The off-season

m0ckduck

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It's a smallish thing but, on the pitching front, they need to get another 1-2 guys they can stash in AAA who are less flammable than Owens and company. Low-ceiling/high-floor guys who can give them a chance to win in limited cameo appearances.

It was really lame having to practically concede games outright in Aug/Sep when a starter got hurt. And, let's not forget that lack of depth forced DD's hand in terms of the Pomeranz deal.
 

Devizier

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It's a smallish thing but, on the pitching front, they need to get another 1-2 guys they can stash in AAA who are less flammable than Owens and company. Low-ceiling/high-floor guys who can give them a chance to win in limited cameo appearances.

It was really lame having to practically concede games outright in Aug/Sep when a starter got hurt. And, let's not forget that lack of depth forced DD's hand in terms of the Pomeranz deal.
I agree -- and on a related note, I don't want anyone ever complaining about the team "having too many starters" ever again.
 

Byrdbrain

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M0ckduck, I agree with your first point in general but other than one start from Owens where he wasn't great but wasn't awful(2 R in 4.2 innings) all the games in Sept/Oct were started by the typical starters, no games were practically conceded in any way.
 

grimshaw

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I can't imagine that any starting pitching above replacement level won't get picked up this off season in particular to be in someone's rotation.

They could get lucky with a AAA stash, but the way this market is, it's doubtful anyone with more upside that Owens could get picked up to willingly start in the minors unless it was some guy returning from a major injury or something. Getting a AAAA depth guy for Shaw could maybe work.

Fortunately they have 6 viable starters going in to spring training.
 

yecul

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The need assessment will have to include accurate expectations of '17 performance out of a few key guys. I think the second half / end of season / playoffs exposed a few guys as not for real. Still useful and valuable, but not assets to the offense. Leon and Bradley specifically.

If they are more (below) average-ish than above, then that may necessitate a focus on additional offense elsewhere to compensate. Overall the offense should be strong with numerous core talents, so that doesn't necessarily mean a free agent splash.

The focus should be on pitching quality and depth.
 

grimshaw

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Still useful and valuable, but not assets to the offense. Leon and Bradley specifically.
Weird note. JBJ and X had the exact same OPS+ of 98 in the second half, and exact same 118 since JBJ was called up in 2015. They both were awful in August and came back and managed league average production in September.

The fatigue factor for JBJ is a possible factor, since he rode the bench a lot last year and was an everyday player this year. 2nd half Xander looked a lot like 1st half Hanley when neither seemed to be able to decide on an approach from game to game.

I think we'll finally know what JBJ is a month or two in to his age 27 year, to see if he shows the ability to make shorter term adjustments to his holes.
It may take another year or two for Xander since he's still young and has flashed both elite and average offensive skills at times.
 

PaulinMyrBch

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MYRTLE BEACH!!!!
I think we are in for a surprise trade, possibly JBJ or Pomeranz. DD moves fast and moves big, so nothing would shock me.
 

shaggydog2000

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Earlier in the year I didn't think we had room for a DH bat, but now that the season is done and I see Shaw's overall numbers and general trend by half seasons (WRC+ 116, 104, 59), I don't see how they keep him, Sandoval, and Holt around. Sandoval is almost impossible to trade. Holt hits for less power but higher average, had pretty much the same WRC+ this year (86 vs 87), and covers a lot more positions. Shaw is the odd man out in training camp next year unless Sandoval craps the bed and isn't fully healthy. Then just some bull pen arms, and they're probably done.
 

nvalvo

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I think we're pretty much looking at the team.

Trading Bradley Jr. is probably a bad move. He simply won't be able to return his value in SP: no one's giving us a 4.8 fWAR pitcher with four years of control remaining (i.e., Quintana's quality) for our 4.8 fWAR CF with four years of control remaining, because defense still isn't valued properly on the market, while FIP and IP are.

I think we should expect the obvious: Porcello, Price, Pomeranz, Rodriguez as the rotation, with Buchholz and Wright bouncing between the SP5 and swingman role. That projects pretty well. I think the real pitching excitement will be in 2018-19, as Groome, Kopech and Raudes start to arrive.

