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YTF

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I’m sorry but what makes you think this guy is a potential ace? He had one full season where he was a borderline top 25 pitcher, other than that has been mediocre to bad, and that wasn’t a small sample size of bad pitching. Pitching in Miami and pitching in the AL East are completely different things. On a playoff team this is a #3 starter at best. Even on our pitching staff I would still put him behind a healthy Sale and Bello.
FWIW, pitching in Miami is pitching in the NL East. Not exactly a walk in the park during Luzardo's time in Miami.
 

chawson

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People are really glossing over the fact that “trading hitting prospects for MLB pitching” is virtually impossible when you have no pitching prospects to include and the prospects you’re offering are not “Jackson Holliday” level of ranking AND high minors production.
I think you’re right, and I think it could be a pretty new phenomenon.

It’s always seemed to me like a sound strategy, given our ballpark, for the Red Sox to trade hitting for pitching. We can more easily sign hitters that can replicate production of ones we trade away.

But pitchers across the league get hurt a lot more frequently than they did a decade or two ago, now that pitchers are throwing at max effort all the time. Now, every team is desperate for pitching, so the elite productive ones are even more valuable.
 

EyeBob

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While I totally get your thought process here, I’m more than fine passing on someone like Lugo. He’s absolutely a fine piece to have and the contract made sense. I just really don’t believe having another pitcher that we really don’t know of he can be a reliable SP or not really helps the team.

The Red Sox already have 2 guys like that - Crawford, Houck, plus a 4th pitcher that hasn’t made more than 20 starts in nearly half a decade (Sale). Adding another “error bars” pitcher doesn’t help matters in my opinion. They need two pitchers that can reasonably be projected for 30 starts (or about 165ip) and I don’t think Lugo fits there, because we have 2 similar pitchers and a 3rd that it would be a shock to get through 150ip.

I’d actually rather extend Pivetta around that amount (3/$45m). He was more valuable than Lugo last year (2.4 bWAR vs 1.8bWAR) and is 4 years younger. I really don’t get the distaste for Pivetta on this board. He’s a perfectly serviceable 4/5 starter and has shown to be a legit playoff weapon from the bullpen. I’m more confident in Pivetta putting up over 150ip of decent pitching than literally anyone in the organization outside of Bello.

Can Pivetta be improved upon - yes, of course - but he’s absolutely decent and can be reasonably depended on to give 150ip of average to slightly above average pitching. One of two players in the entire organization I am confident in projecting those numbers for.
Totally agree.
 

kazuneko

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You’re clearly overvaluing Luzardo who has been a mostly Triple A pitcher his entire career until last season.
Luzardo has upper-90s gas, and one the best sliders in baseball and he put up a 3.40 FIP in his last two seasons (40 starts/ 279 innings); . His K/9 during that period is 10.58/9 innings, better than anyone 26 or younger other than Spencer Strider (who led the majors). Prior to that he had arm trouble, and eventually Tommy John surgery. He's a stud with a semi-scary injury history...
 

Big Papi's Mango Salsa

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I think you’re right, and I think it could be a pretty new phenomenon.

It’s always seemed to me like a sound strategy, given our ballpark, for the Red Sox to trade hitting for pitching. We can more easily sign hitters that can replicate production of ones we trade away.

But pitchers across the league get hurt a lot more frequently than they did a decade or two ago, now that pitchers are throwing at max effort all the time. Now, every team is desperate for pitching, so the elite productive ones are even more valuable.
I mean, is it though (new)?

When I think of all the big Sox deals to acquire high level SPs, they literally always needed pitching going back. Pedro cost Pavano, who I recall being the top prospect in the game. Schilling I believe cost two of our “better” young pitchers (Fossum and DeLaRosa plus another pitcher in Walter). Beckett cost Hanley and ASanchez. Pomeranz cost Espinoza (ish a top 40 prospect at the time). Sale cost Moncada and Kopech. Eovaldi cost Beeks. Even Kimbrel cost Logan Allen.

I think it was just another really bad market misread on the part of the organization, among a litany of bad market misreads in the past 5 years or so.

They focused almost exclusively on hitting (at least in terms of trying to acquire high level pitching at any level and used a complete “throw enough crap against the wall and hope some of it sticks” approach at all levels). Now its predictably come back to bite them for two seasons and makes trading for pitching basically impossible.

