Might as well start talking about 2021

woodros04!

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Gammo had a note in his Athletic column about how Chaim is intent on resigning JBJ. Not sure if there's fire but the increasing smoke is of some comfort.
I think I'd like that about as much as signing one of the non tenders. I'm guessing his price tag would be in the same range. Less offense, but man if he isn't the best defensive center fielder I've ever seen......Not having to move Benny or Verdugo to CF would mean we still have an elite defensive outfield.
 

chrisfont9

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I think I'd like that about as much as signing one of the non tenders. I'm guessing his price tag would be in the same range. Less offense, but man if he isn't the best defensive center fielder I've ever seen......Not having to move Benny or Verdugo to CF would mean we still have an elite defensive outfield.
From Gammo:
"Bradley has natural left-field power geared to Fenway, and went .326/.423/.562/.985 the last month when he was comfortable with certain adjustments. He’s a community icon, as well."

So, do the Sox think some tweak in the last month is going to put JBJ on some new trajectory? I mean, I hope so, but it's a pretty small sample. And the community icon thing, is that a factor in their thinking too? It should be after they ran Mookie off. I could see an overreaction to not run off another popular mainstay from the latest championship run.
 

BaseballJones

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JBJ is what he is offensively. He will have stretches where he's incredible, but over the long haul, he's just meh at the plate. There's no reason to think they finally figured something out with him. I suppose there's hope that he can be better than a >100 ops+ hitter moving forward, but it's more likely he'll be in the 90s. Still, he provides value because of his otherworldly defense and decent power at the bottom of the lineup.
 

Philip Jeff Frye

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Yeah, I cringed when I read that vintage Gasbag comment about JBJ suddenly putting it all together at the age of 30 in the final month of the season. As demonstrated over and over again in his career, he is the very last player whose performance you should extrapolate from a tiny sample.
 

BostonFanInCanesLand

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Dahl seems like a shocking non-tender — a ++ bat over 2018-19 who can hit lefties and play center field — but those non-Coors splits are grim. Rosario seems likable enough but he had a stunning -18 outs above average in LF in 2019. It helps our cause that the market is now flush with one-tool LHH outfielders like Rosario, Schwarber, Dahl and Mazara, but I don't think they're good fits. I prefer guys like Profar, Hernandez and Villar -- who can cover 2B and all outfield positions -- and would rather Puig or Renfroe if we're signing an outfielder who's not Springer or JBJ.

That kind of LHH profile reminds me again of Gregory Polanco, who Pittsburgh is stuck with paying $11.6M ($7M AAV) in his final year. I've riffed about a Pittsburgh deal before so forgive me for riffing again, but I wonder how interested Cherington would be in a sort of "bailout package" for Polanco, Joe Musgrove, Jameson Taillon, Adam Frazier and Colin Moran. We'd add about $19M in AAV next year and get potentially two frontline starters, 3 years of former top prospect/potential breakout 1B/2B/3B, 2 years of a Holt-type who can handle second until Downs is ready, and 1 year of a busted former outfield prospect who still smokes the ball. Verdugo alone could probably do it, but maybe they'd accept controllable upside regulars like Houck, Dalbec and some combination of Chavis, Chatham and Groome (three Cherington draftees).
Scratch Dahl, he’s signing with the Rangers...

https://theathletic.com/news/rangers-david-dahl/dgF1XC6FXKxB
 

woodros04!

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Mind bending how he can be a great hitter for 3 weeks then not be able to hit the side of a barn for the following 6 weeks.
 

Heating up in the bullpen

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From Gammo:
"Bradley has natural left-field power geared to Fenway, and went .326/.423/.562/.985 the last month when he was comfortable with certain adjustments. He’s a community icon, as well."

So, do the Sox think some tweak in the last month is going to put JBJ on some new trajectory? I mean, I hope so, but it's a pretty small sample. And the community icon thing, is that a factor in their thinking too? It should be after they ran Mookie off. I could see an overreaction to not run off another popular mainstay from the latest championship run.
Yes, when JBJ uses the whole field he’s a good hitter. But he gets into long stretches of the bad habit of pulling everything and turns into a G4-3 machine.
Nevertheless, I love him for his D, for his hot stretches, and for being the lone Sox player to take a knee on opening day. I hope he re-signs with the Red Sox.
 

chawson

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I was toying around with Statcast’s slick expected home runs by park tool. For some reason, Kyle Schwarber looks extremely good in Fenway. (The expected home runs leaderboard is here. By-park comparisons are on players' individual pages).

Schwarber's HR total (2019-20) projected onto other parks:
Actual - 49
Red Sox - 54
Yankees - 50
Royals - 31 (lowest)

Rosario:
Actual - 45
Red Sox - 28
Yankees - 49

Brantley:
Actual - 27
Red Sox - 22
Yankees - 35

Pederson:
Actual - 43
Red Sox - 44
Yankees - 52

JBJ:
Actual - 28
Red Sox - 27 (remember, this is if all games were played at Fenway)
Yankees - 27

My assumption would be that those non-tendered LHH sluggers were better fits at Yankee Stadium than Fenway because of the park dimensions. That's mostly true, but not uniformly. (I also didn't realize Kaufmann Stadium suppressed left-handed power to the degree it did. That's a massive 23-HR split between Schwarber the Red Sox and Schwarber the Royal.) Despite similar power output, I prefer Schwarber to Pederson because the latter is unplayable vs. lefties (.230 wOBA from 2018-20) while Schwarber is merely bad (.301 wOBA from 2018-20).