Infield: Sandoval should get a chance at 3B, and I bet Farrell — who seems done with Shaw — gives him the nod. I also expect him to do at least decently. (Why do I think this? His reduced weight will help his agility on defense, while his repaired shoulder will help his RH swing, which had been the main source of his declining numbers. Even in his unwatchable 2015 he still posted a .750ish OPS from the left side in spite of a .280 BABIP.) Moncada should play 3B at Pawtucket with the aim of displacing Sandoval ASAP. Ideally, Sandoval's good, Moncada's also good, and Sandoval keeps Moncada in AAA until the Panda is either dealt at the deadline or rosters expand. Alternately, if Moncada's ready, you deal Sandoval in the offseason.

The middle infield is set.

Hanley stays at 1B. I would like to see a trade for Votto, whom I think is an amazing hitter and could be had for a very reasonable price. Votto sucks defensively, so he and Hanley split time 1B/DH 75/25. Basically, I think Edwin's deal is going to get so crazy, that Votto's deal will look reasonable in comparison. Votto is owed $25 a year until 2023, and we'd likely have to pick up a team option on 2024 to bring him over. But he combines good power with amazing pure hitting in ways that remind me of Manny, and, well, that catches my attention. It all depends on whether the rebuilding Reds want out from under the deal — I could see arguments both ways from their perspective. We could assume almost all of the money and give them a good prospects or two, too, so we can make a very strong offer if they're interested at all. (Sam Travis would make some sense.)

If Edwin's deal isn't insane, maybe just sign Edwin, or, more modestly, Carlos Santana, who would provide an affordable 800-850 OPS and lots of opportunities for fun game thread jokes.

OF: I think we have a four-man OF set, with Young taking PA from Bradley and Benintendi against lefties.

C: Leon and Vazquez sharing time in MLB; Swihart in AAA refining his receiving. I think there's a chance that Leon could figures something out in the offseason about how he was pitched, so I wouldn't write him off, but I think there's a fair chance that Swihart displaces him by the second half.

2B Pedroia R
LF Benintendi L
RF Betts R
DH Votto L
1B Ramirez R
3B Sandoval SW
SS Bogaerts R
C Leon SW
CF Bradley L

Bench: I think Holt is dealt for a prospect in spring training to a team who has a season-ending injury to a starter. Marco becomes the new Holt. Vaz/Young/Marco/Shaw.

Bullpen: Kimbrel, Uehara (1/$8m?), Kelly, Ross, Santiago Casilla (1/$7m?), Scott, Wright/Buch...
 

chawson

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I think we're pretty much looking at the team.

...

If Edwin's deal isn't insane, maybe just sign Edwin, or, more modestly, Carlos Santana, who would provide an affordable 800-850 OPS and lots of opportunities for fun game thread jokes.
This is a nice idea, but Cleveland has a club option on him next year at $12m.
 

Hoodie Sleeves

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Votto is a fantastic hitter, but paying $25m/yr for his year 34-41 is ridiculously risky - especially to play him at DH. There's a very real possibility that he's effectively done with 3+ years left on that deal.
 

Sandy Leon Trotsky

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Rotation is set as is. Porcello, Price, Pomeranz, Future Ace EdRo, and Clay.
Wright as long man in the pen and probable starter throughout the year for injuries, etc....
I do think they need to add one AAAA starting pitcher in Pawtucket and I think Owens should start getting relief innings with an eye towards a future as a closer. If he suddenly starts to develop more control and a few extra mph on his fastball, consider moving him back... but I'd like to see him begin the shift to a relief role.

I'd be fine with an Encarnacion signing... but that's it. There's really nobody else out there on the FA side that could fill Papi's bat and play a 1st base/DH combo. Other than that, I think Shaw will likely be dealt... maybe tethered to a Dubon or Ockimey to bring in a fringey prospect. I think Panda will get his job back and eventually split time with Moncada after the AS Break.
I also think the Sox should be looking to deal Leon (BTW, how do I change my name to Sandy Leon Trotsky?) and to start the season with Swihart and Vazquez there. The Sox panicked IMO and pushed Swihart out of the role too soon.... most likely he'll start in AAA with Vazquez and Leon there though.

The bullpen is a strength assuming they can retain Ziegler and resign Koji for another season. I think Kelly is emerging as a Miller-esque bullpen ace. Kimbrell, Koji, Kelly. Killer K's. Then Ziegler, Ross, Wright and Barnes to fill it out. That's a kick ass pen. Also assuming that Smith will be back sometime mid season... not during....
 