They have really two choices. Spend on it in free agency and hope you hit to have success. Not spend on it in free agency and face almost certain failure (because they have no wave of pitching in the minors to help, via additions to the MLB roster or as free agents.)

Breslow is in a very tough spot having to build not only 2/5 (more likely 3/5 of an MLB rotation) but 5/5 of one in AAA and 4/5 of one in AA based on what was in the organization the day of his hire.
 

chawson

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Interesting with Valdez and Luzardo — both great pitchers — rumored to be shopped that each had a considerable slide in the “third time through the order” department this year.

Here’s how opposing batters fared (by expected wOBA) the first, second, and third times through the lineup in 2023.

Valdez
2019 - .279
2020 - .278
2021 - .312
2022 - .284
2023 - .365

Luzardo
2020 - .367
2021 - .347
2022 - .332
2023 - .351

The league average in 2023 is .344. So by this metric, hitters facing Valdez and Luzardo the third time through the lineup in 2023 fared better than league average.
 

kazuneko

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Yup. Boston doesn‘t have the pitching prospects to get someone like Luzardo with “just prospects”. They probably don’t have the prospects to land even the next tier down.
Well, one interesting part of this trade rumor is that Miami was reportedly looking at sending Luzardo to KC for a young first baseman (Pasquantino), not pitching prospects, and at least one source suggested (though it wasn't as clear elsewhere) that KC was the one to back out. So potentially Miami is one team that might trade a young pitcher with the primary return being young hitting. Since Casas is probably more valuable than Pasquatino, the Sox might also be able to pick up extra pieces as well.
Obviously, the risk of trading Casas is that he becomes something like the 1b equivalent of Juan Soto (MVP bat with a bad glove), but how likely is that? He looked that good in July but it seems more likely that he ends up (and I would think this is a reasonably optimistic estimate) something more similar to how he looked in his minor league career (374 OBP / 859 OPS). That's a damn good player, but it's essentially a LH equivalent of Rhys Hoskins, who actually looked a lot better than that (with the bat) in his first season (1014 OPS).
I guess my point is that 1b/DH types that can give you an .850 OPS might be more replaceable through lower risk contracts to aging players than ace talent starting pitchers. I mean, who is the Rhys Hoskins of the pitching market this season? Seth Lugo, maybe? In other words, signing a 30-year old Rhys Hoskins to fulfill that function (eventually, replacing him with someone else) is much easier than finding a pitcher of any age that would be the pitching equivalent of Luzardo: i.e a starter with ace caliber potential. Also, with injury risk considered, wouldn't you rather rely on younger (but somewhat established) pitching and older hitters, than younger hitters and the type of older starters that you can get on low risk deals? In other words, isn't it more likely that Rhys Hoskins is going to give you Casas production than Seth Lugo is going to give you Luzardo production? I think this is a pretty arguable case, especially when you are talking about a player like Casas who brings nothing to the team other than his bat (i.e. a 1b/DH type).
 
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jwbasham84

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Or since Casas is more valuable than Pasquatino perhaps we could get Luzardo for something less.... maybe Yorke+. Why "overpay" with Casas unless they blow us away with other pieces. If the rumor is true they set a low price, let's not raise it for them...
 

kazuneko

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Or since Casas is more valuable than Pasquatino perhaps we could get Luzardo for something less.... maybe Yorke+. Why "overpay" with Casas unless they blow us away with other pieces. If the rumor is true they set a low price, let's not raise it for them...
I think even Duran/Yorke doesn’t get it done (as was previously discussed) but obviously you don’t give up Casas if that type of offer attracts them. Miami appears to be looking for a young 1B who has already shown an ability to hit at the major league level (at least that’s what Pasquatino is).
 

nighthob

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PitcherList (one of the best sites re: pitching) has Luzardo as the 23rd best SP in baseball.

Whatever the A’s gave up in a bad trade has zero bearing on Luzardo’s current value.
Statistically, per WARP, Luzardo is behind Bello, who many here think is a mid rotation starter at best. Luzardo is also older than Bello. This doesn’t mean that I dislike him, just that if you’re rating the one as an ace,you really need to look at the guy that’s better in the same light.
 

burstnbloom

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Luzardo has upper-90s gas, and one the best sliders in baseball and he put up a 3.40 FIP in his last two seasons (40 starts/ 279 innings); . His K/9 during that period is 10.58/9 innings, better than anyone 26 or younger other than Spencer Strider (who led the majors). Prior to that he had arm trouble, and eventually Tommy John surgery. He's a stud with a semi-scary injury history...
Before I write the rest of my post, I mostly agree with you. Luzardo had a great season and he has an elite fastball. There aren't many assets in the Red Sox org that wouldn't be worth considering moving for a player like that.

