Let's talk about this ballclub.

nvalvo

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The trade deadline is Aug. 31. The season finishes Sept. 27.

I have to think there will be some team out there unduly excited on Aug 29. Assuming they play that long, some will be optimistic about the season finishing. It's also hard not to imagine there might be a GFIN team that gets hot during the first month. Cleveland? San Diego? Who knows.
Cleveland is another team that could really use a competent outfielder.
 

RoDaddy

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Relative to this thread title, this ballclub might end up being the worst since the pre-impossible dream 1960's Red Sox teams. Lots of similarities too: good hitting, bad pitching except for one quality closer (Radatz, Workman)....and oh yeah, no one in the stands
 
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nattysez

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nvalvo

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Good on paper.

Watching them play a competent game tonight, I wondered if our guys just struggled more with the weird ramp-up than other teams. They’ve often looked like a Grapefruit League team in that week when the hitters don’t have their timing yet.

I’ve read that offense is down leaguewide, although you wouldn’t know it watching our pitching staff.
 

Smiling Joe Hesketh

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They're 4-8, they can't pitch, they traded away their best and most likable player, and they have zero chances of doing anything this season.

But ownership's happy since they'll be under the luxury tax threshold; the fact that they've destroyed their opportunity to compete in the near future simply doesn't matter to them.

I'd trade every vet possible this year. They can't get any worse without them.
 

Max Power

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Unless Mookie can pitch, the trade didn't do much to their "opportunity to compete." Rodriguez getting Covid and Sale having TJS did. If those guys are back and pitching well next season, the team should be pretty good. This year is completely lost and there's not much they can do about it now.
 

Rovin Romine

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SouthernBoSox

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They're 4-8, they can't pitch, they traded away their best and most likable player, and they have zero chances of doing anything this season.

But ownership's happy since they'll be under the luxury tax threshold; the fact that they've destroyed their opportunity to compete in the near future simply doesn't matter to them.

I'd trade every vet possible this year. They can't get any worse without them.
What would you have liked them to do? Their best pitcher, and one of the best in the last decade, has to have TJ. Their second best pitcher got Covid and has a heart condition. They HAVE to reset the luxury tax. It's isn't just a cost savings thing it's the only way to get competitive post 2020.

The Mookie trade is looking better now, not worse.
 

Smiling Joe Hesketh

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Unless Mookie can pitch, the trade didn't do much to their "opportunity to compete." Rodriguez getting Covid and Sale having TJS did. If those guys are back and pitching well next season, the team should be pretty good. This year is completely lost and there's not much they can do about it now.
You don't think having David Price would help (assuming he wouldn't opt out, obv a big assumption?)

You don't think having a 7 WAR player would help win games? LA has played only 13 games and Mookie's ALREADY got 1 WAR.

They traded a superstar and a good pitcher and got nothing remotely close in return. Verdugo, supposed centerpiece of the deal, is OPSing 678 and has a bad back. That's a horrible return. There's not a team in baseball that can do that without crippling their chances to compete.

And remember, this was all by PLAN. They WANTED less talent on the team because they wouldn't have to pay it. It's not that they weren't making money; they were. They decided they weren't making enough.

They deliberately tanked this season, and possibly the next 3 or 4, because they suddenly found the virtues of penury just when it was time to pay the best player they've brought up since Yaz. That is a fundamental violation of the sporting social contract. They want to emulate the Pirates and Royals? They're doing a great job of it so far.

I should do a long writeup on the social contract of rooting for a sports team, because I've come to believe that the Red Sox are in fundamental violation of it, and as petty as it is it fucking offends me.
 

Smiling Joe Hesketh

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What would you have liked them to do? Their best pitcher, and one of the best in the last decade, has to have TJ. Their second best pitcher got Covid and has a heart condition. They HAVE to reset the luxury tax. It's isn't just a cost savings thing it's the only way to get competitive post 2020.

The Mookie trade is looking better now, not worse.
This is by far the silliest thing I've ever read on this site, and remember I had to read SpacemanLee2000's posts. They most certainly do not HAVE to reset the luxury tax. Just no. NO NO NO NO NO. GODAMMIT NO.