DJnVa

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It's a smallish thing but, on the pitching front, they need to get another 1-2 guys they can stash in AAA who are less flammable than Owens and company. Low-ceiling/high-floor guys who can give them a chance to win in limited cameo appearances.
Where do you find guys that are both willing to kinda be AAAA type guys but will also give you what you're looking for with any year to year consistency?
 

Toe Nash

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I'm fairly surprised to see so many people saying they'll pick up Clay's option. I could very easily see them declining it, signing a flier or two and trading for someone more dependable. Clay had a very weird year and ended fairly strong but it was only July when Farrell wouldn't even pitch him in mop-up. I have defended Clay a lot and I know a 1/$13m deal is not a big deal, but I think it's time they let him go and look elsewhere, and I don't really blame them much. Finding starting pitching is theoretically one of Dombrowski's strengths and I like the chances to improve on Clay through the trade market -- not even Sale, but someone we're not expecting.
 

NDame616

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The problem is if you want someone "more dependable than Clay" in next year's barren FA market, it'll probably cost way more then 1/$13. Clay's season wrapped up with him probably, hopefully, being a viable 4/5 pitcher going into next year. Those types sign 3 year deals.
 

Byrdbrain

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There arguably is no starting pitcher more dependable than Clay in the free agent market.
It is a freaking wasteland out there. You could make an argument that Hellickson is the best pitcher but other than this year he hasn't even been decent since 2012 and it is expected he will cost a draft pick. After him there are a couple guys who could be good if they were healthy but who knows if they will be(Hill and Alvarez) and Bartolo Colon and a couple other old guys.
I don't think there is any doubt that the option gets picked up and I think he will be in the starting rotation but if management is over him they could easily get something decent for him.
 

PapaSox

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I am probably in the minority but other than resigning a few RP - Ziegler & Koji and exercising Buchholz option we need to do little. Unless DD gets a deal that he just can't refuse (Now, that in and of itself may be easier than one might expect) then leave it be. Someone mentioned another pen arm like Miller would be great. I'd love Miller himself to come back.

The team had a great many injury issues pop up that easily offset some real nice performances by others. At times things were a tad thin but otherwise manageable. Price took a little time to warm up and Pomeranz is getting himself acclimated to the AL, a new workload and a smaller ballpark. The kids are still growing and one could expect further growth next season. Travis had an tough sophomore season. Moncada still has a bit of growing to do before he's ready and there is no reason to rush him. Kelly has shown that he is a solid pen presence. Buchholz came around as the season progressed which makes him excellent coming out of the pen if someone goes down. Having Holt, Young, Panda, Swihart & Rutledge on the bench is solid depth. Rotating resting and bench players through the DH role will keep bats alive. So I don't agree with going out and getting a "big bat" to fill the role Ortiz has vacated.

The only thing that really worries me is the lack of high end rotation options at the upper level of the minors. Owens does little for me. Johnson has got to figure things out. I don't see Elias as a solution. Kopech has a ways to go So there may be a need to add one or two "projects" to provide a little more depth.

I don't see DD leaving things alone so as someone has already mentioned he will likely do something big as that's just his style.
 

PTC

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Nov 10, 2006
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I would really rather JBJ not get traded. Granted he's probably a better player, but I get the sense Jackie will have a Bernie Williams-like presence on this team as some of the other younger guys grow into the actual stars of this generation of Red Sox. I get nervous when folks want someone gone because maybe they didn't become 100% of their perceived potential. If Jackie Bradley is your worst starting outfielder (and on this team he might be)- you're doing fine. I think it says a lot about the guy that he overcame his 2014 season IN Boston WITH the kind of expectations people had. He's a guy I want around when our next great Sox star comes up in 2020 (or whenever). I get that folks don't put much stock in chemistry, but I do think team mentors are important.

Yes, if he were terrible in the field, the mentor bit wouldn't justify a spot...but he's far better than terrible.
 

Mueller's Twin Grannies

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Come on man, make your point without casting aspersions.

Maybe it's "home" for him now and as his career winds down, that's where he wants to be.
It was meant to be tongue-in-cheek but apologies to anyone offended. I just find it a bizarre desire to go back to a bad team instead of remaining with a contender. My guess is he'll end up signing with whichever team offers the best deal, though, especially if it blows Arizona's out if the water.
 

j-man

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u need Pitching Rick p and price are number 2 rick p had a career year

get one of the bule jays bats maybe both edwin e and batsria

get Chapman or craig k

if i ran the show i would get kershaw or some of Wash pitching ross they have 4 top 40 prosets
 

bosockboy

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u need Pitching Rick p and price are number 2 rick p had a career year

get one of the bule jays bats maybe both edwin e and batsria

get Chapman or craig k

if i ran the show i would get kershaw or some of Wash pitching ross they have 4 top 40 prosets
Holy shit.
 