That said, he's got a pretty strange profile. He misses a lot of bats. mostly because his fastball has elite run. That said, I think you're overrating his secondary stuff and he actually has a somewhat average batted ball profile. He gets guys to swing and miss but when he gets hit, he gets barrelled a lot more often than you'd expect. I think he's likely to continue to get above average results because that fastball is something else, but unless something changes with how hard he gets rocked when he misses, it lowers his ceiling. I'd love to have him but I'd rather spend the elite assets on someone with a profile that isn't so curious.
 

Rich Garces Belly

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What if the Sox were willing to trade Casas? Looks like KC first baseman Vinnie Pasquantino was rumored to be going to Miami? Wouldn’t they much prefer Casas?
It would be Casas for Luzardo, which you’d then follow up with by signing Chapman to play 3b. Devers switches to 1b where his chronic errant throw problem is less of a concern.
Dramatic improvement to pitching, dramatic improvement to fielding, and though hitting goes down you have a more balanced lineup as Chapman’s RH bat replaces Casas’s LH bat.
I’m wondering if the Mariners miss out on Bellinger and whoever else they are targeting to improve their lineup if they would accept a trade centered around Casas for Gilbert.

I like the idea of following that up by signing Chapman but I’ll add trading for Drury to that, that would turn their infield defense from a liability to a strength while also balancing out the lineup.

A Stroman and YY signings would make them a serious threat to compete for a title IMO but they would most likely need to add an impact bat before the deadline.
 

simplicio

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I think a team signing Chapman is likely to regret it really quickly. He had a scorching April this year that masked a poor season.
April: .384 avg, 1.152 OPS, 216 WRC+, .485 BABIP
May-Sept: .205 avg, .659 OPS, 84 WRC+, .276 BABIP

He's still a good defender (DRS says very good), but he costs a QO pick and MLBTR projects him getting 6/$150m. I'm just not interested in him at that price.
 

Murderer's Crow

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How much do people really want Yamamoto because they think he is worth the money, and how much is it because you just really want the Sox to potentially land an ace?

I'm all for spending big money and the Sox need to do something to help their pitching, but someone else can pay Yamamoto that money.
I'm late to reply to this but if anything has become clear to since the new CBA, it's that a lot of teams have a lot more money to spend than we would have believed. The fact that it isn't just the top 3 or 4 payroll teams seriously bidding on YY should tell fans a lot. This leads me to a place of really not caring about the contracts so long as those players aren't jamming up spots that other, more productive, players could replace them with. If YY sucks, you're not screwed. If Stanton keeps getting hurt, we can't really give that spot to someone else unless we truly believe he's done. So, I guess, I'd much rather overpay for a pitcher if all we're talking about is payroll.
 

sezwho

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It does seem disheartening that Y hasn't budged from LA. Any chance of an upcoming visit East seems contradicted by the Sox statement that they expect a decision within a week. All I know is, this process is making a nervous wreck out of me, and I have nothing to do with the outcome.
Just wanted to reflect on this take, believe others shared as well. I was admittedly dismissive here, not of the Sox genuine intent, but of YY needing to go to the cities themselves as a key milestone.

This clearly is an important step, and I’m glad he’s taking it. Fwiw - I should’ve known better since I didn’t actually visit Philadelphia before I went to college there in the 80s because I was from Maine and basically thought every city was Harvard Square.

Spoilers: they’re not.
 

kazuneko

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I’m wondering if the Mariners miss out on Bellinger and whoever else they are targeting to improve their lineup if they would accept a trade centered around Casas for Gilbert.

I like the idea of following that up by signing Chapman but I’ll add trading for Drury to that, that would turn their infield defense from a liability to a strength while also balancing out the lineup.