They were making money. They were making a lot of money. They did not HAVE to reset anything. Stop swallowing their bullshit.

The dirty little secret of the Punto trade is that the actual return of players wasn't very good at all. Ivan DeJesus, James Loney, Allan Webster, Rubby de la Rosa, and Jerry Sands were the players the Sox received back. None of them were any good. They tanked that year and cleared out bad personalities and some money, but the players they got back? Lousy. They spent well that winter and won a VERY unlikely WS in 2013 with those FAs which was awesome, but then promptly collapsed again. They didn't get better until the new wave of younger players took root. So those thinking that Verdugo and Downs are going to save this trade are going to be extremely disappointed, I think. Be sure to remind me if I'm wrong.
 
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Max Power

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You don't think having David Price would help (assuming he wouldn't opt out, obv a big assumption?)

You don't think having a 7 WAR player would help win games? LA has played only 13 games and Mookie's ALREADY got 1 WAR.

They traded a superstar and a good pitcher and got nothing remotely close in return. Verdugo, supposed centerpiece of the deal, is OPSing 678 and has a bad back. That's a horrible return. There's not a team in baseball that can do that without crippling their chances to compete.

And remember, this was all by PLAN. They WANTED less talent on the team because they wouldn't have to pay it. It's not that they weren't making money; they were. They decided they weren't making enough.

They deliberately tanked this season, and possibly the next 3 or 4, because they suddenly found the virtues of penury just when it was time to pay the best player they've brought up since Yaz. That is a fundamental violation of the sporting social contract. They want to emulate the Pirates and Royals? They're doing a great job of it so far.

I should do a long writeup on the social contract of rooting for a sports team, because I've come to believe that the Red Sox are in fundamental violation of it, and as petty as it is it fucking offends me.
David Price did opt out, so that's a dumb assumption. And no, I don't think having Mookie out there would have made much of a difference. The 1 WAR he ALREADY has would make them 5-7 rather than 4-8.

They tanked this season for the same reason the Yankees tanked 2016. The current CBA makes building a team impossible when you go over the luxury tax limit 3 years in a row.
 

Smiling Joe Hesketh

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David Price did opt out, so that's a dumb assumption. And no, I don't think having Mookie out there would have made much of a difference. The 1 WAR he ALREADY has would make them 5-7 rather than 4-8.

They tanked this season for the same reason the Yankees tanked 2016. The current CBA makes building a team impossible when you go over the luxury tax limit 3 years in a row.
Complete and total nonsense. Stop believing their PR. It's simply not true at all. Even if you believe it is (which it is not), the correct approach would then be to NOT give Sale and Eovaldi idiotic extensions, and instead apply that money to a far better and younger and less injury-prone player. So either way they've screwed the pooch.

The Yankees "tanking" got them 84-78. The Sox look to be lucky to have a .333 winning percentage. The notion of needing to tank to succeed in pro sports is the most poisonous of notions and it's killed sports to see that idea take root. It's never ever ever been true.
 

SouthernBoSox

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This is by far the silliest thing I've ever read on this site, and remember I had to read SpacemanLee2000's posts. They most certainly do not HAVE to reset the luxury tax. Just no. NO NO NO NO NO. GODAMMIT NO.

They were making money. They were making a lot of money. They did not HAVE to reset anything. Stop swallowing their bullshit.

The dirty little secret of the Punto trade is that the actual return of players wasn't very good at all. Ivan DeJesus, James Loney, Allan Webster, Rubby de la Rosa, and Jerry Sands were the players the Sox received back. None of them were any good. They tanked that year and cleared out bad personalities and some money, but the players they got back? Lousy. They spent well that winter and won a VERY unlikely WS in 2013 with those FAs which was awesome, but then promptly collapsed again. They didn't get better until the new wave of younger players took root. So those thinking that Verdugo and Downs are going to save this trade are going to be extremely disappointed, I think. Be sure to remind me if I'm wrong.
Every single organization is fighting tooth and nail to stay under the luxury tax. Every single one. The Red Sox would be the only organization to just not care. This ownership group has spent as much as any other organization in baseball in their time. The fact people think this is nothing more than a money grab need to study the luxury tax more.