DeadlySplitter

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if i ran the show i would get kershaw or some of Wash pitching ross they have 4 top 40 prosets
Sure, we'll trade our entire lineup for all those assets.

I would really rather JBJ not get traded. Granted he's probably a better player, but I get the sense Jackie will have a Bernie Williams-like presence on this team as some of the other younger guys grow into the actual stars of this generation of Red Sox. I get nervous when folks want someone gone because maybe they didn't become 100% of their perceived potential. If Jackie Bradley is your worst starting outfielder (and on this team he might be)- you're doing fine. I think it says a lot about the guy that he overcame his 2014 season IN Boston WITH the kind of expectations people had. He's a guy I want around when our next great Sox star comes up in 2020 (or whenever). I get that folks don't put much stock in chemistry, but I do think team mentors are important.

Yes, if he were terrible in the field, the mentor bit wouldn't justify a spot...but he's far better than terrible.
He's a valuable player, but he might be expendable for the right pitcher due to his maddening streakiness
 

dhappy42

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Sure, we'll trade our entire lineup for all those assets.

He's a valuable player, but he might be expendable for the right pitcher due to his maddening streakiness
Aside from being maddening, what's wrong with streakiness? If a player hits .290 with 30 HRs who cares if if his hits and HRs come in bunches?
 

In my lifetime

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The off-season "to do" list is very manageable

Sparing someone offering top of the rotation talent, the starting pitching is set.
Clay's option will definitely be picked up
Wright provides the perfect long man/5th starter in case of injury or poor performance

Bullpen
Koji - I assume he either resigns at significantly less than 10M/yr or retires. In any case, I don't think he should be counted on to be an 8th inning guy, nor healthy enough to pitch more than 40 games.
Kelly shows enough potential to be able to be a 7th inning guy and maybe develop into much more.
Retaining Ziegler would seem to be the most critical move for the bullpen as the reliable 8th inning set up guy. If he isn't resigned, that would leave a significant hole to fill.
Carson Smith shouldn't be considered part of the bullpen. If he recovers in the last half of the year, that would be a welcome bonus.
So my moves would be resign Ziegler and take Koji back at 1/5M if he is willing. If Koji retires, I don't think that there needs to be another acquisition.

OF - Set

IF - Set with the exception of 3B
Shaw - at this point he is a utility corner infielder. I doubt he has a ton of trade value, but if he is moved for some value, that would be fine. If not he can fill in for HRam, when he is DH or at 3B
3B - Panda by default with Moncada in the wings. I don't think it is worth using assets (money or players) to improve at 3B, since certainly 1 yr from now Moncada will be ready (and I am hoping by the ASB). Holt and Shaw to fill in when Panda hits the buffet too hard.
We can dream all we want about moving Panda, but he brings back nothing even if the RS pick up 80% of his contract.

DH - rotate HRam with the rest of the roster to give them rest using Shaw, Holt as fill in for the DH of the day.


Catcher
The RS certainly have plenty of options here.
The 1st decision: Is Hanigan worth exercising the option, or just spend 800k on the buyout? If the option is exercised, it should be for the sole reason for trading him for a lottery ticket or two.
Holaday - AAA depth for RS in case of injury
Sandy is the starter as long as he doesn't turn back into a pumpkin
Vaz - back up. D specialist, who should be much improved 2 yrs removed from TJS.
Swihart riding the shuttle back and forth from Pawtucket every time an injury strikes a catcher or outfielder.
If they can find a trading partner to give the RS something they value, a trade is not a bad idea.


Trade Chips
Holaday, Hanigan (if option exercised), Vaz or Swihart (but only if they get real value in return)
Shaw but I don't think the return will be much.
Panda - keep dreaming
and the roster could definitely be improved by trading 2 or 3 nickels for a dime in multiple spots. However, most teams rightfully are not interested in those trades.

For the 1st year I can remember, the RS have the potential to return next spring without making any moves and still be considered one of the favorites in the AL.
 
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Papelbon's Poutine

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Not only the content, but the spelling, abbreviations, and lower case letters. I don't want to be mean, but really if you are older than 12, please put a little more time into a post before you waste bandwidth.

