Red Sox Rumors - Just Kidding

scottyno

late Bloomer
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Dec 7, 2008
11,100
Put another way I think a ’pen of Touki Toussaint, Josh James, Delois Guerra, Jared Koenig, Guillermo Heredia, and Alan Rangel (I just started with the top of the alphabet of teams for non-tendered FAs) is pretty much equally likely to be good or suck as Martin, Barnes, Rodriguez, Taylor, Brasier and Schrieber. But one costs you ~ $25m against the Luxury Tax threshold. The other costs you ~ $4.2m AND allows you to sign a player like Bassitt, Senga, Tallion or Eovaldi if you want another starter or to have retained Bogaerts or have gone after Turner, Correa, etc instead.

Choice here would have been Bogaerts, but literally any of them over spending on the middle and bottom of the bullpen.
I'm pretty sure signing some relievers to 1 or 2 year deals had nothing to do with them not signing someone to a long term mega contract. Part of the way I know is that even after signing those guys they still were trying to get Bogaerts.
 

HangingW/ScottCooper

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Nov 10, 2006
2,367
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Was the "sticky stuff" an open secret kind of thing where everyone in the clubhouse, and thus the coaching staff and the front office, knew who was using what and to what degree, or was it more a personal, on the down-low kind of deal (more like pitchers sharing trade secrets kind of thing)? I guess what I'm asking is was it really be possible for Bloom and his staff to distinguish what percentage of Barnes' (or any pitcher) production was skill/talent and what was sticky stuff-induced?

Sticky ban went into effect on June 21, 2021. The Barnes extension was announced 19 days later (July 11). During the interim when Barnes was presumably clean, he had 8 appearances for 7.2 IP, 1.17 ERA, 3.43 FIP, 1.17 WHIP, 10 K, and was 4 for 5 in save opportunities. His season line up until the sticky ban: 29 games, 29.1 IP, 3.07 ERA, 1.67 FIP, 0.78 WHIP, 52 K, and was 15 for 18 in save opportunities. Hardly a significant downturn that might have tossed up a red flag before they finalized a deal that was surely in the works for weeks.

I think there's legitimate discussion about his extension based on his somewhat inconsistent track record, but I think suggesting that a) his success was all sticky-stuff based and b) the Sox brass should have known that and made decisions based on that is spurious at best. I think such an argument is clouded by the knowledge that we've gained since the deal happened. Knowledge that it isn't that realistic to think the team should have known in advance.

And I think scottyno is correct. At the time, the general consensus here was that it was a good deal.
My recollection was him struggling right before the All Star Break.
 

Petagine in a Bottle

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Jan 13, 2021
10,195
Barnes has always alternated between being great and terrible. He’s a 32 year old reliever with a career ERA over 4. Since 2016, his seasons have ranged between 3.65 - 4.31, I’d expect more of the same; stretches of dominance and futility.
 

JM3

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Dec 14, 2019
11,405
Put another way I think a ’pen of Touki Toussaint, Josh James, Delois Guerra, Jared Koenig, Guillermo Heredia, and Alan Rangel (I just started with the top of the alphabet of teams for non-tendered FAs) is pretty much equally likely to be good or suck as Martin, Barnes, Rodriguez, Taylor, Brasier and Schrieber.
The main problem with this whole argument is that this statement is patently false. Better pitchers with better pitches are more likely to be successful than worse pitchers.

Yes, there are year to year fluctuations & it's perfectly legitimate to question whether a significant financial investment in the bullpen is wise due to the fact that these guys are pitching 60 to 70 innings per year, but I think easily disprovable statements like this take away from your argument there.

But one costs you ~ $25m against the Luxury Tax threshold. The other costs you ~ $4.2m AND allows you to sign a player like Bassitt, Senga, Tallion or Eovaldi if you want another starter or to have retained Bogaerts or have gone after Turner, Correa, etc instead.
& the obvious issue with these statements is the length of commitment involved. For 1 year, spending on some of those guys is almost certainly better, but the opportunity cost of being tied to people based on their performance several years ago causes future issues almost always.
 

LostinNJ

lurker
Jul 19, 2005
470
Since he’s decided to sink $9.375m AAV into a guy whom has been 1.3 fWAR over the same time frame, and has also thus had to bet $8.75m on a 37 year old reliever to replace the $9.375m guy, AND the player he chose instead his been DFA’ed, yes, I’m upset.
You keep using "whom" incorrectly.
 

Red(s)HawksFan

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Jan 23, 2009
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My recollection was him struggling right before the All Star Break.
Okay. What's the definition of "right before the All Star Break" for you? Because the stats I quoted include all but one of his outings before the ASB, and that outing was on the day of the extension announcement (so not something that might have affected his deal). He threw one inning, walked one, struck out one, gave up a hit, and got out of the inning with no runs scored. I don't really see any struggles before the break.

Even after the break, his first 8 outings yielded 7 innings, 2 H, 2 R, 1 ER, 0 BB, 6 K, 1 W, 1 L, 5 saves. No real signs of struggles there either. Lends credence to TPGC's theory that it was illness in early August that might have begun the downturn for Barnes. He gave up 2 runs on 8/8/21 to blow a save, then four more runs on 8/10 to take a loss. He didn't record another save the rest of the season (one more blown one though). His line from 8/8 through the end of the season: 14 G, 9.2 IP, 10.24 ERA, 7.20 FIP, 2.586 WHIP, 15 K. That's bad.
 

John Marzano Olympic Hero

has fancy plans, and pants to match
Dope
Apr 12, 2001
23,666
If John Henry cares more about perception than reality, I hope he gets in his favorite yacht and goes away.
I'd expect Henry cares about perception inasmuch as it affects profits. Poor performance is going to impact profits, and I've got no problem with that personally. Overtly hostile media attention is likely to drive public sentiment further, which will exacerbate any impacts on profits and further incentivize Henry to act in a way that will improve profits by pandering to perception.
PIN has it here, Dokes.

Us SoSHers are the exception, we love baseball. How many of us went to games during the 1992, 93, 94, 2012,14 or 15 seasons? How many of us had partial season tickets? Full season tickets?

We think we’re better than Johnny from Burger Ming ( (c) 2005 Keith Foulke) because we understand a few stats better than the average fan or because we follow the game closer. But in terms of John Henry, we’re the suckers. We’re the ones who will spend hundred if not thousands of dollars on a season where the PoBO has lost its two best pitchers and it’s best hitter and is saying, “things are super great!”

The less invested fan, the ones whose perceptions are a bit easily swayed (not due to intelligence but because they arent Into baseball as we are) these are the ones who make up a large chunk of the Red Sox’ fan base. FSG needs this income in order to get money.

Let’s look in the future and assume that the Sox aren’t going to sign a big free agent ( there are none) and won’t make a big trade. For the next few weeks, the headline (when they’re talked about is that the Sox suck, FSG is cheap and they aren’t worth your team).

