Might as well start talking about 2021

allmanbro

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Between Dahl, Schwarber, Rosario, and Mazara it seems like there is some upside available in the OF from the nontenders. These seem like the kinds of gambles they should be taking right now, assuming they can get them cheap. None seems like the obvious fit, so hopefully there is something Bloom or the scouts see in one of these guys.

Edit: Mazara seems to hit the ball pretty hard and to use all fields - he just hits them into the ground too often. He's still just 25, so I wonder if he could learn to loft some towards the monster. He can't play CF though.
 
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E5 Yaz

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Guess this means Verdugo would move to CF? Rosario would completely butcher RF at Fenway too.

"Sources: #RedSox have some interest in the non-tendered Eddie Rosario, although he likely would need to handle Fenway's difficult RF. Alex Cora, as GM, selected Rosario for Team Puerto Rico at the 2017 @WBCBaseball."
View: https://twitter.com/jonmorosi/status/1334584460071870467
Morosi isn't thinking clearly. Rosario has spent the bulk of his career in LF. Rosario-JBJ/Benintendi-Verdugo would be the outfield, if JBJ moves on and Frodo stays ... or if JBJ stays and Benintendi is traded.

And, of course, both could leave and a new CF added
 

InsideTheParker

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Morosi isn't thinking clearly. Rosario has spent the bulk of his career in LF. Rosario-JBJ/Benintendi-Verdugo would be the outfield, if JBJ moves on and Frodo stays ... or if JBJ stays and Benintendi is traded.

And, of course, both could leave and a new CF added
Given what's been suggested so far, a JBJ-less Red Sox will be a team I have only a passing interest in. Not that the Sox care, as I don't actually go to the games.
 

DeadlySplitter

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I feel like Beni is gone if you get Rosario. Beni is a giant red flag in CF at the moment.

You don't mess around with RF in Fenway, you need a good defender there on a contender, and Verdugo is the only plus outfielder defender on the roster at the moment.
 

E5 Yaz

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I feel like Beni is gone if you get Rosario. Beni is a giant red flag in CF at the moment.

You don't mess around with RF in Fenway, you need a good defender there on a contender, and Verdugo is the only plus outfielder defender on the roster at the moment.
Exactly ... although Beni has a better arm than either Lewis or Ellsbury.

JBJ>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>Bnintendi>Lewis>Damon>Dravecky>Coco>Ellsbury
 

Minneapolis Millers

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Rosario has a good clubhouse rep. High energy. Solid power. Still young. He actually has a fairly broad skills/tools mix, but he is so damned undisciplined - batting, running, fielding - he would drive us all bonkers.
 

chawson

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David Dahl was just non-tendered by Colorado.

He's a CF/RF who was fantastic (in Coors) in 2018 (.859 OPS, 110 wRC+) and 2019 (.877 OPS, 110 wRC+), but had a 2020 season kind of like Benintendi's: an injury-filled 99 PA of .183/.222/.247. So-so defender. He's supposed to be healthy.

He's only 26. We need an OF, probably. Seems interesting.

edited to add: he's Arb1, and was expected to earn less than $3m. .
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).
 

nvalvo

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As I've been gaming out the roster in my head, so much depends on what we're going to get going forward out of JDM and Benintendi, and I guess on what the FO anticipates we're going to get from them.

If those guys rebound to the neighborhood of their career trajectories, this could be a very good offense in a hurry. Let's assume Benintendi can get back to (or improve on) his .280/.350/.440 ways and JDM can get back to slugging .550. Career norms, in other words. A 1-5 lineup that went something like Verdugo, Benintendi, Bogaerts, Devers, JDM would score a ton of runs. Benintendi and Verdugo are both LHH with .350ish career OBPs, small/no platoon splits, good contact skills, and moderate pop. Put those guys in front of a Bogaerts-Devers-JDM 3-5, and it would put a ton of baserunners on for the high-SLG, high-K% guys we might see in the 6-8 spots like Dalbec, Arroyo, and Chavis.

The question of Rosario — nice player! — is a good example of this. You could imagine a Verdugo-Benintendi-Rosario outfield being good on both sides of the ball, maybe with a glove-first CF like Almora as the fourth OF. Rosario slots in behind Martinez, and we have a 3-6 all of whom have posted at least one 30+ HR season, and then Bobby Dalbec and Arroyo (or whomever we find to man second base). That would be a deep, powerful lineup:

RF Verdugo L
CF Benintendi L
SS Bogaerts R
3B Devers L
DH Martinez R
LF Rosario L
1B Dalbec R
2B Arroyo R
C Vazquez

C Plawecki R
UT Muñoz R
UT Lin L
Possibly another 1B/LF/DH type (or C/1B) for the bench, ideally someone who hits LH, who can spell JDM, Dalbec, and/or the catchers against tough RHP.