The off-season "to do" list is very manageable

Sparing someone offering top of the rotation talent, the starting pitching is set.
Clay's option will definitely be picked up
Wright provides the perfect long man/5th starter in case of injury or poor performance

Bullpen
Koji - I assume he either resigns at significantly less than 10M/yr or retires. In any case, I don't think he should be counted on to be an 8th inning guy, nor healthy enough to pitch more than 40 games.
However Kelly should be able to fill in as a 7th inning guy
Retaining Ziegler would seem to be the most critical move for the bullpen, so he could fill the 8th inning role. If this isn't done that is a hole to fill.
Carson Smith shouldn't be considered part of the bullpen. If he recovers in the last half of the year, that would be a welcome surprise.
So my moves would be resign Ziegler and take Koji back at 1/5M if he is willing. If Koji retires, I don't think that really leaves a vacancy.

OF - Set

IF - Set with the exception of 3B
Shaw - at this point he is a utility corner infielder. I doubt he has a ton of trade value, but if he is moved for some value great. If not he can fill in for HRam, when he is DH or at 3B
3B - Panda by default with Moncada in the wings. I don't think it is worth using assets (money or players) to improve at 3B, since certainly 1 yr from now Moncada will be ready (and I am hoping by the ASB). Holt and Shaw to fill in when Panda hits the buffet too hard.
We can dream all we want about moving Panda, but he brings back nothing even if the RS pick up 80% of his contract.


Catcher
The RS certainly have plenty of options here.
The 1st decision: Is Hanigan worth exercising the option, or just spend 800k on the buyout. If the option is exercised, it should be for the sole reason for trading him for a lottery ticket or two.
Holaday - AAA depth for RS in case of injury
Sandy is the starter as long as he doesn't turn back into a pumpkin
Vaz as back up. D specialist (should be much improved 2 yrs removed from TJS).
Swihart riding the shuttle back and forth from Pawtucket every time an injury strikes a catcher or outfielder.
If they can find a trading partner to give the RS something they value, a trade is not a bad idea.


Trade Chips
Holaday, Hanigan (if option exercised), Vaz or Swihart (but only if they get real value in return)
Shaw but I don't think the return will be much
Panda - keep dreaming
and the roster could definitely be improved by trading 2 or 3 nickels for a dime in multiple spots. However, most teams rightfully are not interested in those trades.

For the 1st year I can remember, the RS have the potential to return next spring without making any moves and still be considered one of the favorites in the AL.
You have a pm. Read it.
 

MikeM

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While signing Encarnacion is obviously a great surface fit, I have my doubts I end up liking the concept as much once we get into Nov/Dec and beyond the early low ball projection period of free agency. Especially given this winter's relatively weak high end crop.

Enough so that I'd even project DD, who I believe steers clear of any major rotation changes, going all in on the Chapman/Jensen front before he possibly spends almost twice that (?) on a soon to be 34 year old DH type.

The big/flashy bullpen upgrade + maybe trading for a lesser but somewhat attractive IB/DH option like Hosmer just strikes me as the better overall sell there for 2017 imo.
 

budcrew08

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Weird note. JBJ and X had the exact same OPS+ of 98 in the second half, and exact same 118 since JBJ was called up in 2015. They both were awful in August and came back and managed league average production in September.

The fatigue factor for JBJ is a possible factor, since he rode the bench a lot last year and was an everyday player this year. 2nd half Xander looked a lot like 1st half Hanley when neither seemed to be able to decide on an approach from game to game.

I think we'll finally know what JBJ is a month or two in to his age 27 year, to see if he shows the ability to make shorter term adjustments to his holes.
It may take another year or two for Xander since he's still young and has flashed both elite and average offensive skills at times.
Can we remember that JBJ became a daddy this season? Fatigue is nothing with a new baby at home.
 

moondog80

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I can't believe people want to dive in on Votto/Encarnacion's decline years. With Pablo and Ramirez still around for a few more years and some pretty big deals due once Betts, Bogaerts, etc. hit their FA years, I want no part of either. Maybe Beltran on a one year deal or even Bautista if he has a limited market.
 

Clears Cleaver

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I think any trade for Quintana/Sale would include Pomeranz. I also wish they'd look into trading Kimbrel but there are plenty of closers available this offseason already.