April comes and it’s cold, who’s going to Fenway to watch thsi team. It gets warmer in May and June, but the Bs and Cs are killing it and they’re in their respective sports’ Easterb Conference Finals (if not more).

Plus Loki is out it maybe there’s a huge movie that people are flocking to. And the weather is nicer. If the Sox aren’t killing it, but it’s now July and August and while Fenway is banged out, it’s mostly tourists. Plus the Pats have started trading camp. September comes, the Sox aren’t good and Fenway is a ghost town again.

Perception for 2023 begins in autumn of 2022. These things avalanche and kinda spin out of control. The Sox are no longer on the forefront of people’s minds and revenues go down.

This is when Bloom gets a call from Henry.

The other question is, what is reality here? The team is worse than they were in October 2022 and they finished in last place. If you say reality is, “Bloom is working towards building a team like Atlanta”, that’s not reality. At least not now. It could be. It might be. But it’s not reality right now.

it’s a wish. No better than the wishes of Pittsburgh Pirates fans. Or Diamondbacks fans. Or Nationals fans.

Reality is end of year revenues and I’m not sure how they’re going to be better than last year with a worse team.
 

Yelling At Clouds

Post-darwinian
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Jul 19, 2005
3,058
Again, pointing to the failure of Downs as a strike against Bloom is fine. Pointing to not taking Graterol as a strike against him implies that a GM should disregard their medical staff when their concerns will turn out not to manifest in career ending injury over the next three years.
Yeah, not to keep harping on this, but the Downs situation points more to an issue with the player development people than a problem with whatever process that led to them targeting him in the trade to begin with. At the time of the trade, he put up an .860 OPs with 19 HRs and 23 SBs in High A at a position that had been a revolving door of mediocrity since Pedroia’s injury (he hit well in a quick stop at AA, too, but it was only 12 games). If you want to debate the merits of trading Mookie or Price in the first place, sure, fine (though I don’t think there’s much to add at this point), but once you accepted that it was happening, 2019 Downs was a pretty good get.

The problem, as I see it, was that he essentially skipped AA after spending 2020 at the alternate site or whatever they called it. He never found his footing in AAA, and they never sent him back down. Now, maybe he never would have been able to hack it against the more advanced competition, and everything plays out the same way. But it’s also not hard to look at what did happen and conclude that he probably needed more time in AA.
 

JM3

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Dec 14, 2019
11,405
So are we concerned about John Henry's bottom line or are we not concerned? It's hard to keep up.

If doing things that keep the casual fan away in '23 lead to sustained success for years to come, it will be worth it. For the baseball product, for future profitability & for the value of the franchise.
 

John Marzano Olympic Hero

has fancy plans, and pants to match
Dope
Apr 12, 2001
23,666
So are we concerned about John Henry's bottom line or are we not concerned? It's hard to keep up.

If doing things that keep the casual fan away in '23 lead to sustained success for years to come, it will be worth it. For the baseball product, for future profitability & for the value of the franchise.
Of course not and I didn’t say that (and you know it). But I would imagine that Henry and FSG gives a shit about the bottom line.

And you think the best business practice is to chase away paying customers? Wow. Bold strategy.
 

JM3

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Of course not and I didn’t say that (and you know it). But I would imagine that Henry and FSG gives a shit about the bottom line.

And you think the best business practice is to chase away paying customers? Wow. Bold strategy.
I think their PR efforts have kind of sucked lately. But yeah, making long term baseball decisions based on fans in the seat this season, would be foolish & myopic.
 

Jimbodandy

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Jan 31, 2006
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around the way
Yeah, not to keep harping on this, but the Downs situation points more to an issue with the player development people than a problem with whatever process that led to them targeting him in the trade to begin with. At the time of the trade, he put up an .860 OPs with 19 HRs and 23 SBs in High A at a position that had been a revolving door of mediocrity since Pedroia’s injury (he hit well in a quick stop at AA, too, but it was only 12 games). If you want to debate the merits of trading Mookie or Price in the first place, sure, fine (though I don’t think there’s much to add at this point), but once you accepted that it was happening, 2019 Downs was a pretty good get.

The problem, as I see it, was that he essentially skipped AA after spending 2020 at the alternate site or whatever they called it. He never found his footing in AAA, and they never sent him back down. Now, maybe he never would have been able to hack it against the more advanced competition, and everything plays out the same way. But it’s also not hard to look at what did happen and conclude that he probably needed more time in AA.
I don't know. Maybe. Lots of guys are studs in A+ and flame out once they're promoted past that. We'll never know for sure if some factors limited him, but there's a decent chance that he just wasn't/isn't a major leaguer.
 

John Marzano Olympic Hero

has fancy plans, and pants to match
Dope
Apr 12, 2001
23,666
I think their PR efforts have kind of sucked lately. But yeah, making long term baseball decisions based on fans in the seat this season, would be foolish & myopic.
So let me see if I’m understanding you correctly and I’m going to add some context to make sure we’re both 100% clear on what you’re proposing here.

In 2020, there was a world-wide pandemic, 60 games were played in front of zero fans. Not one ticket, hot dog or beer was sold. Game day revenue was zero.

In 2021, about a third of the home games were played in front of an empty/reduced capacity stadium. The Sox made a nice run in the postseason but revenue was compromised.

In 2022, the team was pretty bad and by the end of the season Fenway was a ghost town. Seriously, I got the best seats of my life (three rows behind the visitor dugout for $30 a seat). My safe assumption is that game day revenue was down.

2023 doesn’t look much in terms of public perception. The Sox could surprise and they could be the hot ticket of the summer, but I am pretty sure that’s not going to happen.

In regards to your suggestion, the Sox stay the path, not go overboard in signing high priced free agents and wait until their prospects develop into major leaguers. Let’s assume that everything goes right. When do you expect these prospects to become contributing major leaguers? End of 2024, maybe 2025?

Now we’re talking six full seasons of unfulfilled game day revenue. Do I think that FSG is going to start selling office furniture to make ends meet? Of course not. There is enough revenue coming in from other sources to cover below average game day revenues.

But if there’s one thing I know about all sports owners is that they like making money. Actually, that’s wrong, the LOVE making money. And if John Henry sees a revenue stream that was once making him and his partners a shit load (real financial term) of cash not realizing that money, what do you think he’s going to say?

Even if he’s cool with it, what is he going to say to his shareholders when they ask. They might not be so keen on finding out whether Bloom’s experiment is going to work or not.

Furthermore, what if bottoming out does nothing? What if Mayer sucks or gets hit by a bus? What do Blaze Jordan flames out (PUN!)? What if Yorke is nothing but a utility infielder?

Then the team is looking at another round of rebuilding and restocking the minor leagues. Which can be another five years until fruition. John Henry deals in guarantees, building strictly through the minor leagues is not a guarantee of anything. In fact, the success of teams that try and fail to do this are by far worse than the failures.

