Red Sox Rumors - Just Kidding

nvalvo

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Chang has a 29% K rate in his time in the bigs, and 26% at AAA. (Iglesias career 12%, Andrus 14%). Exit velocity is great but you have to make contact first; not sure that he will make enough contact to be useful.
Thank you for supporting your view with some numbers, but I still don't find that terribly persuasive.

xWOBA includes strikeouts. So Chang's batting profile, including walks and Ks, has been, BABIP aside, as valuable as Andrus' and more considerably more valuable than Iglesias' over the last few years. And he's, you know, six or seven years younger.

xWOBACON is the statcast stat that excludes walks and Ks. That measure effectively ignores Chang's biggest weakness, and as a result he looks wildly better by that measure: .363 (a tic shy of league average) for Chang vs. .323 for Andrus or .300 for Iglesias.

(Mondesí has a .392 career xWOBACON, which is marvelous. José Ramírez is at .393. Mookie Betts is at .399.)
 

Sandy Leon Trotsky

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(Mondesí has a .392 career xWOBACON, which is marvelous. José Ramírez is at .393. Mookie Betts is at .399.)
I barely understand some of the advanced metrics that you guys toss around.... but I'll take whatever XwoBACON is and have a second serving for Mondesi. Hopefully this guy gets healthy consistently and we can see all of that potential unleashed. I love bacon!
 

Cassvt2023

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I tend to care much more about the defensive metrics, which certainly seem to favor Chang. Consider the role he is expected to have on the team until Mondesi is ready. I am picturing him as a defensive replacement at SS early in the season when the Sox have a lead late. This slides Kiki out to CF late in the game. Maybe even sliding Duvall over to RF, and Verdugo to LF while Yoshida is still learning the Wall. Easily their best defensive alignment. With the hopefully much improved back of the bullpen, this can easily translate to a couple wins.
 

Petagine in a Bottle

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All that is fair, and Chang is interesting. I guess in some ways the established veterans will seem like more of a sure thing but of course it doesn’t always work out that way; and if Chang does figure something out, he’s under control for a bit. So I guess I can see the argument for him over Andrus and Iggy. Probably a higher ceiling but a lower floor, although maybe that’s just my perception.
 

Max Power

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Thank you for supporting your view with some numbers, but I still don't find that terribly persuasive.
Three teams released Chang last year. He's put up a .213/.279/.360 line in his career, which is an almost exact match for the slash line Gerrit Cole gives up. And he just signed for 1/4 the contract that Elvis did. Whatever Statcast says he should have done, actual baseball teams don't think he's the better option.
 

nvalvo

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Three teams released Chang last year. He's put up a .213/.279/.360 line in his career, which is an almost exact match for the slash line Gerrit Cole gives up. And he just signed for 1/4 the contract that Elvis did. Whatever Statcast says he should have done, actual baseball teams don't think he's the better option.
Oh, there's no doubt that his results have been poor, but in a pretty small sample. That career MLB line is under 600 PA, so that suggests that looking at the line alone won't tell us a ton. So we need to look at his fast-stabilizing peripherals to get a sense of whether there's any more upside in there.

His strikeout rate... sucks. That's the data point against him, and it means he will never have a high batting average. But his walk rate is pretty solid. But while a high batting average may be unattainable (without luck), .213 is pretty terrible. But his career BABIP is only .278, and his contact quality is high enough that you'd expect better from him going forward — more like .240/.310/.390.

So... that's my case for why Chang is a reasonable guy to offer perhaps 100 PA off the bench resting Kiké and Arroyo until Mondesí and Story return.
 

YTF

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I think Andrus or Iglesias would clearly be better than Chang, but not sure either would have preferred the Sox situation given the lack of clarity and what happens if / when everyone is healthy.

Hopefully Kike is healthy and ready to go, especially early on with Mondesi out. The middle infield depth is pretty weak, IMO.
I think this plays a large part in the decision by the Sox as well as the FA middle IFs that have been mentioned. In the case of Adrus, I think the asking price was in the neighborhood of at least $10M plus per for at least two years. I was very intrigued by the idea of trading for Kim, but there was a player cost attached to that that I wasn't sure we should part with. Even though I'm on record as wanting to see Kike' play more CF than SS in the end I'm OK with how this played out. Big if, but IF we get a healthy Mondesi back a month into the season and a healthy Story back around the ASB the MI defense should be steady enough to allow Hernandez more time in CF. Of course that would be predicated on his health as well. If guys aren't healthy we might see a few guy being called up to see what they might be able to do.
 

