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Funny to me so many are clamoring for Ceddane to start over him because it's not so clear to me who's better presently, and Wilyer is off to an insane start. With his plate discipline and pop, sky is the limit, even if he ends up being a 25%-30% K guy.

Assuming the K's doesn't become an issue, he, Devers and Casas could be anchoring the middle of the lineup for the next decade.
This is spitballing to some extent, but we see guys like him come up pretty often who aren't ballyhooed but just know how to handle the bat and it plays as good or better as they rise. 360 PAs in AAA as an underage guy OPSing .930 with .391 OB%... he warrants a serious look in the majors.
 

YTF

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I think I may have mentioned this in another thread, but since we're talking about the core of the team moving forward I'd like to mention it here as well. One thing I'm really hoping for as a byproduct to the recent call ups is Rafaela and Abreu spending time with Casas and having discussions about hitting. I think it's pretty rare to have a peer at this stage of their young careers who has such a good approach to hitting. I'd absolutely love some sort of hitter's discussion group to cultivate within this young core that is going to emerge here in the next couple of seasons.
 

AB in DC

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I know this is chasing the box score but that Wilyer Abreu is just a professional hitter. One more reason why Chaim has to do something ballsy with the OF situation.
More to the point, Cora needs to give Abreu (and probably Rafaela too) a ton of playing time in these last three weeks to see if he stays hot or if other teams figure out how to pitch to him. Better find out now so that he can work on adjustments in the offseason, rather than show up next April just to find out everyone else has the book on him.
 
Dec 8, 2017
77
BTV has this as an even swap:
Sox send Pivetta, Verdugo to Brewers for Burnes, Yelich, $27M

2024 Salary
Arb - Pivetta (5.35 in 2023, FA in 2025)
Arb - Verdugo (6.30 in 2023, FA in 2025)
Arb - Burnes (10.01 in 2023, FA in 2025)
26.0 - Yelich (26.0 through 2028, 20.0 vesting option in 2029)

If Brewers don't want to pony up to extend Burnes, they can get out from Yelich's contract with his replacement for next year and a pitcher who posts reliably. Sox get a front line starter and can keep Yelich or eventually/immediately send him with cash to a third team for prospects.

Then go big for Yamamoto.

Yamamoto
Burnes
Bello
Sale
Paxton/Houck/Whitlock

Jansen
Martin
Schreiber
Whitlock/Houck
Crawford
Winckowski
Bernardino
Rodriguez

The rotation and bullpen both improve, Masa is reunited with his buddy, there is much rejoicing.
 

sezwho

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Jul 20, 2005
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Isle of Plum
More to the point, Cora needs to give Abreu (and probably Rafaela too) a ton of playing time in these last three weeks to see if he stays hot or if other teams figure out how to pitch to him. Better find out now so that he can work on adjustments in the offseason, rather than show up next April just to find out everyone else has the book on him.
Or, somewhat more cynically, let’s get ALL the kids up to make all the adrenaline soaked mistakes and get as much rookie foolishness out of their systems as possible in a lost season.

I would sure lie to be competitive next year and this seems like the best path to insuring (unless Bloom plans to swap them for arms and play vets- fat chance).
 

sezwho

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Jul 20, 2005
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I'm not sure what other "kids" not already on the Boston roster are plausible major leaguers next year..
Fair, there really aren’t (fast track Teel !) more young players languishing in AAA. I would have been more accurate saying ‘play the kids as much as possible’.

Perhaps it’s misguided, but I do believe every developmental mistake they make this season is one they don’t make next season when it might count.

I’m really keen to see well played baseball again and the prospect of breaking in young players, likely bounced around the diamond, after watching a defensive atrocity for several years has me a bit anxious :)
 

Sandy Leon Trotsky

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Mar 11, 2007
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I could see Winkleman starting in AAA and getting a late season call up as a reliever if he continues his trend of declining BB rate
 

chrisfont9

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I think I am out on Paxton for next year. While I often don't like to assume injuries or label guys injury prone -- and am very confident that Paxton's elbow is good to go for a while -- this nagging knee thing is just the sort of issue that could put the Sox back into a position of thinning out the pen and stressing the entire rotation. We need our starters to pile up starts and innings. I tried to not worry about this but the pitching staff just couldn't keep chugging along burning through replacements and relievers all year.