Furthermore, from your posts you consider yourself a smart Sox fan who thinks that this is the one true way. Which is fine, that’s your right. But even amongst this board, almost 75% of the people who voted on their confidence level in the front office is at or below 50%.

So youre In the minority of a minority in terms of whether this plan is right and whether Bloom and company can succeed. It doesn’t look great right now. I’m not saying you’re wrong, but a vast majority of people aren’t on your side. And those people are also paying customers. You lose them, you lose a ton of money.

The above is why listening to the fans is not stupid or myopic, no matter what you think. This isn’t a 401k broker who’s telling you to ride out a recession and that your savings will be fine in five to ten years. Bloom is a steward of an entertainment company. The more he does to make his product irrelevant the more it’s going to cost him and his bosses.

For most people baseball is no different than a TV show, book or concert. To pretend that it’s somehow more is foolish.
 
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joe dokes

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Jul 18, 2005
28,617
PIN has it here, Dokes.

Us SoSHers are the exception, we love baseball. How many of us went to games during the 1992, 93, 94, 2012,14 or 15 seasons? How many of us had partial season tickets? Full season tickets?

We think we’re better than Johnny from Burger Ming ( (c) 2005 Keith Foulke) because we understand a few stats better than the average fan or because we follow the game closer. But in terms of John Henry, we’re the suckers. We’re the ones who will spend hundred if not thousands of dollars on a season where the PoBO has lost its two best pitchers and it’s best hitter and is saying, “things are super great!”

The less invested fan, the ones whose perceptions are a bit easily swayed (not due to intelligence but because they arent Into baseball as we are) these are the ones who make up a large chunk of the Red Sox’ fan base. FSG needs this income in order to get money.

Let’s look in the future and assume that the Sox aren’t going to sign a big free agent ( there are none) and won’t make a big trade. For the next few weeks, the headline (when they’re talked about is that the Sox suck, FSG is cheap and they aren’t worth your team).

April comes and it’s cold, who’s going to Fenway to watch thsi team. It gets warmer in May and June, but the Bs and Cs are killing it and they’re in their respective sports’ Easterb Conference Finals (if not more).

Plus Loki is out it maybe there’s a huge movie that people are flocking to. And the weather is nicer. If the Sox aren’t killing it, but it’s now July and August and while Fenway is banged out, it’s mostly tourists. Plus the Pats have started trading camp. September comes, the Sox aren’t good and Fenway is a ghost town again.

Perception for 2023 begins in autumn of 2022. These things avalanche and kinda spin out of control. The Sox are no longer on the forefront of people’s minds and revenues go down.

This is when Bloom gets a call from Henry.

The other question is, what is reality here? The team is worse than they were in October 2022 and they finished in last place. If you say reality is, “Bloom is working towards building a team like Atlanta”, that’s not reality. At least not now. It could be. It might be. But it’s not reality right now.

it’s a wish. No better than the wishes of Pittsburgh Pirates fans. Or Diamondbacks fans. Or Nationals fans.

Reality is end of year revenues and I’m not sure how they’re going to be better than last year with a worse team.
Point taken. But there's an implication here that perception (have they done enough/how do fans feel) is more important than reality of how they actually play. That cant be true.
One of the problems of offseason is that the "perception" is all there is, because there's no reality (games). IMO, how people think they might play in 2023 is not reality. Nor is the bottom line itself, as in Boston anyway, winning most often = $$.
Do we/should John Henry want the GM to do stuff with only or mostly perception (how fans "feel") in mind? I don think taht's a winning recipe.
 

JM3

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Dec 14, 2019
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So let me see if I’m understanding you correctly and I’m going to add some context to make sure we’re both 100% clear on what you’re proposing here.

In 2020, there was a world-wide pandemic, 60 games were played in front of zero fans. Not one ticket, hot dog or beer was sold. Game day revenue was zero.

In 2021, about a third of the home games were played in front of an empty/reduced capacity stadium. The Sox made a nice run in the postseason but revenue was compromised.

In 2022, the team was pretty bad and by the end of the season Fenway was a ghost town. Seriously, I got the best seats of my life (three rows behind the visitor dugout for $30 a seat). My safe assumption is that game day revenue was down.

2023 doesn’t look much in terms of public perception. The Sox could surprise and they could be the hot ticket of the summer, but I am pretty sure that’s not going to happen.

In regards to your suggestion, the Sox stay the path, not go overboard in signing high priced free agents and wait until their prospects develop into major leaguers. Let’s assume that everything goes right. When do you expect these prospects to become contributing major leaguers? End of 2024, maybe 2025?

Now we’re talking Sox full seasons of unfulfilled game day revenue. Do I think that FSG is going to start selling office furnights to make ends meet? Of course not. There is enough revenue coming in from other sources to cover below average game day revenues.

But if there’s one thing I know about all sports owners is that they like making money. Actually, the love making money. And if John Henry sees a revenue stream that was once making him and his partners a shit load (real financial term) of cash not realizing that money, what do you think he’s going to say?

Even if he’s cool with it, what is he going to say to his shareholders when they ask. They might not be so keen on finding out whether Bloom’s experiment is going to work or not.

Furthermore, what if bottoming out does nothing? What if Mayer sucks or gets hit by a bus? What do Blaze Jordan flames out (PUN!)? What if Yorke is nothing but a utility infielder?

Then the team is looking at another round of rebuilding and restocking the minor leagues. Which can be another five years until fruition. John Henry deals in guarantees, building strictly through the minor leagues is not a guarantee of anything.

Furthermore, from your posts you consider yourself a smart Sox fan who thinks that this is the only way. Which is fine, that’s your right. But even amongst this board, almost 75% of the people who voted on their level confidence in the front office is at or below 50%.

So youre In the minority of a minority. I’m not saying you’re wrong, but avast majority of people aren’t on your side. And those people are also paying customers. You lose them, you lose a ton of money.

The above is why listening to the fans is not stupid or myopic, no matter what you think.
This is a lot of words about things that I didn't say.

If they're right about how they're running the franchise, the people will come back quickly. If they're wrong, '23 is just the beginning of the problem. If they do the retool correctly & become the Dodgers/Astros/Braves, everyone will come back, & more.

Do you think if that 75% is proven wrong they'll bail on the team forever because they were incorrectly pessimistic? If the Red Sox spent a ton of money on long-term deals that helped the Red Sox this season, but made the team worse in the long run, would that be better or worse for the long-term bottom line?

If you trust the plan you are implementing, you don't panic midstream because you better have weighed all this stuff when you decided this was the direction you wanted to take. I think it's the right direction. I think even if Bloom turns out to be the wrong person to implement that vision, it's still the right direction.

But yeah, listening to the fans to make baseball decisions is stupid. The fans may be happy that the team is doing what they want in the short-term, but if our GM isn't smarter than the fans, we have a really uninformed & incompetent GM. & that has nothing to do with how smart the fans are - this is the front office's job & they have a lot of really smart people spending their entire life sweating over these details & contributing to these decisions in ways the fan base never could, with wide swaths of information the general public isn't privy to.