Niastri

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I barely understand some of the advanced metrics that you guys toss around.... but I'll take whatever XwoBACON is and have a second serving for Mondesi. Hopefully this guy gets healthy consistently and we can see all of that potential unleashed. I love bacon!
I found myself wondering how long the nerds sat around trying to include bacon in their advanced stat acronym.
 

Sad Sam Jones

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It's not like Chang hasn't been given opportunities. He was on Cleveland's 26-man roster for more than a year straight because he'd run out of options but they finally ran out of justifications to continue wasting a roster spot on him.
 

nvalvo

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It's not like Chang hasn't been given opportunities. He was on Cleveland's 26-man roster for more than a year straight because he'd run out of options but they finally ran out of justifications to continue wasting a roster spot on him.
Yes, but the role he's been brought in for is fifth on the middle infield depth chart. I'm not saying he's someone you count on as a starting player, and I don't think anyone thinks he is. This is a dude whose absolute best case scenario is league average bat with decent-to-good middle infield defense — which is a good player! But that's like his 99th percentile outcome.

I'm saying I would rather, for that role, have a player in his twenties with some intriguing stats that suggest modest upside than spend more money on a thirty-something veteran with a similar projection for the coming season, who would then have enough service time not to be outrighted, etc. etc. That is all!

I found myself wondering how long the nerds sat around trying to include bacon in their advanced stat acronym.
I think the person who named that one is a member here, right? Or am I confusing her with someone else?
 

Rovin Romine

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I think this plays a large part in the decision by the Sox as well as the FA middle IFs that have been mentioned. In the case of Adrus, I think the asking price was in the neighborhood of at least $10M plus per for at least two years. I was very intrigued by the idea of trading for Kim, but there was a player cost attached to that that I wasn't sure we should part with. Even though I'm on record as wanting to see Kike' play more CF than SS in the end I'm OK with how this played out. Big if, but IF we get a healthy Mondesi back a month into the season and a healthy Story back around the ASB the MI defense should be steady enough to allow Hernandez more time in CF. Of course that would be predicated on his health as well. If guys aren't healthy we might see a few guy being called up to see what they might be able to do.
It honestly does not seem all that complicated to me. Andrus and Iglesias likely wanted multiple years and a guaranteed year-long starting position - likely at SS to look forward to another contract.

The Sox have:

Mainstays:
Story as one of SS/2B (hopefully from mid-season through the next 5 years).​
Christian Arroyo as 2B. FA in 2025.​

Pipeline:
Rafaela late 2023?, Mayer up in late 2024?, Yorke(?) late 2024(?).​

ML Stopgaps:
Mondesi as SS/2B (hopefully from May(?) onward.) FA next year.​
Enrique Hernandez as SS/CF. FA next year.​
40-man Break Glass
2B Valdez (AAA), 2B Hamilton (AA).​

Minors Break Glass/NRIs
Niko Goodrum, Sogard, Lugo, Fitzgerald.​

So what do we need? SS depth for April/May, preferably equal to or better than Goodrum.
Chang plays SS and cost $870K or something.​

I'm not sure why people thought Andrus/Iglesias has a place on the team if they're looking for a multi-year deal.

2023 start: SS Hernandez (Chang). 2B Arroyo (Chang).
2023 mid: SS Hernandez/Mondesi (Chang?). 2B Mondesi/Arroyo/Story.
2023 end: SS Hernandez/Story. 2B Arroyo/Mondesi.

2024 start: SS Story. 2B Arroyo.
2024 end: SS Story/Mayer. 2B Arroyo/Story. (Rafaela?)

2025: SS Mayer. 2B Story. Rafaela/Yorke/resigned Arroyo in mix?
 