A Stroman and YY signings would make them a serious threat to compete for a title IMO but they would most likely need to add an impact bat before the deadline.
Yeah, I was focused on Luzardo because it seems pretty clear that he’s available and that Casas might be exactly the type of player Miami is looking for in return. But ideally you’d prefer someone with less injury risk -like Gilbert- though Seattle is reportedly not interested in trading any of its young pitching.
That said, I think you’re right that there is probably some chance that their position could change if/when they don’t land an impact bat in free agency. Similarly I think the Sox might be more willing to consider moving a player like Casas if/when they fail to land a top of the rotation free agent starter..
And yeah, completely agree on Drury. He should be a primary target..
 

JCizzle

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Yeah, I was focused on Luzardo because it seems pretty clear that he’s available and that Casas might be exactly the type of player Miami is looking for in return. But ideally you’d prefer someone with less injury risk -like Gilbert- though Seattle is reportedly not interested in trading any of its young pitching.
That said, I think you’re right that there is probably some chance that their position could change if/when they don’t land an impact bat in free agency. Similarly I think the Sox might be more willing to consider moving a player like Casas if/when they fail to land a top of the rotation free agent starter..
And yeah, completely agree on Drury. He should be a primary target..
Excuse the brain fog, but doesn't this create another huge gap for the Sox? Having an impact bat like Casas seems critical for the Sox next year. Am I blanking on a 1B minor league talent that could replace that contribution or is does this scenario involve shuffling with Devers going to first, etc.?
 

Petagine in a Bottle

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Excuse the brain fog, but doesn't this create another huge gap for the Sox? Having an impact bat like Casas seems critical for the Sox next year. Am I blanking on a 1B minor league talent that could replace that contribution or is does this scenario involve shuffling with Devers going to first, etc.?
I think the idea is that they would sign Hoskins or Chapman, moving Devers to first in the latter scenario.
 

Sandy Leon Trotsky

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Seems like the position Milwaukee is in right now makes them the best trade partner for the Sox. Woodruff is done for them, Adames and Burnes have one year left and are expensive. They need farm depth to mature in 2-3 years so a guy like Casas wouldn’t make sense but a bunch of guys like Yorke, Bleis, Romero, Winkleman would.
 

E5 Yaz

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Seems like the position Milwaukee is in right now makes them the best trade partner for the Sox. Woodruff is done for them, Adames and Burnes have one year left and are expensive.
I have not seen verification of this, but Macadam wrote this week something very odd about FA2B

... the Red Sox have sworn off, having made it known that they’re out on dealing for players nearing free agency (including Dylan Cease, Shane Bieber, Corbin Burnes).
https://www.masslive.com/redsox/2023/12/mlb-notebook-in-need-of-lineup-balance-red-sox-could-turn-to-trevor-story.html
 

brandonchristensen

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Excuse the brain fog, but doesn't this create another huge gap for the Sox? Having an impact bat like Casas seems critical for the Sox next year. Am I blanking on a 1B minor league talent that could replace that contribution or is does this scenario involve shuffling with Devers going to first, etc.?
I absolutely hate the idea of trading Casas. On a team that has basically no continuity - he’s an early favorite of mine and was a legit stud Last year.
 

cantor44

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Excuse the brain fog, but doesn't this create another huge gap for the Sox? Having an impact bat like Casas seems critical for the Sox next year. Am I blanking on a 1B minor league talent that could replace that contribution or is does this scenario involve shuffling with Devers going to first, etc.?
Yeah, I mean, with Casas' historical post all-star performance - (and yes, 54 odd games is a small sample, though he actually was very good for the final 4 months of the season), his age, how he projects, his deep study of the art and science of hitting, I think you gotta stick with him. He has the chance to be Freemanesque as a hitter.

I maybe would rather, if the team was really radically restructuring shit - in a series of moves - traded for Soto, sign Chapman, and then traded Devers for pitching ...(that is between Devers and Casas, I'm partial to the latter, especially given Devers severe regression on D last year). Whatever, that's baseball card fantasy shit I suppose.

The point is: Casas may well be the team's best hitter for the next 10 years. I'd hang on to him.
 

BigSoxFan

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Yeah, I mean, with Casas' historical post all-star performance - (and yes, 54 odd games is a small sample, though he actually was very good for the final 4 months of the season), his age, how he projects, his deep study of the art and science of hitting, I think you gotta stick with him. He has the chance to be Freemanesque as a hitter.