Now I could absolutely be wrong about the correct way to build a baseball franchise, & I could be totally missing the things that actually make the Dodgers/Astros/Braves/Rays successful. & the Red Sox could be absolutely wrong, too. But pivoting off that strategy because you're afraid people won't show up in '23 would be crazy, & would undo all the steps you've taken to get toward the goal you are moving toward.
 

JM3

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Sorry - I failed to respond to this specifically...

Furthermore, what if bottoming out does nothing? What if Mayer sucks or gets hit by a bus? What do Blaze Jordan flames out (PUN!)? What if Yorke is nothing but a utility infielder?

Then the team is looking at another round of rebuilding and restocking the minor leagues. Which can be another five years until fruition. John Henry deals in guarantees, building strictly through the minor leagues is not a guarantee of anything.
The Red Sox aren't "bottoming out" right now - they're putting together a slightly over .500 ML team which with positive variance can playoff & with negative variance can have a losing record. Is that exciting? Probably not, especially if they're not hitting their positive variance, but the only "bottoming out" year was '20.

What will take 5 years until fruition? The whole idea is building up the infrastructure to spit out cheap baseball players. Some of those cheap baseball players will hopefully be great baseball players. Many of them will hopefully be competent baseball players that you are paying minimum wage so you don't have to pay free agents $10m for their competence.

If individual prospects don't work, obviously it is harder to build a successful franchise, but a good system eventually will not rely on individual players panning out to provide a good backbone for success. If 3 draft picks don't work, including a 3rd rounder, hopefully other draft picks will work. Hopefully your International free agent signings like Miguel Bleis work out. The system should constantly be churning out people who can contribute, though, & this should not be a boom or bust type deal.

If NONE or very few of these people work out? Then they need to fire the crap out of Bloom & every player development person at all levels of the franchise. But that still wouldn't mean the plan to acquire a high quantity of potentially useful players is bad - just the execution of which players the GM chose to populate the system with was bad and/or the coaches' abilities to help those players reach their potential is bad.

& if they fire Bloom in that situation, I want a better, more competent Bloom in place getting that system churning out talent so we can have great pre-arb talent like the Astros, and/or extend those players early like the Braves, and/or make big free agency additions like the Dodgers because you can afford them because you have that baseline competence of cheap talent.
 

JM3

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This isn’t a 401k broker who’s telling you to ride out a recession and that your savings will be fine in five to ten years. Bloom is a steward of an entertainment company. The more he does to make his product irrelevant the more it’s going to cost him and his bosses.

For most people baseball is no different than a TV show, book or concert. To pretend that it’s somehow more is foolish.
& I guess I should respond to this stuff that was tacked on after I started responding...

I think that's a fairly useless analogy because the restrictions inherent in a baseball team are completely different than those inherent in all those other entertainment mediums.

If every season every player was available via auction to sign for a 1-year deal, then yes, your analogy would make sense. The Red Sox should never do anything but try to put as entertaining of a product as possible on the field each & every season because it would have no impact on future seasons as it's a one-off product. The goal would be to promote goodwill amongst the community by putting together an entertaining team & the only real question is who are the right people to acquire to maximize revenue, & how much can we spend & still maximize profit without endangering our current & future goodwill.

That would be consistent with things like tv shows & books & concerts where you are not handcuffed & unable to make reasonable future seasons, sequels & tours because you made commitments on the 1st ones that materially damaged future versions.

Real baseball is more like a world where if you wrote a really good 300 page book, you would only be able to have 200 of the 300 pages in your next book be good & have to fill in the other 100 pages with fluff & drivel. Or if you used too many good actors in the 1st season of a show you would have to fill material roles with mediocre to poor actors in future seasons.
 

snowmanny

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Or it’s a world where you were given control of a team before the 2019-2020 off-season, and had a bad season in 2020, and had a good season in 2021. Then you finished last in 2022 without resetting your luxury tax penalty, which is not a good outcome.

But you still have a minimum budget $233M to spend in 2023*, and you’ve had four off-seasons to game plan for this coming season and have that money allocated exactly as you determine. So let’s see how you do.

*And you know that if you reset the tax you’ll be able to blow through the $233M at some point, likely as early as 2024.
 

Tony Pena's Gas Cloud

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Jun 12, 2019
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Literally anyone cheap. I mean, if we’re going to emulate Tampa and Oakland in terms of roster construction with short term deals, old players and platoons across the board, why not emulate where they actually do really well - paying nothing on the bullpen and cycling in and out as necessary all season.

If you want to spend on arms there as luxury items when you have the core like Houston or Atlanta, go nuts. When you have no established core to speak of, I’d rather spend the combined value of ~ $25m being spent on Barnes, Martin, Rodriguez, Brasier and Taylor on a core middle of the order bat or a core starting pitcher than bulk, middle, or set up relief pitchers.

I wasn’t posting when Barnes was extended (though I was against the deal), so that’s why I’m taking the time to explain why I dislike paying Martin, Rodriguez, etc. As in say why I dislike similar”deals or anything for “middle relief pitchers” and not just cherry picking a deal that at present hasn’t worked. I’m against the idea of paying literally anyone for bulk, middle and set up relief, or in other words, I don’t like the “closer by committee” style approach. Especially when the team is so deficient in top of the roster talent.

Whether it works or not, I’m fully on board with signing Jansen (would have been for Diaz too, or identifying a Kimbrel style trade target), hence putting everyone else (rather set up, middle, bulk, openers, whatever) under the “middle relief pitcher” umbrella.

If you identify someone you like enough to buy out arb years with team options at early FA (Whitlock; tried to do with Papelbon), go for it. Literally everyone else, cycle on the minor league deals / major league minimum / prospect style pieces. If you hit on guys and another team values them, move them almost immediately (case in point, BB Trade Values says Schreiber for Kim is a fair deal - I think in the real there is no chance SD makes that deal, but if you can improve other areas - including the farm - by moving those type of pieces do it).

Put another way I think a ’pen of Touki Toussaint, Josh James, Delois Guerra, Jared Koenig, Guillermo Heredia, and Alan Rangel (I just started with the top of the alphabet of teams for non-tendered FAs) is pretty much equally likely to be good or suck as Martin, Barnes, Rodriguez, Taylor, Brasier and Schrieber. But one costs you ~ $25m against the Luxury Tax threshold. The other costs you ~ $4.2m AND allows you to sign a player like Bassitt, Senga, Tallion or Eovaldi if you want another starter or to have retained Bogaerts or have gone after Turner, Correa, etc instead.