All this is an exercise, but it's pretty useful and may be predictive. (Kevin Pillar had more "Fenway" home runs in 2019 than any other park, and Bloom signed him.) Obviously Schwarber isn't going to be our CF, but maybe he fits in if Beni or Dalbec are traded?
 
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nvalvo

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JBJ rumors flying fast and thick on twitter: nothing especially real-seeming or immediate, but the Cubs, Phillies, and Blue Jays are mentioned as potential destinations. Morosi seems to have been the source.

This sounds like Bradley's agent trying to juice his market, but I thought it was worth mentioning.
 

Sandy Leon Trotsky

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JBJ rumors flying fast and thick on twitter: nothing especially real-seeming or immediate, but the Cubs, Phillies, and Blue Jays are mentioned as potential destinations. Morosi seems to have been the source.

This sounds like Bradley's agent trying to juice his market, but I thought it was worth mentioning.
Curious what others think he'll end up getting in years/AAV?
I was expecting something close to $12.5 AAV (due to Pandemic concerns*) but with the season now looking very likely to be played at full stadiums at least by the AS Break, I think lots of teams will be expecting fan to go out in full force. Now I'm thinking closer to $17.5AAV.

*Wondering if Mookie could have actually made more than Trout if he was willing to take it to FA this season (especially after a great shortened 2020 with LA).... pretty sure he signed long term because of Covid concerns (and liking LA too, not to put that down).
 

jon abbey

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Curious what others think he'll end up getting in years/AAV?
I was expecting something close to $12.5 AAV (due to Pandemic concerns*) but with the season now looking very likely to be played at full stadiums at least by the AS Break, I think lots of teams will be expecting fan to go out in full force. Now I'm thinking closer to $17.5AAV.
MLBTR says 2/16, that seems about right.

https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2020/11/mlb-free-agent-predictions-2021.html
 

Minneapolis Millers

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Curious what others think he'll end up getting in years/AAV?
I was expecting something close to $12.5 AAV (due to Pandemic concerns*) but with the season now looking very likely to be played at full stadiums at least by the AS Break, I think lots of teams will be expecting fan to go out in full force. Now I'm thinking closer to $17.5AAV.

*Wondering if Mookie could have actually made more than Trout if he was willing to take it to FA this season (especially after a great shortened 2020 with LA).... pretty sure he signed long term because of Covid concerns (and liking LA too, not to put that down).
I’d be really surprised by that big a deal for JBJ. He didn’t just put up a season of 118 OPS+, as noted elsewhere. He put up 40% of such a season. And yeah, that’s JBJ, perfectly capable of going on a 4-6 week hot streak, and then a two month slump. MLBTR‘S projection could be low, but say 2/$20 total, maybe with a player option for year three, seems like a reasonable ceiling. I just can’t see teams thinking JBJ is a critical piece. He’s the kind of guy you want to be your 6th or 7th best position player. Not many teams pay that kind of guy $17.5M per...
 
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dynomite

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Seems like a perfect 4th OF for a Beni/JBJ/Verdugo outfield. Speier says $3.1M + 0.6 in incentives.
I know a lot of folks were hoping for Ozuna or a big splash, but frankly I'm just not that concerned about the offense. In 2020 they were 11th in MLB in Runs Scored & 9th in OPS, and that was with JD Martinez's utterly disastrous season, Chavis and Peraza barely hitting over the Mendoza line, and Benintendi's 52 horrible, no good ABs. If Renfroe can help us against LHP and Beni and/or Martinez recover to any degree, that should be good enough to contend.

The real issue, as I think we all agree, remains that the 2020 Red Sox pitchers were historically terrible. Much more interested to see how they right that ship.
 

nvalvo

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If the interest in Semien and Kim is real, I wonder if that means the club isn't all that high on Jeter Downs?
 

Minneapolis Millers

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General thought, but reading through the few signings thus far (e.g., Renfroe, Andriese) and various rumored Sox interests, it looks like Bloom/Cora are interested in getting guys with multi-role flexibility. Swing starters, defensive versatility. Get a 2bman who can also back up short.

Not sure where that would leave Downs. Depends on his development. Could also end up as trade ammo.
 

JBJ_HOF

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If the interest in Semien and Kim is real, I wonder if that means the club isn't all that high on Jeter Downs?
Downs has barely played in Double-A, like 50 at bats, and who knows what a minor league season will look like. Semien seems like a Beltre-like contract if that actually happens, Kim cann play 2B now, and possibly SS in 3 years, or 3B, or 2B, or be a super utility.
 