But if Benintendi is in fact in free fall, you could also imagine a ton of downside, both defensively and offensively. You can't really trade him, at least not for any kind of return, until he shows something positive. Likewise, if Martinez still looks like 2020 Martinez, then he's a positionless slugger with a sub-.700 OPS and an untradeable contract — yikes. And if either guy is here, but playing terribly, our roster suddenly makes a lot less sense.
 

nattysez

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Schwarber would've been a perfect fit if JDM had opted out. But he didn't. You can't have two no-field, hopefully-hit guys on the roster.

I'm infatuated with Puig if he's healthy and would come relatively cheap, but I don't think those can both be true.
 

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I don’t know how much the team really wants to spend this offseason or how it wants to allocate its disposable $$$, but if they don’t bring JBJ back and are looking for a cost-effective corner OF, and are willing to take on a LHH, what about Brantley? How much is he going to get? He’s pretty much a LF these days, who would benefit from DHing on a periodic basis, so most teams would be buying him for his bat, which has been really consistent for the past few years. He’d really lengthen out lineup. But honestly, as much as I like him, I’m with Chawson. I don’t see how another LHH corner OF fits well on the team, unless Beni’s getting moved, which would be selling low.

Big picture, I’d like them to sign Kluber on an incentive-laden deal. Sign a reliable late game RP. And sign a RH utility guy who could start In the OF against LHPs and/or start at 2d base (Profar?), or sign a RHH CF. That’s all likely doable for around $20M. I’d also like them to look at trading for someone’s expensive player while getting a prospect for their trouble. Fill a hole and stock the farm, as Rosenthal/The Athletic suggested earlier this week.
 

Danny_Darwin

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The guy I'm most interested in now is Bradley - Archie, that is. Anyone know the story with that nontender? He's been a consistently good reliever.
 

sean1562

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The guy I'm most interested in now is Bradley - Archie, that is. Anyone know the story with that nontender? He's been a consistently good reliever.
Really only makes sense if you think the Reds got slammed by COVID and are pressed for cash. They are sitting at $117 mil for payroll next year which does seem to be high for that market.
 

allmanbro

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As I've been gaming out the roster in my head, so much depends on what we're going to get going forward out of JDM and Benintendi, and I guess on what the FO anticipates we're going to get from them.
This seems right to me - and it's one reason I am warming up to the idea of an opportunistic pickup of a guy like Rosario (or Mazara I mentioned above), and pushing Beni into center for 2021. Then you have JDM, Rosario, and Beni, who all have upside but also risk. If all three hit next year, then great. You can either keep Beni in center longer term or flip one of these three for pitching and find a CF elsewhere. If only two hit, then you drop the weakest and grab a CF for 2022. If one or none hit, then the 2021 team was in trouble anyway, and Rosario isn't going to stop any longer term moves.
 

jon abbey

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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.
FWIW, for years the conventional wisdom was to look at Rockies' hitters' road numbers to try to get a better sense of how they'd perform if acquired by another team, but in recent years there has been very clear research that Rockies' hitters' road numbers are artificially low because it is so hard to adapt to the ball moving differently in their home and road games. Mike Petriello has written about this a ton, mostly recently two weeks ago regarding Arenado, that piece contains links to the older articles also:

https://www.mlb.com/news/nolan-arenado-coors-field-effect-analysis
 

woodros04!

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Adam Duvall is another interesting non-tender. He or Rosario might be good left field solutions that won't be top dollar. I think Benintendi could well get a shot at Center Field. Despite some of the scouts souring a bit on him. His trade value has lowered and I think that will tempt them to give it a shot. The have to save some money to spend on pitching.
 

nvalvo

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This seems right to me - and it's one reason I am warming up to the idea of an opportunistic pickup of a guy like Rosario (or Mazara I mentioned above), and pushing Beni into center for 2021. Then you have JDM, Rosario, and Beni, who all have upside but also risk. If all three hit next year, then great. You can either keep Beni in center longer term or flip one of these three for pitching and find a CF elsewhere. If only two hit, then you drop the weakest and grab a CF for 2022. If one or none hit, then the 2021 team was in trouble anyway, and Rosario isn't going to stop any longer term moves.
This is a smart way to approach this, especially because we should know a lot more in a year about whether Jarren Duran is a real prospect. If JD Martinez hits even close to his 2014-19 self in 2021, his final 2022 season (or even half-season/playoff run) has positive trade value at $19m, potentially a lot of value if subsidized. That is especially true if the NL goes DH.