Sprowl

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Re Iggy - I doubt that he will get a multi-year contract or a guaranteed starting position. His current line looks more like Andrus-minus: a one-year contract for ~$1-2 million. He may still be available to sign as a utility infielder come March. I would prefer him to Chang, but I think Bloom has now placed all his infield bets. Heal quickly, Trevor Story!

(Mondesí has a .392 career xWOBACON, which is marvelous. José Ramírez is at .393. Mookie Betts is at .399.)
I found myself wondering how long the nerds sat around trying to include bacon in their advanced stat acronym.
xWOBACON is indeed marvellous, susceptible of several creative mispronunciations. I think of it as the Garrison Keillor metric, for Lake xWOBACON.
 

Rovin Romine

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Re Iggy - I doubt that he will get a multi-year contract or a guaranteed starting position. His current line looks more like Andrus-minus: a one-year contract for ~$1-2 million.
Holding out for one on Feb 16 (when the Sox signed Chang) and actually getting one later on are two completely different kettles of seafood.

To the extent lines of communication were open between the Sox and Andrus/Iglesias, Chang may have been the initial domino.
 

Tangled Up In Red

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2023 start: SS Hernandez (Chang). 2B Arroyo (Chang).
2023 mid: SS Hernandez/Mondesi (Chang?). 2B Mondesi/Arroyo/Story.
2023 end: SS Hernandez/Story. 2B Arroyo/Mondesi.
Wouldn't Story be #1 at 2B in the 2023 end scenario with Arroyo and Mondesi as backups at 2B and SS, respectively? Or are you seeing things differently than me?
 

Rovin Romine

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Wouldn't Story be #1 at 2B in the 2023 end scenario with Arroyo and Mondesi as backups at 2B and SS, respectively? Or are you seeing things differently than me?
It's more of a placeholder illustration for why you don't want to sign a dedicated marginal SS at this point.

The only real concern about Story at SS was his arm. If the arm is fixed, he's nominally your best SS/2B. The point is there should be enough credible talent to pair with Story, who is the key piece. You can play him wherever the other current talent seems to be maximized.

The slotting of the other talent. For example, Hernandez may have to move to CF at some point. Mondesi may be injured, or Arroyo, or one or the other may catch fire. Also, another MI like Rafaela, Valdez, Hamilton, etc. might take a huge step forward. Or maybe they're all injured and you pick up a good defense, no-bat SS. Who knows?
 

NDame616

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RJ on TSH keeps saying "Alex Verdugo approached Red Sox ownership about a long term contract extension so I googled:

https://www.bostonherald.com/2023/02/20/red-sox-alex-verdugo-long-term-deal/

The actual article is a little less direct, making it seem like he moreso said he'd like an extension based on his performance:
Monday was the first full day of spring training, and Verdugo approached Red Sox leadership and made it clear he wants to stay in Boston. According to multiple sources, Verdugo told the group, which included principal owner John Henry, that he’s prepared to prove he deserves a new contract.
 

scottyno

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Verdugo - 3 years, $30m (incl this year, buying out one FA year). Who says no?
He does, pretty quickly unless he has 0 confidence in himself. There's pretty much no upside there for him there unless he thinks he's going to be bad enough the Sox non tender him after this year, in which case they wouldn't have offered him 30m in the first place.
 

Minneapolis Millers

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He does, pretty quickly unless he has 0 confidence in himself. There's pretty much no upside there for him there unless he thinks he's going to be bad enough the Sox non tender him after this year, in which case they wouldn't have offered him 30m in the first place.
Maybe. But it’s a decent hedge against injury and keeps him playing in Boston, where he says he wants to be. It’s basically market rate for his last arb year and then about $14M for one year of FA (I was figuring something like 6.5/9.5/14; maybe part in a signing bonus). That’s close to Benintendi’s AAV on the contract he just signed, and, frankly, Benny’s been the better player overall. Verdugo would still hit FA at age 29.
 
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rodderick

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Maybe. But it’s a decent hedge against injury and keeps him playing in Boston, where he says he wants to be. It’s basically market rate for his last arb year and then about $14M for one year of FA (I was figuring something like 6.5/9/5/14). That’s close to Benintendi’s AAV on the contract he just signed, and, frankly, Benny’s been the better player overall. Verdugo would still hit FA at age 29.
Has he? Since 2019 Verdugo has been worth more oWAR, more dWAR and more overall bWAR per 650 plate appearances.
 