Choice here would have been Bogaerts, but literally any of them over spending on the middle and bottom of the bullpen.
Please explain how you think this list of random ragtag relievers would outperform a crew of established major leaguers. Guillermo Heredia is an outfielder and Josh James had season-ending surgery, so I'm curious how they'd be much help to a team in 2023 in the pitching department. Delois Guerra may have some sneaky value but his only successful major league season since 2016 happened in the pitchers' paradise of Oakland. The other three have either been hit hard in the majors or have never appeared. A) How would they be successful? B) With the front office already under fire by some and the bullpen as a clear area for upgrade after '22, how do you spin that to the public?
 

cantor44

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This is a lot of words about things that I didn't say.

If they're right about how they're running the franchise, the people will come back quickly. If they're wrong, '23 is just the beginning of the problem. If they do the retool correctly & become the Dodgers/Astros/Braves, everyone will come back, & more.

Do you think if that 75% is proven wrong they'll bail on the team forever because they were incorrectly pessimistic? If the Red Sox spent a ton of money on long-term deals that helped the Red Sox this season, but made the team worse in the long run, would that be better or worse for the long-term bottom line?


But yeah, listening to the fans to make baseball decisions is stupid. The fans may be happy that the team is doing what they want in the short-term, but if our GM isn't smarter than the fans, we have a really uninformed & incompetent GM. & that has nothing to do with how smart the fans are - this is the front office's job & they have a lot of really smart people spending their entire life sweating over these details & contributing to these decisions in ways the fan base never could, with wide swaths of information the general public isn't privy to.

Now I could absolutely be wrong about the correct way to build a baseball franchise, & I could be totally missing the things that actually make the Dodgers/Astros/Braves/Rays successful. & the Red Sox could be absolutely wrong, too. But pivoting off that strategy because you're afraid people won't show up in '23 would be crazy, & would undo all the steps you've taken to get toward the goal you are moving toward.
It is sort of taken as a truism that long term deals will hurt the team overall in the long-term. But is that necessarily true? The Red Sox made the playoffs in 98, 99, 01, 03, 04, 05, 07, 08, 09, 13, 16, 17, 18 (as everyone knows) and had many long term contracts during those years (I know the current mega contracts are even longer than in the recent past, but the point stands). Some of them were great contracts (Manny, Pedro), some not so great (Panda, Hanley). But none of them did any great damage to the team's prospects in the long-term. Even any short term consequence was just that: short term, a couple seasons of resetting. It's not that hard to reset from a onerous contract or two.

I don't really see any evidence that signing long term free agents destroys the long-term health of a rich team like the Red Sox. There is a crazy binary that keeps being asserted: either sign all the pricey FA, or build up from the farm. That is a false choice. Having a fruitful farm is exactly what ALLOWS you to sign the pricey free agents: cuz if you sign the wrong guy, you can always, eventually, DFA him, or trade him for pennies on the dollar and balance the books by having a young player filling a roster spot for cheap.

Meanwhile, folks keep sighting the Dodgers as a model of excellence and prudent spending. They have the fifth highest payroll in baseball with mega deals for Mookie and Freeman (wouldn't you like those guys on the Red Sox? - I sure would):

https://www.fangraphs.com/roster-resource/breakdowns/payroll

The Red Sox were in the top 3 in spending for the golden years, year after, and sometimes number 1. Now they are 13th!! 13th! I can't tell you how many times I was lambasted on this site for asserting I wasn't sure, it wasn't clear to me given his decisions to date - one way or the other - if indeed Bloom and company would finally start committing serious money to the roster, keeping the Sox in the top 3 in payroll. OF COURSE they will - only an idiot would think otherwise, I was essentially told. Well, they haven't and are falling fast.

Yes, I want the Sox to have a flush farm. Of course. And I want them to spend, too. BOTH. Just like they did on the road to 4 WS championships.
 
Last edited:

Sandy Leon Trotsky

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A lot of us are old enough to remember teams that felt like a team- same basic group of 4-6 position players and at least 3-5 pitchers- that were together for years. They would bleed into the next core and on and on.
I don’t think it’s impossible to do that now, with the leverage that players have (and should have), but it’s incredibly difficult. It requires 3 things to go right- have a young core emerging at the same general time frame….all be at least above average at their position…. And be willing to sign a long term contract extension way below market.
How often does this happen?
If you can get the first two to happen, you’re in good shape in a short window and if your team has the financial flexibility and/or ability to trade off redundant assets at the farm level they can add to that and even if doing a Braves-type move is impossible. But…. If that third point can’t be met then This seems to me where the 2016-2022 failed... and succeeded. They had the farm providing cost controlled talent (some way above average, and enough just above average) to then add Price, Sale, Eovaldi and JDM. The failure was that the farm wasn't deep enough to continue to provide the low cost talent needed as the older cost controlled talent became more costly in arb raises and/or extending those players looked to be way over-budget (due to failures in those additions from outside from prior times- Pedroia, Hanley, Panda or from injuries, age decline, etc).
The balancing act is damned difficult. You can't just toss out long term contracts to every young cost controlled player that's performed well for a season (it's a good idea) and then ALSO add in the free agent additions to put your team over the top and expect sustained success. It's a great idea and something to work for... but regression happens, injuries happen, and some of those young players may want to just hit FA at an earlier age. All of this of course is assuming that there's some budget ceiling, which there is in the Sox case, clearly.
 

Max Power

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Please explain how you think this list of random ragtag relievers would outperform a crew of established major leaguers. Guillermo Heredia is an outfielder and Josh James had season-ending surgery, so I'm curious how they'd be much help to a team in 2023 in the pitching department. Delois Guerra may have some sneaky value but his only successful major league season since 2016 happened in the pitchers' paradise of Oakland. The other three have either been hit hard in the majors or have never appeared. A) How would they be successful? B) With the front office already under fire by some and the bullpen as a clear area for upgrade after '22, how do you spin that to the public?
He saw how well it worked in 2020 and wants to try that for 162 games rather than 60.
 

JM3

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Or it’s a world where you were given control of a team before the 2019-2020 off-season, and had a bad season in 2020, and had a good season in 2021. Then you finished last in 2022 without resetting your luxury tax penalty, which is not a good outcome.

But you still have a minimum budget $233M to spend in 2023*, and you’ve had four off-seasons to game plan for this coming season and have that money allocated exactly as you determine. So let’s see how you do.

*And you know that if you reset the tax you’ll be able to blow through the $233M at some point, likely as early as 2024.
You analogy is a little to abstract for my tastes lol

I'll try to explain my general point another way, though (not really a response to this post).

It is understood that in free agency, 1 WAR = $9m. If anything, that # has gone up since those studies, but let's still use it. The Dodgers last year led the league with 63.6 fWAR. But let's use 60 as a goal.

If you had no cost controlled talent, you would therefore expect a 60 WAR team to cost approximately $540m. That isnt a particularly reasonable budget, even for the Mets.

So it should be a noncontroversial take that you need a fair amount of talent that you are paying less than full market value in order to field a competitive team.

Players become free agents after 6 years of Major League service time. They make very little the 1st 3 years, & then gradually increase that over their 3 years of arbitration if they're any good at all.