Agree primary focus was opening a spot on 40 man roster. Suspect more to follow.
I know it was rookie league, but you love to see an age-appropriate, plus-glove shortstop post a 1.000 OPS at any level. He hit alright in college, too. And betting on Aybar's stuff makes sense for the Rockies. Good trade.
 

A Bad Man

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FWIW, for years the conventional wisdom was to look at Rockies' hitters' road numbers to try to get a better sense of how they'd perform if acquired by another team, but in recent years there has been very clear research that Rockies' hitters' road numbers are artificially low because it is so hard to adapt to the ball moving differently in their home and road games. Mike Petriello has written about this a ton, mostly recently two weeks ago regarding Arenado, that piece contains links to the older articles also:

https://www.mlb.com/news/nolan-arenado-coors-field-effect-analysis
This is quality stuff, thank you.
 

A Bad Man

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This is a smart way to approach this, especially because we should know a lot more in a year about whether Jarren Duran is a real prospect. If JD Martinez hits even close to his 2014-19 self in 2021, his final 2022 season (or even half-season/playoff run) has positive trade value at $19m, potentially a lot of value if subsidized. That is especially true if the NL goes DH.
Yes, with Duran and eventually Jimenez, it would seem to make sense to utilize Beni's ability to play a passable center. I don't know how much of a liability this would be, but given where the team is at in its rebuild, it could be a good move. It could also help build Beni's value. The market seems very good for LF/DH mashers. We'd need a fourth OF who could cover center.
 

A Bad Man

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Yes, with Duran and eventually Jimenez, it would seem to make sense to utilize Beni's ability to play a passable center. I don't know how much of a liability this would be, but given where the team is at in its rebuild, it could be a good move. It could also help build Beni's value. The market seems very good for LF/DH mashers. We'd need a fourth OF who could cover center.
Nov. 12 Bradford WEEI piece on Duran and Bloom's thoughts.
 

Sandy Leon Trotsky

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I'm skeptical about Duran and think he's getting some attention to inflate his trade value... but Jimenez I think is the real deal.
 

chawson

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FWIW, for years the conventional wisdom was to look at Rockies' hitters' road numbers to try to get a better sense of how they'd perform if acquired by another team, but in recent years there has been very clear research that Rockies' hitters' road numbers are artificially low because it is so hard to adapt to the ball moving differently in their home and road games. Mike Petriello has written about this a ton, mostly recently two weeks ago regarding Arenado, that piece contains links to the older articles also:

https://www.mlb.com/news/nolan-arenado-coors-field-effect-analysis
Ah yes, the Iannetta Effect. Good reminder, thanks. I suspect that applies to Dahl here — his K rate is about 50% higher away from Coors in his last two full seasons.

Yes, with Duran and eventually Jimenez, it would seem to make sense to utilize Beni's ability to play a passable center. I don't know how much of a liability this would be, but given where the team is at in its rebuild, it could be a good move. It could also help build Beni's value. The market seems very good for LF/DH mashers. We'd need a fourth OF who could cover center.
I'm not wild about this idea given Beni's declines in defense and foot speed. The downgrade from JBJ to Beni would seem to add a lot of XBH frustration (and innings) to our already beleaguered pitching staff. I can squint and see it if Bloom is dead set on signing Ozuna to play left (and maybe Almora as a 4th OF), but the bad outfield defense would likely negate the value from Ozuna's bat. I suppose if Beni can pull it off and rebound at the plate, it adds to his trade value next winter, but I'm not sure GMs will give up much for one year of a $8-9M outfielder with a spotty history.
 

A Bad Man

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Ah yes, the Iannetta Effect. Good reminder, thanks. I suspect that applies to Dahl here — his K rate is about 50% higher away from Coors in his last two full seasons.



I'm not wild about this idea given Beni's declines in defense and foot speed. The downgrade from JBJ to Beni would seem to add a lot of XBH frustration (and innings) to our already beleaguered pitching staff. I can squint and see it if Bloom is dead set on signing Ozuna to play left (and maybe Almora as a 4th OF), but the bad outfield defense would likely negate the value from Ozuna's bat. I suppose if Beni can pull it off and rebound at the plate, it adds to his trade value next winter, but I'm not sure GMs will give up much for one year of a $8-9M outfielder with a spotty history.
I think you are correct here. I also wonder if playing CF would take Beni out of his comfort zone and make it harder for his bat to rebound. Reading the Bradford piece, it seems Bloom is hesitant to put Beni in CF.