I maybe would rather, if the team was really radically restructuring shit - in a series of moves - traded for Soto, sign Chapman, and then traded Devers for pitching ...(that is between Devers and Casas, I'm partial to the latter, especially given Devers severe regression on D last year). Whatever, that's baseball card fantasy shit I suppose.

The point is: Casas may well be the team's best hitter for the next 10 years. I'd hang on to him.
I was thinking more a young Matt Olson as a comp given the power strokes. Don’t ever see Casas becoming a .300 hitter like Freeman but could be a regular .260-.270 hitter with tons of bombs every year. Agree that you don’t deal him unless you’re getting a certifiable stud in return. Jesus Luzardo is not that guy for me.
 

chrisfont9

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Jimbodandy

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I was thinking more a young Matt Olson as a comp given the power strokes. Don’t ever see Casas becoming a .300 hitter like Freeman but could be a regular .260-.270 hitter with tons of bombs every year. Agree that you don’t deal him unless you’re getting a certifiable stud in return. Jesus Luzardo is not that guy for me.
His second half numbers were .414/.617/1.031. Who gives a shit whether he bats .270 or .300? Is it 1970 again?
 

BigSoxFan

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His second half numbers were .414/.617/1.031. Who gives a shit whether he bats .270 or .300? Is it 1970 again?
Do you need a hug or something? I was saying that I don’t see the same similarities in their batting profile and offered up another one. That’s it. Never once did I say I care about the distinction between .270 or .300.
 

Sandy Leon Trotsky

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Do you need a hug or something? I was saying that I don’t see the same similarities in their batting profile and offered up another one. That’s it. Never once did I say I care about the distinction between .270 or .300.
I need a hug… but that’s besides the point…. I think he was responding in general to BA being viewed as a worthy stat, not really you specifically there
 

SoxFanInPdx

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At this point, I just don’t see Yamamoto signing here. I’m happy they’ve made a fair offer, but who we’re competing against for his signature doesn’t bode well for us.

What I don’t want, is for them to panic and sacrifice the likes of Anthony, Mayer or Teel. They’re not far off imo from coming up. Everyone in this division, as it stands right now, have made improvements. Some things this organization can’t control and I’m fine with that.

I do not view us as a contender even if we did sign Yamamoto. There are a lot of holes on this team as we saw last season. This free agency period has been pretty static. The other FA pitchers are all waiting on Yamamoto and they’re going to get way above market value and years that we probably wouldn’t expect.

My biggest issue with this organization is that I just don’t see what the plan is here. Like it or not, we had to settle for Breslow after they ran Chaim out. And as far as I can tell, I don’t see a difference with the lack of moves. I also think ownership is in for a shock this upcoming season. Most of us here know our stuff and can be patient, but we’re the minority. The casual fan wants results now.

I’m remaining positive with little expectations, but hoping there is something down the line that gets this team back on track. Go the way of the Braves and extend Casas now and also bring up some of the blue chippers when they’re ready.
 

Jimbodandy

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Do you need a hug or something? I was saying that I don’t see the same similarities in their batting profile and offered up another one. That’s it. Never once did I say I care about the distinction between .270 or .300.
"I don't see Casas being a .300 hitter, but I could see him at .260/.270" seems like you care. My bad for taking your words literally.
 

Tokyo Sox

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"I don't see Casas being a .300 hitter, but I could see him at .260/.270" seems like you care. My bad for taking your words literally.
Cantor44: He has the chance to be Freemanesque as a hitter.
BSF: I was thinking more a young Matt Olson as a comp given the power strokes. Don’t ever see Casas becoming a .300 hitter like Freeman but could be a regular .260-.270 hitter with tons of bombs every year. Agree that you don’t deal him unless you’re getting a certifiable stud in return. Jesus Luzardo is not that guy for me.

...I mean, it really seems like he doesn't.

Hugs.
 

Jimbodandy

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Cantor44: He has the chance to be Freemanesque as a hitter.
BSF: I was thinking more a young Matt Olson as a comp given the power strokes. Don’t ever see Casas becoming a .300 hitter like Freeman but could be a regular .260-.270 hitter with tons of bombs every year. Agree that you don’t deal him unless you’re getting a certifiable stud in return. Jesus Luzardo is not that guy for me.

...I mean, it really seems like he doesn't.

Hugs.
Fair enough. I was confused why anyone cares what someone's BA is, but as a way of comparing guys, whatever.