It should also be a noncontroversial take that you need to get yourself some of these players to field a really good team.

Regardless of whose fault it is, other than Devers, there were very few players in the Red Sox organization when Bloom took over from that pre free agency group contributing at the ML level, or ready to contribute in the next 2 to 3 years.

'23 is the 1st year those players actually can be expected to contribute at a significant level - guys like Bello & Casas, & some of the pitcher depth is finally starting to get there. Guys like Crawford/Murphy/Mata.

So the question becomes, how do we fill in these roster holes without spending $9m per WAR?

& that's not a simple thing to acquire. You can get creative & get Rule V guys like Whitlock, or buy low on guys like Hernandez/Renfroe/Wacha, or make trades for cost controlled talent like Workman for Pivetta/Seabold, or pick up minor league free agents like Schreiber, but not all of those moves are going to work out & you'll end up with things like Franchy at bats or Dalbec at bats or innings pitched by really bad pitchers, especially when you have injuries because you don't have cheap competent talent ready to step in.

But that baseline of cheap talent needs to be there before you go in on the big contracts because the value in the big contracts is in the early years. Going in on big contracts a couple years ago would have been a waste because the baseline of cheap talent wasn't there, & by the time it was, these contracts would be on the downside & you're likely to be getting less than 1 WAR per $9m, which creates other opportunity costs (like when you're paying Sale/Price/Eo $57m for less than 2 WAR).

The Dodgers have the best farm system in baseball right now. That's why they can afford to invest in Mookie/Freeman/Bauer/etc. The Astros have the best pre-Arb talent in baseball. That's how they won the World Series.

I'm willing to be patient & see if we can become sustainable like all of these teams that playoff every year (Dodgers/Astros/Yankees/Rays/Cards). I hope Bloom is the right guy to do that. There are some positive data points to suggest that he is, & a couple that are a bit head-scratching. But yes, I absolutely believe in the plan, because you can't pay your team $540m.
 

E5 Yaz

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Miami Herald reporting the Red Sox have emerged as a potential trade partner with the Marlins
https://www.miamiherald.com/sports/mlb/miami-marlins/article270392887.html
Thanks for the link. For those without access, the Red Sox part:

The Boston Red Sox have emerged as a potential partner.
Boston, in desperate need of controllable starting pitching – and Miami, in desperate need of controllable quality bats – would seem a good trade match. But they haven’t been able to agree on a deal.
The Marlins appear open to dealing a significant player on their roster for first baseman Triston Casas, a former Plantation American Heritage standout who is Boston’s No. 2 prospect, according to MLB.com. Miami may be willing to part with one of their frontline starting pitchers for Casas, who was selected 26th overall in the 2018 draft.
The Marlins likely would need to include Pablo Lopez, Trevor Rogers or Edward Cabrera in such a deal. The Athletic reported previously that the Red Sox have interest in Marlins infielder Joey Wendle.
Casas has 46 homers and 181 RBI and a .269 average (.374 on base) in 284 minor league games. He hit .197 with five homers and 12 RBI in 76 at bats for the Red Sox last season in his first major league action.
Another Red Sox prospect of potential interest to the Marlins: Ceddane Rafaela, Boston’s No. 3 overall prospect. He profiles as a center fielder or shortstop. But Rafela, 22, isn’t projected to be a significant big league contributor until 2024, and the Marlins want to prioritize improving the 2023 team.
 

DeadlySplitter

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Miami Herald reporting the Red Sox have emerged as a potential trade partner with the Marlins
https://www.miamiherald.com/sports/mlb/miami-marlins/article270392887.html
The Boston Red Sox have emerged as a potential partner. Boston, in desperate need of controllable starting pitching – and Miami, in desperate need of controllable quality bats – would seem a good trade match. But they haven’t been able to agree on a deal.

The Marlins appear open to dealing a significant player on their roster for first baseman Triston Casas, a former Plantation American Heritage standout who is Boston’s No. 2 prospect, according to MLB.com. Miami may be willing to part with one of their frontline starting pitchers for Casas, who was selected 26th overall in the 2018 draft. The Marlins likely would need to include Pablo Lopez, Trevor Rogers or Edward Cabrera in such a deal.

The Athletic reported previously that the Red Sox have interest in Marlins infielder Joey Wendle. Casas has 46 homers and 181 RBI and a .269 average (.374 on base) in 284 minor league games. He hit .197 with five homers and 12 RBI in 76 at bats for the Red Sox last season in his first major league action.

Another Red Sox prospect of potential interest to the Marlins: Ceddane Rafaela, Boston’s No. 3 overall prospect. He profiles as a center fielder or shortstop. But Rafela, 22, isn’t projected to be a significant big league contributor until 2024, and the Marlins want to prioritize improving the 2023 team.
I don't see us giving up Casas or Rafaela, honestly.
 

Max Power

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I feel like that's backwards. The Red Sox need controllable quality bats and the pitching staff is totally filled.
 

SouthernBoSox

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gehrig

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If you had no cost controlled talent, you would therefore expect a 60 WAR team to cost approximately $540m. That isnt a particularly reasonable budget, even for the Mets.

So it should be a noncontroversial take that you need a fair amount of talent that you are paying less than full market value in order to field a competitive team.
I think the best way to look at this is that a replacement level team wins 47.5 games. This is just the quality replacement level is defined as.

If you take that team and spend up the luxury tax limit you get 215/9 = 23.8 more wins. Okay, now we're up to a 71 win team. Not so hot.

To be a lower level playoff contender at their current spending levels, the Sox will need to find 15-20 wins worth of surplus value, mostly from underpaying young players. If you don't have that value then there's just nothing you can do except hope for a magical season.
 

chawson

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I don't see us giving up Casas or Rafaela, honestly.
Casas isn't going anywhere at this point. I don't mind giving up Rafaela in the right deal. Makes sense the Marlins would want a center fielder, but wouldn't they pretty much have to shed an outfielder too? De la Cruz, Garcia, Sanchez, Bleday, Soler, Berti and Burdick all in the mix.

Something like Rafaela for Rogers, Wendle and García (3/$41M) makes sense, and then you can deal Verdugo and Pivetta for other pieces if you like.

López is nice but I'd prefer to have Rogers' two extra years of control. López has recurring shoulder issues, and I'd worry that any further injury there could wipe out too much of the relatively short team control we'd have on him.
 

Yaz4Ever

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You analogy is a little to abstract for my tastes lol

I'll try to explain my general point another way, though (not really a response to this post).

It is understood that in free agency, 1 WAR = $9m. If anything, that # has gone up since those studies, but let's still use it. The Dodgers last year led the league with 63.6 fWAR. But let's use 60 as a goal.

If you had no cost controlled talent, you would therefore expect a 60 WAR team to cost approximately $540m. That isnt a particularly reasonable budget, even for the Mets.