What about Verdugo in center? He was a very average CF in 2019, playing to 0 Outs Above Average per Statcast. JBJ only played to 6 OAA, FWIW.
 

NJ_Sox_Fan

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Dahl seems like someone they clearly should go after. Injury issues for sure, but a great bat.
 

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What about Verdugo in center? He was a very average CF in 2019, playing to 0 Outs Above Average per Statcast. JBJ only played to 6 OAA, FWIW.
Verdugo in center could work, but that still leaves a hole in right, and you really need a CF-caliber defender in right field at Fenway, so you're still in the same boat as before.

Seems like option one should be re-signing JBJ. Option two, given the market, would be to sign one of these bat-first guys for LF and move Benintendi to CF. Option three would be to find a new center fielder altogether. Ideally, they probably should do one of the first two as well as the third, so they have some depth.
 

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What do people know about this guy - Haruki Nishikawa - who was just posted? MLBTR describes him as Ben Revere with OBP. Posting fee of a likely 20% wouldn’t necessarily be cost prohibitive, depending on the actual contract. He’s a LHH, so maybe not ideal...
 

The Gray Eagle

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Almora and Nishikawa could be a cheap, defense-first CF platoon.
Either should be easy to move on from if Benitendi proved he could play CF, or if Duran was ready to get a shot.
 

Heating up in the bullpen

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Almora and Nishikawa could be a cheap, defense-first CF platoon.
Either should be easy to move on from if Benitendi proved he could play CF, or if Duran was ready to get a shot.
Benintendi has already proven he can't play CF. In 2017, he played 241 innings in center with a -17 Total Zone rating and -10 DRS. In 2018, he played 191 innings in center with a -38 in both numbers. In 2019 he played 63 innings in center, with a -38 Total Zone and strangely a +19 DRS. Small sample sizes disclaimer for all these numbers of course, except the innings played. By 2019, Beni was just an emergency CF (63 innings = 7 games). He would absolutely kill a pitching staff if given the CF job for a season. I'm in favor of bringing back JBJ.
 

Sandy Leon Trotsky

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Benintendi has already proven he can't play CF. In 2017, he played 241 innings in center with a -17 Total Zone rating and -10 DRS. In 2018, he played 191 innings in center with a -38 in both numbers. In 2019 he played 63 innings in center, with a -38 Total Zone and strangely a +19 DRS. Small sample sizes disclaimer for all these numbers of course, except the innings played. By 2019, Beni was just an emergency CF (63 innings = 7 games). He would absolutely kill a pitching staff if given the CF job for a season. I'm in favor of bringing back JBJ.
I don't trust defensive stats in general.... and even more so in small samples.... extracted from a guy that mostly played a different position. I suspect ANY outfielder that has consistency at any position would improve. And Beni is athletic and young. I'm not saying he'll be great there (or even good), but I don't trust the stats at this point at all.
 

thestardawg

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I don't trust defensive stats in general.... and even more so in small samples.... extracted from a guy that mostly played a different position. I suspect ANY outfielder that has consistency at any position would improve. And Beni is athletic and young. I'm not saying he'll be great there (or even good), but I don't trust the stats at this point at all.
The problem is he is NOT athletic anymore. Not in the sense a CF needs to be. Someone detailed his steep decline in sprint speed earlier. He does not appear to be an especially instinctive fielder.

While JBJ certainly has had his speed declined as well, he appears to have great defensive instincts and his work is generally regarded as very good. That's not the case for Beni.
 

Yo La Tengo

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After 20 minutes of research, I'm intrigued by the idea of the Sox signing Tomoyuki Sugano. Top starting pitcher in Japan, 31 years old.

He pitched well against the US in the 2017 WBC. Here is some analysis following that game:

Much of Sugano's success Tuesday could be attributed to the elite spin he generated on his pitches. If you took the average spin rates of Sugano's four-seam fastball and curveball, he would rank among the 2016 MLB leaders in both, according to Statcast™. The righty's four-seam fastball measured in a 2,513 revolutions per minute, similar to Cody Allen and Yu Darvish's from a year ago. Fastballs with high spin rates tend to result in more strikeouts and playable fly balls.
Statcast™ measured Sugano curve at an average of 2,859 rpm and a high of 3,079 rpm. In 2016, only five pitchers who threw at least 200 tracked curveballs had a higher average spin rate.