I have no idea what the Punto trade has to do with this. It's irrelevant.

The fact that you don't understand that shedding Price's contract and getting 2 cost controlled young players rather than Mookie walking is a positive speaks to your bias. You're never going to be convinced otherwise even though it's pretty clear.
 

Smiling Joe Hesketh

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You're goddamn right I'll never be convinced otherwise, because it's blatantly false.

There has been no other org that's been as successful since 2003 than the Sox, but suddenly now they HAVE to do what every other club in the league is doing. Just no.

EDIT: I'm sorry for derailing the issue as always. Carry on.
 

OurF'ingCity

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The Yankees "tanking" got them 84-78. The Sox look to be lucky to have a .333 winning percentage. The notion of needing to tank to succeed in pro sports is the most poisonous of notions and it's killed sports to see that idea take root. It's never ever ever been true.
But if you’re not going to make the playoffs either way, wouldn’t you rather be very bad for one year than just mediocre? Particularly if, as is the case with the Sox, you are in desperate need of prospects.

I partially agree with you insofar as I don’t think they need to go through a multi-year rebuilding process - I think they have a good shot to return to competitiveness pretty quickly if a few things go their way, as I said upthread.

But if you are suggesting that having Mookie on the team this year would meaningfully improve their chances at a championship, you just aren’t watching the games. The pitching is the issue and literally nothing you are suggesting the Sox should have done would have changed that. In fact, if the Sox hadn’t signed Sale and Eovaldi when they did (and I agree those signings were shortsighted and dumb), their pitching would actually be WORSE this year.

If you are suggesting only that having Mookie on the team in FUTURE years would meaningfully improve their chances, that’s obviously much more plausible but really is dependent on what they do with the money they would have had to spend to retain Mookie going forward and how Verdugo and Downs develop. (Even if you assume Mookie will be a consistent 7 WAR player, it’s not that far fetched - though far from certain, of course - that in a few years Verdugo + Downs + player(s) they wouldn’t have been able to sign if they kept Mookie will be greater than or equal to 7 WAR.)
 

nattysez

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They hired DD and DD did DD things. And the long history of DD is that DD mortgages your future when winning time arrives. Hiring DD all but ensured what we're dealing with now. It was the price of a DD-built ring. And yes, re-signing Sale AFTER winning was a mistake of epic proportions and essentially cost them Mookie -- there's no fixing that now.

The real evil of this 60-game season is that it's really not enough to draw any conclusions about this team -- 240 or so plate appearances is not enough evidence on which to make final verdicts regarding Verdugo, Dalbec, Chavis, Benintendi and the rest. So this year is more or less a wash from a player-development perspective, which is especially bad for a team that needs to make a bunch of hard decisions about the viability of young players in the off-season.
 

Smiling Joe Hesketh

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They hired DD and DD did DD things. And the long history of DD is that DD mortgages your future when winning time arrives. Hiring DD all but ensured what we're dealing with now. It was the price of a DD-built ring. And yes, re-signing Sale AFTER winning was a mistake of epic proportions and essentially cost them Mookie -- there's no fixing that now.

The real evil of this 60-game season is that it's really not enough to draw any conclusions about this team -- 240 or so plate appearances is not enough evidence on which to make final verdicts regarding Verdugo, Dalbec, Chavis, Benintendi and the rest. So this year is more or less a wash from a player-development perspective, which is especially bad for a team that needs to make a bunch of hard decisions about the viability of young players in the off-season.
I agree with all of this. This season won't teach us anything about players needing to prove themselves.
 

Smiling Joe Hesketh

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It was called the "Punto trade" as a gig because Punto was the least important player going to LA but we joked he must have been the player they really wanted.

People here were goddamn BUBBLY over Allen Webster and Rubby de la Rosa.
 

nvalvo

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It was called the "Punto trade" as a gig because Punto was the least important player going to LA but we joked he must have been the player they really wanted.

People here were goddamn BUBBLY over Allen Webster and Rubby de la Rosa.
Back then, minor league SPs who touched 99 were not a dime a dozen like they are now. They didn't pan.
 