So it should be a noncontroversial take that you need a fair amount of talent that you are paying less than full market value in order to field a competitive team.

Players become free agents after 6 years of Major League service time. They make very little the 1st 3 years, & then gradually increase that over their 3 years of arbitration if they're any good at all.

It should also be a noncontroversial take that you need to get yourself some of these players to field a really good team.

Regardless of whose fault it is, other than Devers, there were very few players in the Red Sox organization when Bloom took over from that pre free agency group contributing at the ML level, or ready to contribute in the next 2 to 3 years.

'23 is the 1st year those players actually can be expected to contribute at a significant level - guys like Bello & Casas, & some of the pitcher depth is finally starting to get there. Guys like Crawford/Murphy/Mata.

So the question becomes, how do we fill in these roster holes without spending $9m per WAR?

& that's not a simple thing to acquire. You can get creative & get Rule V guys like Whitlock, or buy low on guys like Hernandez/Renfroe/Wacha, or make trades for cost controlled talent like Workman for Pivetta/Seabold, or pick up minor league free agents like Schreiber, but not all of those moves are going to work out & you'll end up with things like Franchy at bats or Dalbec at bats or innings pitched by really bad pitchers, especially when you have injuries because you don't have cheap competent talent ready to step in.

But that baseline of cheap talent needs to be there before you go in on the big contracts because the value in the big contracts is in the early years. Going in on big contracts a couple years ago would have been a waste because the baseline of cheap talent wasn't there, & by the time it was, these contracts would be on the downside & you're likely to be getting less than 1 WAR per $9m, which creates other opportunity costs (like when you're paying Sale/Price/Eo $57m for less than 2 WAR).

The Dodgers have the best farm system in baseball right now. That's why they can afford to invest in Mookie/Freeman/Bauer/etc. The Astros have the best pre-Arb talent in baseball. That's how they won the World Series.

I'm willing to be patient & see if we can become sustainable like all of these teams that playoff every year (Dodgers/Astros/Yankees/Rays/Cards). I hope Bloom is the right guy to do that. There are some positive data points to suggest that he is, & a couple that are a bit head-scratching. But yes, I absolutely believe in the plan, because you can't pay your team $540m.
Extremely well thought out and articulated post.
 

Yo La Tengo

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You analogy is a little to abstract for my tastes lol

I'll try to explain my general point another way, though (not really a response to this post).

It is understood that in free agency, 1 WAR = $9m. If anything, that # has gone up since those studies, but let's still use it. The Dodgers last year led the league with 63.6 fWAR. But let's use 60 as a goal.

If you had no cost controlled talent, you would therefore expect a 60 WAR team to cost approximately $540m. That isnt a particularly reasonable budget, even for the Mets.

So it should be a noncontroversial take that you need a fair amount of talent that you are paying less than full market value in order to field a competitive team.

Players become free agents after 6 years of Major League service time. They make very little the 1st 3 years, & then gradually increase that over their 3 years of arbitration if they're any good at all.

It should also be a noncontroversial take that you need to get yourself some of these players to field a really good team.

Regardless of whose fault it is, other than Devers, there were very few players in the Red Sox organization when Bloom took over from that pre free agency group contributing at the ML level, or ready to contribute in the next 2 to 3 years.

'23 is the 1st year those players actually can be expected to contribute at a significant level - guys like Bello & Casas, & some of the pitcher depth is finally starting to get there. Guys like Crawford/Murphy/Mata.

So the question becomes, how do we fill in these roster holes without spending $9m per WAR?

& that's not a simple thing to acquire. You can get creative & get Rule V guys like Whitlock, or buy low on guys like Hernandez/Renfroe/Wacha, or make trades for cost controlled talent like Workman for Pivetta/Seabold, or pick up minor league free agents like Schreiber, but not all of those moves are going to work out & you'll end up with things like Franchy at bats or Dalbec at bats or innings pitched by really bad pitchers, especially when you have injuries because you don't have cheap competent talent ready to step in.

But that baseline of cheap talent needs to be there before you go in on the big contracts because the value in the big contracts is in the early years. Going in on big contracts a couple years ago would have been a waste because the baseline of cheap talent wasn't there, & by the time it was, these contracts would be on the downside & you're likely to be getting less than 1 WAR per $9m, which creates other opportunity costs (like when you're paying Sale/Price/Eo $57m for less than 2 WAR).

The Dodgers have the best farm system in baseball right now. That's why they can afford to invest in Mookie/Freeman/Bauer/etc. The Astros have the best pre-Arb talent in baseball. That's how they won the World Series.

I'm willing to be patient & see if we can become sustainable like all of these teams that playoff every year (Dodgers/Astros/Yankees/Rays/Cards). I hope Bloom is the right guy to do that. There are some positive data points to suggest that he is, & a couple that are a bit head-scratching. But yes, I absolutely believe in the plan, because you can't pay your team $540m.
Great post. In thinking about how to create that sustainable team, teams can tank or try to assemble a roster with upside in a way that does not undermine the long term project. I'm glad the Sox take the latter approach, even when it sometimes results in a terrible season like 2022. I think the long term goal of sustained excellence through home grown talent makes sense and, as we wait for it, I appreciate the possibility of a season like 2021 (or 2013).
 

Max Power

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Great post. In thinking about how to create that sustainable team, teams can tank or try to assemble a roster with upside in a way that does not undermine the long term project. I'm glad the Sox take the latter approach, even when it sometimes results in a terrible season like 2022. I think the long term goal of sustained excellence through home grown talent makes sense and, as we wait for it, I appreciate the possibility of a season like 2021 (or 2013).
If 2022 was a terrible season, what do you call 2012?
 

Heating up in the bullpen

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I'll try to explain my general point another way, though (not really a response to this post).
...
I'm willing to be patient & see if we can become sustainable like all of these teams that playoff every year (Dodgers/Astros/Yankees/Rays/Cards). I hope Bloom is the right guy to do that. There are some positive data points to suggest that he is, & a couple that are a bit head-scratching. But yes, I absolutely believe in the plan, because you can't pay your team $540m.
Your post is exactly my understanding of the situation, and I am, like you are, willing to be patient.
 

EvilEmpire

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'23 is the 1st year those players actually can be expected to contribute at a significant level - guys like Bello & Casas, & some of the pitcher depth is finally starting to get there. Guys like Crawford/Murphy/Mata.
The Dodgers have the best farm system in baseball right now. That's why they can afford to invest in Mookie/Freeman/Bauer/etc. The Astros have the best pre-Arb talent in baseball. That's how they won the World Series.
Good post.

So, if the farm system is about to bear fruit in '23 and almost certainly in '24, do the Red Sox extend Devers, even at a market rate, and lock down that young star who can anchor that new, upcoming core? Devers is 26 and probably hasn't hit his prime and will be good for quite a while.

If the Red Sox are following the Dodgers model, and I think they are, keeping Devers long-term should be part of the plan.
 