Here's some condensed highlights... he looks good:

View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XTHxFhMl9u8
 

Heating up in the bullpen

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I don't trust defensive stats in general.... and even more so in small samples.... extracted from a guy that mostly played a different position. I suspect ANY outfielder that has consistency at any position would improve. And Beni is athletic and young. I'm not saying he'll be great there (or even good), but I don't trust the stats at this point at all.
I don’t trust those stats either, on their own. But they do confirm what I saw watching him play center (that he wasn’t good). And my larger point was that the Sox saw him playing center and chose to give him less and less time there.
 

Sandy Leon Trotsky

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I don’t trust those stats either, on their own. But they do confirm what I saw watching him play center (that he wasn’t good). And my larger point was that the Sox saw him playing center and chose to give him less and less time there.
Well when you've got JBJ there, why would you put Beni out there more?
Responding to @thestardawg a few posts up regarding athleticism (or lack thereof) with him. While his speed numbers on the base path have dropped dramatically, I do mean athletic in the sense that he's not a lumbering big bodied slugger type. He did bulk up but he has more of an athlete body rather than a slugger. Of course that doesn't matter much, but with training he'd be able to become more agile again pretty quickly while someone like Devers or Dalbec would have a much harder time transitioning to a speedier, athletic type.
 

Danny_Darwin

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Anyone know if Dahl is a credible defender in CF? He’s played 71 games there (63 starts) spread out over his whole career. If he can handle getting the bulk of his playing time there, then I’d rather have him than any of the other options. I don’t really get the logic behind signing someone who’d be strictly LF-only in Fenway unless the plan is to find a taker for AB (in a “challenge trade” scenario?), and even that still wouldn’t solve the hole in CF.

EDIT: Sorry for referring to the incumbent LF by his initials, I didn’t feel like typing the whole thing out.
 
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CarolinaBeerGuy

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ehaz

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After 20 minutes of research, I'm intrigued by the idea of the Sox signing Tomoyuki Sugano. Top starting pitcher in Japan, 31 years old.

He pitched well against the US in the 2017 WBC. Here is some analysis following that game:

Much of Sugano's success Tuesday could be attributed to the elite spin he generated on his pitches. If you took the average spin rates of Sugano's four-seam fastball and curveball, he would rank among the 2016 MLB leaders in both, according to Statcast™. The righty's four-seam fastball measured in a 2,513 revolutions per minute, similar to Cody Allen and Yu Darvish's from a year ago. Fastballs with high spin rates tend to result in more strikeouts and playable fly balls.
Statcast™ measured Sugano curve at an average of 2,859 rpm and a high of 3,079 rpm. In 2016, only five pitchers who threw at least 200 tracked curveballs had a higher average spin rate.

Here's some condensed highlights... he looks good:

View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XTHxFhMl9u8
I love the Sugano idea. There’s certainly some smoke that the Red Sox are going to aggressively pursue him as well (I think Morosi confirmed this).

https://theathletic.com/2248205/2020/12/08/tomoyuki-sugano-japan-red-sox/
His numbers in NPB are very comparable to Tanaka and Maeda. Obviously, Tanaka threw a little harder and was ~5 years younger, but he’s easily the most established pitcher in NPB to come since then and his 2020 stats indicate he is still at the top of his game.

Chart from Eno Sarris/The Athletic:
36940

One thing I don’t really buy is MLBTR’s projected contract (mentioned in the Athletic article). 2 years at $12 M per? Seems kind of low, I expect he’d surpass that in a year where you’ve got Bauer and a whole lot of question marks left on the market.

But if he’s really that cheap, sign me up. $12M for an innings eater with Tanaka/Maeda upside is a wise use of payroll for a team whose rotation is led by the durable Nathan Eovaldi and a guy who had myocarditis.
 
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woodros04!

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If they are serious about contending in 2021, I like getting one of the non-tendered outfielders, specifically because there are good bats that you won't have to pay top dollar for. Meanwhile, I don't see any way around spending significant money on pitching. 3 starters that are health risks followed by 2 that have potential, but are unproven are too many risks. 1 if not 2 starters are needed, one of whom should be an innings eater, not to mention that the bullpen needs help as well. A lot to ask and they might not want to spend the money to do all of that, but I can't imagine them being a contender otherwise.