NJ_Sox_Fan

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It was called the "Punto trade" as a gig because Punto was the least important player going to LA but we joked he must have been the player they really wanted.

People here were goddamn BUBBLY over Allen Webster and Rubby de la Rosa.
I mean, at one point Rubby did look pretty promising. Not sure what other options they had though - it is pretty obvious Betts had no interest in staying here, and was not going to sign an extension.
 

Earthbound64

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People here were goddamn BUBBLY over Allen Webster and Rubby de la Rosa.
People here are bubbly over most young players.
Plus, like with Verdugo, trying to get excited about what you were getting.

But it was widely called a "salary reset"/"salary dump," and I don't think many/anyone was under any impressions that it was anything but that.
 

DJnVa

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Yeah, that was ALWAYS billed as a salary dump, not a trade for talent. Of course there were some prospects coming back though. The Dodgers claimed the did it for their fans, to win now.

Of course, the Sox won the NEXT FUCKING YEAR. Then 5 years later, as the Dodgers, of course, haven't won any.
 

DeadlySplitter

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The playoffs are inherently a crapshoot. The Dodgers have consistently been a 1st place team, that's not true for the Red Sox since 2007 (albeit 2016-18 was a prime period).

The sad thing is I see the Pirates are on the way to 2-11. Some are dreaming on one of the Vanderbilt pitchers, but I don't think this team will be bad enough to grab one of them.
 

Rovin Romine

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Yeah, that was ALWAYS billed as a salary dump, not a trade for talent. Of course there were some prospects coming back though. The Dodgers claimed the did it for their fans, to win now.

Of course, the Sox won the NEXT FUCKING YEAR. Then 5 years later, as the Dodgers, of course, haven't won any.
Now 8 years, compadre. Although they got to the WS twice in 2017 and 2018, but by then the trade principals were all gone except for Gonzalez who was on fumes in 2017 and didn't play in that post season for them.

But imagine the Sox with:
Gonzo - $21m per for 2013-2018 (WAR 3.8, 4.4, 4.6, 1.9 - replacement after 2017)
Becket - $16m per for 2013-14 (8 starts in 2013, 20 starts 2.1WAR in 2014, then done)
Crawford - $20m per for 2013-17 (WAR 1.5, 2.4, replacement after 2015)

It's nightmarish. And certainly no 2013 WS.
 
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richgedman'sghost

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Per Cots, who would you hold onto, and who would you let go, assuming Sale and Erod are back at some point in 2021 or 2022? (If they're not the sox are going to have go either get very lucky with FA/trades or just full on rebuild)

View: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/14ZWlkYJtyP4awaHQ5CEALWLkFuYjWy1Z5NbEYKrGsOk/edit#gid=1520401900


JBJ, Pillar, and Workman are all FAs after this season.
This is just a quick question. What's up with Rusney Castillo? Is he even at the team's alternate training site? I realize that the team needed to get below the tax level but I thought they might give him a shot in the last year of his contract. Anyway just looking for info. Sorry for any derailment.
 

scottyno

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Complete and total nonsense. Stop believing their PR. It's simply not true at all. Even if you believe it is (which it is not), the correct approach would then be to NOT give Sale and Eovaldi idiotic extensions, and instead apply that money to a far better and younger and less injury-prone player. So either way they've screwed the pooch.
They tried to and he turned down every offer so they instead moved on to signing the ace that they were actually able to get a deal done with.
 

Smiling Joe Hesketh

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They tried to and he turned down every offer so they instead moved on to signing the ace that they were actually able to get a deal done with.
They in no way offered him what he wanted and they knew it. And the guy they got the deal done with struggled through late 2018 and all of 2019 with elbow issues and SUPRISE now needs TJ so that money would have been better off going to Mookie. Or being set on fire, for that matter.
 

Bergs

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They in no way offered him what he wanted and they knew it. And the guy they got the deal done with struggled through late 2018 and all of 2019 with elbow issues and SUPRISE now needs TJ so that money would have been better off going to Mookie. Or being set on fire, for that matter.
Serious question: Would you want Mookie on the Sox with his current 12-year Dodgers contract? I absolutely love the man, but that contract is likely gonna be a disaster.
 

scottyno

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Serious question: Would you want Mookie on the Sox with his current 12-year Dodgers contract? I absolutely love the man, but that contract is likely gonna be a disaster.
He wouldn't have signed that if the sox offered it to him a year ago, sox would have had to give him that plus even more.
 