BRef has Casas's top "Through age 23" batter comp as Bill White, who I had never heard of, and then at #2, this guy: https://www.baseball-reference.com/players/t/teixema01.shtml

Obviously fielding matters, so it's not a perfect player comp. But a 126 OPS+ and 400 homers is pretty good, even with a .268 lifetime BA.
 

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Fair enough. I was confused why anyone cares what someone's BA is, but as a way of comparing guys, whatever.

BRef has Casas's top "Through age 23" batter comp as Bill White, who I had never heard of, and then at #2, this guy: https://www.baseball-reference.com/players/t/teixema01.shtml

Obviously fielding matters, so it's not a perfect player comp. But a 126 OPS+ and 400 homers is pretty good, even with a .268 lifetime BA.
Bill White, the President of the National League?
 

6-5 Sadler

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My proposed plan would also replace Casas’s 1.7 WAR with Chapman’s 3.5 WAR and add Luzardo’s 3.7 WAR. It would also up Devers value by shifting him to a position (1b) that might be more suited to his defensive shortcomings (since his primary fielding problem has been bad throws).
That’s not how this works…that’s not how any of this works. You can’t just swap out last year’s WAR like that and think we’re gaining like 5 wins in this exchange.

Chapman was good last year but as someone else noted that was heavily weighted towards his unsustainable April performance. He’s projected for 2.6 fWAR next year. Casas did put up 1.7 fWAR last year but was literally a top 10 hitter in baseball in the 2nd half. He’s projected for 2.9 fWAR next year.

You’re also moving Devers down the defensive spectrum and although he is a poor fielding 3rd baseman, that’s still more valuable than a mediocre fielding 1st baseman. We also don’t know how good he would be at first base or if he would even want to move there.

So we’re downgrading in swapping out Chapman for Casas, downgrading by moving Devers to 1b, and adding Luzardo. That’s a roughly 2 win gain at a cost of $25M+ 2024 payroll dollars (not mentioning the longer-term impact of losing a cost-controlled Casas and a 2nd round draft pick for signing Chapman). Isn’t a simpler solution just signing one of the 3rd/4th tier FA SP options like Giolito?
 

kazuneko

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That’s not how this works…that’s not how any of this works. You can’t just swap out last year’s WAR like that and think we’re gaining like 5 wins in this exchange.
I get that. I was simply using WAR as a tool to compare the players; I did not mean to suggest that the Sox were gaining 5 wins in the exchange.

You are also moving Devers down the defensive spectrum and although he is a poor fielding 3rd baseman, that’s still more valuable than a mediocre fielding 1st baseman. We also don’t know how good he would be at first base or if he would even want to move there.
So yeah, Dever's WAR could go down, since the defensive value of 1b is less than 3b but his terrible 3b defense is being replaced by a gold glover, so the team is gaining value. There is also some hope that Devers will be a far better 1B - maybe at some point even a good one- since errant throws have been his primary vice as a fielder. There seems little chance that he would be much worse than Casas.
In terms of whether or not he'd want to move, I don't think he has much standing to complain. He's been consistently horrible as a 3B and he's signed into the next decade.

Chapman was good last year but as someone else noted that was heavily weighted towards his unsustainable April performance. He’s projected for 2.6 fWAR next year. Casas did put up 1.7 fWAR last year but was literally a top 10 hitter in baseball in the 2nd half. He’s projected for 2.9 fWAR next year.
In 23' Matt Chapman had one amazing month (April: .1152 OPS) , and one excellent month (July .908 OPS); he was uninspiring with (with the bat) the other four months. This pattern (though with different months) can be seen in his previous two seasons as well. So yeah, like many hitters, he's streaky. But that doesn't mean he's inconsistent season-to-season. He has had a .750+ OPS in 6 of his 7 seasons in the majors, and, importantly, his gold glove defense is less prone to slumps.
Triston Casas, on the other hand, has had one Major League season and has been a good player for a half of one season (1st half - 78 games: 728 OPS/ 2nd half - 54 games: .1013 OPS). Sure, he looked great during that stretch, but that second half was only 54 games, which is less than Bobby Dalbec's dominant 61 game stretch in the second half of 2021. And while I would be shocked if he ended up like Dalbec, let's not pretend that that a half-season of elite hitting is a guarantee of similar performance in the future. It's also true that as a first baseman, and a bad fielding one at that, he will need to be a very good hitter to generate significant value.
 