Benj4ever

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Nov 21, 2022
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Good post.

So, if the farm system is about to bear fruit in '23 and almost certainly in '24, do the Red Sox extend Devers, even at a market rate, and lock down that young star who can anchor that new, upcoming core? Devers is 26 and probably hasn't hit his prime and will be good for quite a while.

If the Red Sox are following the Dodgers model, and I think they are, keeping Devers long-term should be part of the plan.
Absolutely agreed. The Dodgers have a good model for the Sox to emulate. The biggest problem is that the free-agent market is overvalued right now. It's hard to make sound decisions in free agency when dolts like the Padres are handing out contracts that extend until a player is 41 years old. That's absolutely insane!
 

Red(s)HawksFan

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Good post.

So, if the farm system is about to bear fruit in '23 and almost certainly in '24, do the Red Sox extend Devers, even at a market rate, and lock down that young star who can anchor that new, upcoming core? Devers is 26 and probably hasn't hit his prime and will be good for quite a while.

If the Red Sox are following the Dodgers model, and I think they are, keeping Devers long-term should be part of the plan.
Of the recent class of homegrown stars to come through the system, Devers is certainly the best choice to lock in for the long term, primarily because of his age relative to when the next young core should be forming up. The monkey wrench is finding right price at which to do it. Personally, I think the Machado deal (10 years with an opt-out after 5) is the right framework, with appropriate inflationary adjustments. Though after this winter, he might be looking for a no-opt-out 14+ year deal that takes him through age 40. That could be a deal breaker unless it involves enough of an AAV discount.
 
Good post.

So, if the farm system is about to bear fruit in '23 and almost certainly in '24, do the Red Sox extend Devers, even at a market rate, and lock down that young star who can anchor that new, upcoming core? Devers is 26 and probably hasn't hit his prime and will be good for quite a while.

If the Red Sox are following the Dodgers model, and I think they are, keeping Devers long-term should be part of the plan.
It should be, but only if Devers is at least willing to take a market rate extension. I see a lot of people suggesting that the Sox should spend whatever it takes to retain Devers -- $350, 400mm... anything. That's where I balk. If Judge is a 360mm player, Dever is not worth 350, let alone 400. Since 2017 Devers has racked up 18.1 fWAR vs. Judge's 35.9. Based on that it seems to me that Devers should be worth perhaps 50-60% of Judge's AAV, so perhaps 20-24mm. If we're offering a "lifetime" contract to Devers that'd look something like 14/$280-14/$336. I could imagine going a bit lower on years and keeping the total value the same.

I generally loathe megadeals, but I do acknowledge that a big contract or two is realistically necessary. I don't have a problem with backing up a dump truck for Devers, Ohtani, Soto etc. But I absolutely oppose the idea that Devers must be written a blank check. He's a very good player, not a generational talent (unless he significantly elevates his game past what he's accomplished so far).
 

Sandy Leon Trotsky

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It should be, but only if Devers is at least willing to take a market rate extension. I see a lot of people suggesting that the Sox should spend whatever it takes to retain Devers -- $350, 400mm... anything. That's where I balk. If Judge is a 360mm player, Dever is not worth 350, let alone 400. Since 2017 Devers has racked up 18.1 fWAR vs. Judge's 35.9. Based on that it seems to me that Devers should be worth perhaps 50-60% of Judge's AAV, so perhaps 20-24mm. If we're offering a "lifetime" contract to Devers that'd look something like 14/$280-14/$336. I could imagine going a bit lower on years and keeping the total value the same.

I generally loathe megadeals, but I do acknowledge that a big contract or two is realistically necessary. I don't have a problem with backing up a dump truck for Devers, Ohtani, Soto etc. But I absolutely oppose the idea that Devers must be written a blank check. He's a very good player, not a generational talent (unless he significantly elevates his game past what he's accomplished so far).
This all seems fine…. But Devers is five years younger than Judge. In baseball that’s significant. Players start generally declining around 30-32 so assuming that applies equally, Judge has one great year left… Raffy has possibly 6 (ceiling not as high as Judges but next tier of upper elite player level lower)
 

EvilEmpire

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It should be, but only if Devers is at least willing to take a market rate extension. I see a lot of people suggesting that the Sox should spend whatever it takes to retain Devers -- $350, 400mm... anything. That's where I balk. If Judge is a 360mm player, Dever is not worth 350, let alone 400. Since 2017 Devers has racked up 18.1 fWAR vs. Judge's 35.9. Based on that it seems to me that Devers should be worth perhaps 50-60% of Judge's AAV, so perhaps 20-24mm. If we're offering a "lifetime" contract to Devers that'd look something like 14/$280-14/$336. I could imagine going a bit lower on years and keeping the total value the same.
I agree that Boston shouldn't pay over a market rate for Devers, but given that he is going into his age 26 season and Judge going into his 31, I don't think your perspective on what would be his market rate is accurate.
 

Max Power

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Their staff is full of holes and question marks. Lopez for Rafaela plus is something I’d do.
The staff is not full of holes, just question marks. Who knows what Sale, Paxton, Pivetta, Kluber, and Bello are going to give you, but they're all starters. The plan now is for Whitlock to be a starter, too. So there are already 6 guys for 5 spots. Getting a 7th means you're banking on two injuries or moving someone else.

If you're going to trade valuable prospects, I'd rather see them bring back a power hitter, not send one away.
 

JM3

Member
SoSH Member
Dec 14, 2019
11,405
Good post.

So, if the farm system is about to bear fruit in '23 and almost certainly in '24, do the Red Sox extend Devers, even at a market rate, and lock down that young star who can anchor that new, upcoming core? Devers is 26 and probably hasn't hit his prime and will be good for quite a while.

If the Red Sox are following the Dodgers model, and I think they are, keeping Devers long-term should be part of the plan.
I think the timing is fine for a Devers extension. I suggested a max of 12/$363m or something similar in the beginning of the off season.

A ton depends on their internal evaluation, though. Because you really have to be sure this is someone who will work hard, age well, & earn that contract.

That's why I think they need to make their best & final offer - whatever that is based on their internal evaluation - & if he rejects it, they need to trade him for the best package available prior to the season (assuming there is decent interest).
 

chawson

Member
SoSH Member
Aug 1, 2006
3,992
The staff is not full of holes, just question marks. Who knows what Sale, Paxton, Pivetta, Kluber, and Bello are going to give you, but they're all starters. The plan now is for Whitlock to be a starter, too. So there are already 6 guys for 5 spots. Getting a 7th means you're banking on two injuries or moving someone else.

If you're going to trade valuable prospects, I'd rather see them bring back a power hitter, not send one away.
Is Rafaela the power hitter we're sending away here? If so, I'd take it — but that seems lofty. The Sox Prospects guys said a couple months ago that he projects to be something like an Alcides Escobar-type hitter at the plate, but with superlative defense in center field. Their site has him with "potential average in-game power."