Bergs

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Yes of course I would. He's a top 5 player in the game. Those are rare and precious and you do whatever it takes to keep them.
Gotcha. I don't think I'm alone in my belief that is a ton of back-end downside, and I imagine that's where a lot of the disagreements in this thread come from. I personally see both sides, given the realities on the ground at the time. There were a lot of moving pieces, and decisions were made. I don't like several of them, but they're mostly at least defensible.

He wouldn't have signed that if the sox offered it to him a year ago, sox would have had to give him that plus even more.
100% correct. That wasn't my question, though.
 

OurF'ingCity

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Yes of course I would. He's a top 5 player in the game. Those are rare and precious and you do whatever it takes to keep them.
If this were the NBA I'd agree with you 100%. But it's baseball - a single player isn't going to lead you to a championship (otherwise the Angels would dominate every year), and teams recognize that.

Albert Pujols was a top 5 player in the game when the Cards let him walk (had finished the previous 4 seasons 1st, 1st, 2nd, and 5th in MVP voting). Robinson Cano was a top 5 player in the game (or close) when the Yankees let him walk (had finished the previous 4 seasons 3rd, 6th, 4th, and 5th in MVP voting). Neither team "did whatever it took" to keep those players and both teams are MUCH better off because they didn't.

Not saying that Mookie's career will track those two, but they're at minimum cautionary tales. And even if the Sox had a crystal ball and knew for an absolute certainty that Mookie would be in the 6-7 WAR range for the next 4 years or whatever, that still wouldn't be the end of the story because the Sox would have to consider the team around Mookie (currently very bad, and it would have been worse if they had signed Mookie given luxury tax penalties) and whether they could use the same money that Mookie would be earning in other, more productive ways. At the end of the day, Mookie's timing and the Sox's just didn't line up. It sucks, but it's pretty routine in baseball these days.
 

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You know, this ownership and their various management teams have made a ton of mistakes. Some of them are born of impatience, some overreaching, some maybe poor planning or decision-making. But they’re also not complacent or stubborn, and they’ve been willing to acknowledge mistakes (Bobby V!) and move on quickly. Oh, and spend money. Hence, 2004, 2013, and 2018 (I’ve always seen 2007 as more of a continuation of 04, although they took on Lowell’s money - thankfully!).

The team has been a little too up and down for my taste, but if you’re asking whether I’d have preferred to be the Dodgers over the past 10 years or the Sox, it’s Not. Freakin. Close. The Boston Red Sox are the most successful franchise of this millennium, by the only standard that ultimately matters.

Flags fly forever.
 
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santadevil

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I should do a long writeup on the social contract of rooting for a sports team, because I've come to believe that the Red Sox are in fundamental violation of it, and as petty as it is it fucking offends me.
I don't necessarily agree with your viewpoint overall in this thread, but I would definitely read this if you did it

This is why being a member on this site is great, because I like hearing (reading) all different sides of the argument on seeing other peoples perspectives
You're passionate about this issue and I love reading about things that people really care about
 

LostinNJ

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Where's the evidence that if the Red Sox had done things differently, they could have locked up Mookie Betts for the next ten or twelve years? The most likely interpretation of the available evidence is that he preferred L.A. He said repeatedly when he was here that he wanted to test the market, and then he got traded and signed an extension without testing the market. Now, *maybe* he would have signed the same extension with Boston if it had been offered, but we cannot know that to be true.
 

Red(s)HawksFan

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You know, this ownership and their various management teams have made a ton of mistakes. Some of them are born of impatience, some overreaching, some maybe poor planning or decision-making. But they’re also not complacent or stubborn, and they’ve been willing to acknowledge mistakes (Bobby V!) and move on quickly. Oh, and spend money. Hence, 2004, 2013, and 2018 (I’ve always seen 2007 as more of a continuation of 04, although they took on Lowell’s money - thankfully!).