Brohamer of the Gods

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What a great rabbit hole to go down now, learning about Bill White. Thanks for that. League president. Was serving in the military apparently while the Giants moved from NY to SF. Pretty fascinating guy.
His first day back from the Army, he showed up at the Polo Grounds and was very confused.
 

Big Papi's Mango Salsa

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Well, one interesting part of this trade rumor is that Miami was reportedly looking at sending Luzardo to KC for a young first baseman (Pasquantino), not pitching prospects, and at least one source suggested (though it wasn't as clear elsewhere) that KC was the one to back out. So potentially Miami is one team that might trade a young pitcher with the primary return being young hitting. Since Casas is probably more valuable than Pasquatino, the Sox might also be able to pick up extra pieces as well.
Obviously, the risk of trading Casas is that he becomes something like the 1b equivalent of Juan Soto (MVP bat with a bad glove), but how likely is that? He looked that good in July but it seems more likely that he ends up (and I would think this is a reasonably optimistic estimate) something more similar to how he looked in his minor league career (374 OBP / 859 OPS). That's a damn good player, but it's essentially a LH equivalent of Rhys Hoskins, who actually looked a lot better than that (with the bat) in his first season (1014 OPS).
I guess my point is that 1b/DH types that can give you an .850 OPS might be more replaceable through lower risk contracts to aging players than ace talent starting pitchers. I mean, who is the Rhys Hoskins of the pitching market this season? Seth Lugo, maybe? In other words, signing a 30-year old Rhys Hoskins to fulfill that function (eventually, replacing him with someone else) is much easier than finding a pitcher of any age that would be the pitching equivalent of Luzardo: i.e a starter with ace caliber potential. Also, with injury risk considered, wouldn't you rather rely on younger (but somewhat established) pitching and older hitters, than younger hitters and the type of older starters that you can get on low risk deals? In other words, isn't it more likely that Rhys Hoskins is going to give you Casas production than Seth Lugo is going to give you Luzardo production? I think this is a pretty arguable case, especially when you are talking about a player like Casas who brings nothing to the team other than his bat (i.e. a 1b/DH type).
Oh, just to be clear, I think there is a clear line of demarcation between trading hitting PROSPECTS for MLB pitching and young MLB hitters for pitching. The former, I think is going to be incredibly difficult unless you're talking about someone being a top 10ish prospect and performing very well at the upper levels of the minors.

Or - put another way - I think the Marlins would absolutely deal Luzardo for Casas (and I don't think the Sox should - mostly because of Luzardo's injury history). I also think the Sox would trade Mayer and Bleis or Yorke for Luzardo and Miami wouldn't consider it.


Statistically, per WARP, Luzardo is behind Bello, who many here think is a mid rotation starter at best. Luzardo is also older than Bello. This doesn’t mean that I dislike him, just that if you’re rating the one as an ace,you really need to look at the guy that’s better in the same light.
FWIW, I think of Bello (right now) as SP2 with the potential to be an SP1. Pretty much exactly of how I think of Luzardo too, for the record. I don't think anyone has called him (or Bello) and "ace" though. I think people have said "potential ace" which is certainly fair for both pitchers. Neither is there right now, however.

Personally, I think Bello is a bit more valuable than Luzardo right now, because you're talking about 5 years of control vs 3 for Luzardo. Though, for what it's worth, if I could give up literally any prospects in the system, in any number for another Brayan Bello, I'd do it. Luzardo, I'd probably hold the line at not dealing Anthony because of said injury history (but that is relative to the specific pitcher and not the concept). But don't get me wrong, if you could get George Kirby (more valuable than Bello, but closest comp I can think of) for Anthony, Teel, Mayer and Bleis I'd not only drive them to the airport but pay for their flights and snacks on the plane. Seattle would never do that, though.

But the overall point remains, short of a Jackson Holliday player (top 5 prospect, crushing high minors at a ridiculous spot on the Age Advancement Scale), I don't think the Sox - or anyone - would be able to trade "hitting prospects" for MLB starting pitching.

At least not on anything close to "equal" value.

*If the Sox (or anyone) wanted to offer something like Mayer for another team's version of Kutter Crawford, yes, of course they could do that. But I hope I'm making my belief clear enough about making a move for someone like Luzardo (or Bello).
 
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