Minneapolis Millers

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5/$75m probably gets his attention and still leaves him in his early 30s when it expires.
Would you offer that to him now? Wait to see if he’s better this year? That seems like a market value deal, so I’m not sure what the team gets out of it other than certainty. It would eat up their remaining space under the tax. And unless he’s better defensively, it locks us in to 5 years of having two LFs on the team. That’s a risk I’d take at 3/$30, but probably not at 5/$75.
 

Red(s)HawksFan

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Of course it was, because everyone but the media (and us, I guess) understands that actual serious contract talks aren't kicking off during what was most likely a casual "hey, how was your winter" conversation between player and owner(s) at spring training. But reporters have inches to fill and clicks to generate.

If/when Dugie really wants to talk extension, I'm sure his agent will be in touch with Bloom.
 

Yaz4Ever

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Would you offer that to him now? Wait to see if he’s better this year? That seems like a market value deal, so I’m not sure what the team gets out of it other than certainty. It would eat up their remaining space under the tax. And unless he’s better defensively, it locks us in to 5 years of having two LFs on the team. That’s a risk I’d take at 3/$30, but probably not at 5/$75.
I don't think he'd sniff at 3/$30 ... $15m won't be too egregious
 

Ale Xander

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I think Sanchez's reputation as a bad defensive catcher is maybe a bit overstated.

Jon Abbey or someone else who watches the Yankees could speak to this better than I can. But I think the deal with Gary Sanchez is that he’s a bad pitch blocker, which made him a terrible fit on a 2021 Yankee team that threw more curveballs than just about anyone else, about twice the rate of the average team. They attacked the bottom of the zone a lot.

The 2022 Twins didn't. They have much less of a curveball heavy staff, and Sanchez rated just fine defensively (+1 DRS), a big jump from his -10 mark the previous year.

Sanchez, NYY, 2021: 8 passed balls, 60 wild pitches, 879 innings, 50 SB, 10 CS
Sanchez, MIN, 2022: 4 passed balls, 27 wild pitches, 714 innings, 36 SB, 14 CS

Sonny Gray is a big curveball guy, and the Twins had Jeffers catch him. I think they'd often pull him for some of their relievers too. Like the Twins, the 2022 Sox worked up in the zone a lot, so I think Sanchez might have a decent shot to be okay here too. If we were to sign him, maybe have McGuire catch Kluber and Pivetta.

I think I'd be fine with signing him. He's been pretty "unlucky" relative to his xstats for a few years now. I don't know if that evens out but you'd have to think the Monster helps.
this is jon abbey from a year ago on Sanchez
Sanchez is kind of worse than his individual parts. He is a large dude and late in games, his pitch blocking gets spotty and he gives up a lot of crucial passed balls. On one hand, I think this is an overrated component but on the other hand, it seems to happen a lot in big situations. At the plate, he seems easy to fool and he also is very easy to position against defensively somehow, which is a big reason why his stats don't match his underlying metrics.
 

chawson

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this is jon abbey from a year ago on Sanchez
That's fine. Since then, Sánchez had an even better year at and behind the plate (plus or plus-plus in framing, pop time, transfer, arm strength). He was also the personal catcher of last year's NL Cy Young Award winner. He's not Yadier Molina back there but if he's controlling the running game (+2 Caught Stealing Above Average, 15th of 63, according to Savant), I don't think his blocking (minus-1, 43rd of 68) is an especially big deal.
 

jon abbey

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Yeah, he was great last year once SD picked him up, offensively and defensively. It’s surprising he’s still a free agent.
 

SoxInJersey

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Please stay away from Sanchez! His overall game is not worth making a change with the catchers the Sox currently have.
 

oumbi

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Please stay away from Sanchez! His overall game is not worth making a change with the catchers the Sox currently have.
Would you care to reconcile your opinion with those above your post about Sanchez? Also, they offered some evidence/stats to back up their thoughts. What are yours? Thanks.