RedOctober3829

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Downs has barely played in Double-A, like 50 at bats, and who knows what a minor league season will look like. Semien seems like a Beltre-like contract if that actually happens, Kim cann play 2B now, and possibly SS in 3 years, or 3B, or 2B, or be a super utility.
It also could free up Downs to be used in a trade for someone they want.
 

chawson

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Semien has really solid makeup and character, which the team seems to prioritize, and a rigorous pregame prep routine that was foiled by the pandemic. He might have been the last free agent I’d have linked the Sox to a month ago, but I love the idea.

As JBJ_HOF put it above, Semien’s 2020 looks a bit like Beltre’s 2009 — a bad and injured walk year with numbers dragged down by playing in a pitchers’ park. A solid year in Fenway could help him into next winter’s superstar shortstop carousel, or we could sign him to a multi-year deal to play 2B and serve as Bogaerts insurance if X walks or moves off the position.
 

Danny_Darwin

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Semien feels like a Cherington-era move: I get the logic, but it’s a little galaxy-brained, particularly when it would seem the team has more obvious, pressing needs. I assume this leak is coming from his agent, though, so there might not be much to it.
 

chawson

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Semien feels like a Cherington-era move: I get the logic, but it’s a little galaxy-brained, particularly when it would seem the team has more obvious, pressing needs. I assume this leak is coming from his agent, though, so there might not be much to it.
It seems a little stronger than that. Semien’s college roommate is Sox scouting director Paul Toboni. I assume they’re still in touch. Maybe that’s all Gammons means when he says Sox like Semien, but he’s a good fit if a) he’s up to play second and b) the Sox believe they already have their star SS and plan to sit out next year’s bonanza, but are realistic about X’s defensive slide.

It also seems safe to assume the Sox FO are conscious that if JBJ doesn’t re-sign, they may be looking at no African American players on the 25-man roster for the first time in I don’t know when.

I see what you mean with “galaxy-brained” — signing a star free agent and playing him off-position — but everything I’m reading about Semien’s work ethic and athleticism makes me less concerned he’ll turn out like Hanley did.
 

jercra

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Downs has barely played in Double-A, like 50 at bats, and who knows what a minor league season will look like. Semien seems like a Beltre-like contract if that actually happens, Kim cann play 2B now, and possibly SS in 3 years, or 3B, or 2B, or be a super utility.
FWIW, I played golf last weekend and randomly go paired up with the Dodgers director of player development and he had nothing but great things to say about Downs and he thinks he'll be a star. He thought he'd be ready to play for the big club this year. I also got a look at the digital tools available to the Dodgers and it's pretty damn impressive how much they are now able to see about every player in the league at the click of a few buttons.
 

Niastri

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Dodger exec to random guy on the golf course:

I can't believe those suckers had a loser like Downs rated so highly, he'll never get out of double A.

Also FWIW.

The new Sox front office seems to be making good moves, one of which was the big LA trade. Here's hoping Downs lives up to expectations and potential
 

jercra

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Dodger exec to random guy on the golf course:

I can't believe those suckers had a loser like Downs rated so highly, he'll never get out of double A.

Also FWIW.

The new Sox front office seems to be making good moves, one of which was the big LA trade. Here's hoping Downs lives up to expectations and potential
Fair enough. He also had high praise for Bloom.
 

woodros04!

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Aug 7, 2020
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The waiting game on the top free agents has been getting longer and longer the last few years, now with the added economic uncertainty, teams are less sure of what others will be willing to spend. No one wants to sign a free agent and then find out they could have had him for less. Throw in the possibility of the season starting late and the staring contest cold go on all the way through January. We may not know for a while how big the sox are willing to spend on free agents. Tough on those of us baseball nerds that count on the hot stove to get us through the winter.
 

Yo La Tengo

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I was thinking about Tommy La Stella to fill a similar role that Hernandez might fill. Lefty v. righty batter. La Stella gets on base more often, Hernandez has more power. Hernandez can fill in at SS and OF, which seems like a significant plus. Anyone have thoughts about their infield defense?
 

nattysez

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Eyeball test only, but Semien is very inconsistent defensively. I'm sure he's been working on that over the years, but moving him to 2b is not without risk. That said, I think most of his errors were of the throwing variety, so a shorter throw might help him.
 

Rich Garces Belly

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I was thinking about Tommy La Stella to fill a similar role that Hernandez might fill. Lefty v. righty batter. La Stella gets on base more often, Hernandez has more power. Hernandez can fill in at SS and OF, which seems like a significant plus. Anyone have thoughts about their infield defense?
Hernandez has elite defense at second base and good defense everywhere else. He is known as a great teammate and a fan favorite, he would be a perfect depth addition IMO.
 

Red(s)HawksFan

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Eyeball test only, but Semien is very inconsistent defensively. I'm sure he's been working on that over the years, but moving him to 2b is not without risk. That said, I think most of his errors were of the throwing variety, so a shorter throw might help him.
Semien made a TON of errors early in his career (35 in his first full season with Oakland, 18 of which were throws) but he's improved on that since. In the last three years, he's made 11 throwing errors out of 39 total. And that's while playing at short in 374 out of a possible 384 games.

If it's on a pillow contract kind of deal, I could get behind signing Semien. If they end up signing someone to a longer deal, I think I'd rather see Hernandez for his flexibility. I want to see them keep the door open for Downs.