The team has been a little too up and down for my taste, but if you’re asking whether I’d have preferred to be the Dodgers over the past 10 years or the Sox, it’s Not. Freakin. Close. The Boston Red Sox are the most successful franchise of this millennium, by the only standard that ultimately matters.

Flags fly forever.
Oh, they have certainly spent money. Per Cot's, the last time the Sox didn't have one of the top 5 payrolls in MLB (year-end 40-man payroll) was 2000.

Not sure I agree that 2007 was a continuation of 2004. There were only 8 players who were on both the 2004 and 2007 teams (Wakefield, Varitek, Mirabelli, Ramirez, Ortiz, Timlin, Schilling, Youkilis). They had a fundamentally different construction and vibe. They often are overlooked because they were so steady and consistent, and there was very little drama to the season. '04 broke the curse, '13 had the marathon bombing, '18 was the greatest team in franchise history. '07 was just...'07.
 

DeadlySplitter

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Mookie wanted 12/420(!) before the pandemic. Keep that in mind when making your arguments, and how 35M AAV contracts are nearly impossible to break even on
 

Minneapolis Millers

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Not sure I agree that 2007 was a continuation of 2004. There were only 8 players who were on both the 2004 and 2007 teams (Wakefield, Varitek, Mirabelli, Ramirez, Ortiz, Timlin, Schilling, Youkilis). They had a fundamentally different construction and vibe.
I didn’t mean the same team, I meant the progression of the team’s philosophy. 07 was the realization of Theo’s approach of building a winner and then leaning on the team’s development machine. Youk, Pedey, Ellsbury, Lester, Papelbon. More of an Intentional evolution than a reset.
 

sean1562

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If absolutely none of the lower prospects in the system develop into promising players, yea, sure, we are monumentally screwed. Is the lower end of the system so bare that we have no hope that we will have some upcoming talent in two to three years? Aren't Jimenez and Casas really promising players? Verdugo was a pretty good player just last year and Downs is still a promising talent. Are we assuming that all development for our minor league players is essentially paused this year? The Sox have won more WS in the last twenty years than any other team in baseball. We are gonna have to suck for a bit every now and again. Hopefully not 85 years but we cant completely dominate the entire league like we did in 2018 every season.

edit: not to turn this into a prospects thread discussion, but is next year the last chance for Dalbec? Didn't realize he was going to be 26 years old.
 

Yo La Tengo

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Yes of course I would. He's a top 5 player in the game. Those are rare and precious and you do whatever it takes to keep them.
The only way the trade, and all the events that lead up to it, make sense is if they knew Mookie wouldn't resign here. If that was the case, the front office did the best they could.

As for player development, am I wrong to wish that the Sox would just draft the best hitter available every time and then target pitchers by trade or free agency?
 
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Red(s)HawksFan

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As for player development, am I wrong to wish that the Sox would just draft the best hitter available every time and then either trade or sign free agents for pitching?
I do think you're wrong in that wish. Good pitching is expensive and a bigger risk if you're only getting it on the free agent market or through trades. The rotations we've seen the last 4-5 years are perfect examples of what you get when you don't develop your own pitching.

Since the start of the 2016 season, what pitcher drafted and developed by the Sox has made the most starts for them? The answer is Brian Johnson with 25. Second most is Clay Buchholz with 19. The guys who've made more starts are all trade and free agent acquisitions: Porcello, Rodriguez, Price, Sale, Pomeranz, Wright, Eovaldi. Good pitchers for the most part, but also significantly expensive unless they happened to trade for them while they were still minor leaguers (ERod and Wright). Not to mention more fragile. All of those guys have missed time with various injuries over the years.

I think if you could only develop one or the other (pitchers or hitters), the wiser choice would be to develop pitchers and seek out hitters on the marketplace. Fortunately, that isn't a choice that needs to be made and ideally you want to develop both with equal success.
 

joe dokes

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Yes of course I would. He's a top 5 player in the game. Those are rare and precious and you do whatever it takes to keep them.
So would I. Bad tail-ends are endemic to FA contracts but the downside is worth it for a top-5 player. And if Mookie had become a FA, I'd live with the Sox giving him that deal just as I've made peace with the Pedroia deal.
But given Mookie's repeated statements that he was going to go to FA come hell or high water, it seems to me that the pandemic (unforeseeable to the Sox) likely changed Mookie's FA stance, and NOT the size of the LA offer. In other words, absent the pandemic, Mookie would be going to FA, and the Sox trying to do a "Chapman" doesn't seem as foolish or infuriating as you make it.
 

Papelbon's Poutine

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I do think you're wrong in that wish. Good pitching is expensive and a bigger risk if you're only getting it on the free agent market or through trades. The rotations we've seen the last 4-5 years are perfect examples of what you get when you don't develop your own pitching.
Wasn't that the strategy Theo instilled with the Cubs - to draft hitters and then acquire pitching; with the thought process that hitters have lower bust potential? They were blessed with high picks for a few years but I believe not a single pitcher on their WS roster was drafted or developed by CHC. It was a pretty central tenet in Verducci's book "The Cub's Way". Not saying either extreme is better, but I'm not sure it's as cut and dry.
 

nvalvo

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The only way the trade, and all the events that lead up to it, make sense is if they knew Mookie wouldn't resign here. If that was the case, the front office did the best they could.

As for player development, am I wrong to wish that the Sox would just draft the best hitter available every time and then target pitchers by trade or free agency?
I don't think this is true. From Smiling Joe Hesketh's perspective, you're begging the question by essentially stipulating that they did their best on the basis of facts not in evidence, and then concluding that they did their best on that basis. It's circular.

SJH is saying that they didn't do their best, because he thinks they decided that it was more important to have a sub-Dodgers-level payroll than field the best team possible. That's fair.

Here's my view, in retrospect: if Boston was going to sign Betts, it needed to happen before 2018. And they tried, offering $200m in the offseason between the 2017 and 2018 seasons. At that time, Betts had posted 2 WAR in his partial 2014 season (I'm rounding all of these), 6 (2015), 10 (2016), and 6 (2017). He had earned about $2m. That was the moment. After 2018, when he made $10m and posted 11 more WAR, it was too late. By posting his second 9+ WAR season, he'd cemented himself as an elite player, and he now had enough earnings to self-insure his future — i.e. if he was in a car accident during spring training, he had earned $12m dollars. He was a year closer to FA, so the risk of injury before an FA payday was declining.

They offered him $200m, and he decided to bet on himself. Since then, he's earned almost $50m and now has another $330m pending (I think — it might be more; I'm not sure how this year is being accounted for), so he basically doubled their offer.

We each have to decide for ourselves whether that $200m offer is the equivalent of the $70m starting offer to Lester that was roughly half of what he eventually signed for. I'm not sure it is — Lester was much closer to FA — but I could see how someone with SJH's priors might think that it was. And I'm not sure how big a difference it would have made if they had offered him $240m or $250m or even $300m at that point, because I don't know what Mookie's breakeven point was. I imagine he'd have accepted some deal south of $300m that would sign him into his late thirties (he was 24, so, a 12-15 year deal) and guarantee him a pile of money.

But that's when the decision was made that set us on this path.
 

ShaneTrot

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I know they have very little young pitching that is major league ready but why not in this disaster of a season bring up Houck, or Shawaryn, instead of all these has-beens.
 

nighthob

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So those thinking that Verdugo and Downs are going to save this trade are going to be extremely disappointed, I think. Be sure to remind me if I'm wrong.
I agree with you, mostly, on the return. $48 million is an awful lot of money to pay for a guy with a broken back, a potential utilityman, and one prospect with real upside as an above average everyday player. Now if the Dodgers were eating Price's deal outright I'd shrug, but they weren't.
 

Red(s)HawksFan

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I agree with you, mostly, on the return. $48 million is an awful lot of money to pay for a guy with a broken back, a potential utilityman, and one prospect with real upside as an above average everyday player. Now if the Dodgers were eating Price's deal outright I'd shrug, but they weren't.
While Verdugo was still recovering from a stress fracture in his back when the Sox acquired him, now that it is healed, it is not supposed to be a chronic issue. So maybe we can stop characterizing him as damaged goods? Is he Mookie Betts? No, of course not, but he's a very good young player that is going to be around for a while.