People seem to be forgetting Steven Wright. He has as much a chance to be the in the rotation as ERod, buchholtz or Pom. But it's clear finding another starter is priority 1. There is zero organizational starting pitching depth.

Assuming Moncada is ready by mid season, there isn't much need in the field. I think the focus will be at C. Four guys, none that anyone really trusts or thinks can be more than average.
 

DrBoston

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Sep 29, 2016
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I would really rather JBJ not get traded. Granted he's probably a better player, but I get the sense Jackie will have a Bernie Williams-like presence on this team as some of the other younger guys grow into the actual stars of this generation of Red Sox. I get nervous when folks want someone gone because maybe they didn't become 100% of their perceived potential. If Jackie Bradley is your worst starting outfielder (and on this team he might be)- you're doing fine. I think it says a lot about the guy that he overcame his 2014 season IN Boston WITH the kind of expectations people had. He's a guy I want around when our next great Sox star comes up in 2020 (or whenever). I get that folks don't put much stock in chemistry, but I do think team mentors are important.

Yes, if he were terrible in the field, the mentor bit wouldn't justify a spot...but he's far better than terrible.
Totally agree 100% And as someone mentioned above, he and his wife also had a baby in the middle of the season, so I can imagine that tired him out quite a bit (as a father of 4 myself, I'm certain of it! :) )
 

Monbonthbump

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Anyone have any thoughts about Tazawa? He has been a reliable bullpen arm for years but always seems to get a tired arm by the end of the season. Is he worth keeping and using more sparingly early in the season or will we just let him go? I've always liked him myself.
 

Cesar Crespo

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Aside from being maddening, what's wrong with streakiness? If a player hits .290 with 30 HRs who cares if if his hits and HRs come in bunches?
Don't remember where I read it, but there are articles suggesting streakiness > consistency.
 

grimshaw

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I can't believe people want to dive in on Votto/Encarnacion's decline years. With Pablo and Ramirez still around for a few more years and some pretty big deals due once Betts, Bogaerts, etc. hit their FA years, I want no part of either. Maybe Beltran on a one year deal or even Bautista if he has a limited market.
Agree on the pass for EE because he'll likely be paid more than Votto and is a lesser player, but Votto would lap a guy like Hanley's production for the next 3-4 years.

He has been averaging 5+ WAR a year over the past 5, and that includes a 2 win season when he only played 62 games and as an average to slightly below average fielder.

Last year's first half was rough by his standards (OPS+ of 127) but he had an OPS+ of 214 in the second half so it doesn't appear he is in decline just yet. His defense this season brought his overall value down, but he'd be a DH in the near future which should preserve his bat.

One more indication of how good Votto is:
Papi's age 28-33 season. wRC+ 153
Votto's 28-33 wRC+ 161 (while playing 1B every day)
Cabrera 28-33 wRC+165

This is all kind of ridiculous anyhow because there has been zero indication he wants to be traded or leaked Boston rumor to acquire him. It's sort of like 2014 Stanton for this board on a much more split level in terms of no rumors on either side, but I'm definitely guilty of leading the charge.
 
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DrBoston

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Sep 29, 2016
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Don't remember where I read it, but there are articles suggesting streakiness > consistency.
I'm firmly in the "keep JBJ" camp as well. I think most teams would love to have a guy who plays great D in CF and hits ~.270 w/20+ HR and 75+ RBI in the bottom 3rd of the order. He's a good character guy, too (as all of the young kids seem to be) and as I always ask when people suggest trading an All-Star player (in any sport), who better out there are you going to replace him with? An outfield of JBJ, Mookie, and Benni seems like a pretty damn nice one to build around for many years to come. Just my $0.02.
 

Harry Hooper

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I want Jansen. I think he's a real long-term weapon, plus any moves to upgrade the starting rotation will be quite problematic. If you're signing Jansen, you might as well sign another premium FA, so add Encarnacion as well. Hey, the Sox are blocked from spending much $ on the international front for a bit.

Starting Rotation
Price
Porcello
Rodriguez
Buchholz/Wright/low-profile FA (2 of these 3)


Bullpen
Jansen
Kimbrel (Plan on trading after 2017 season, but open to offers sooner than that.)
Pomeranz (In lefty Scot Shields role.)
Koji/Smith (Assuming their uptime/downtime will dovetail into "one" pitcher. If you get more, that's great.)
Kelly/Barnes (One of them departs this winter.)
Ross
Scott/Whatever (This reliever should have options remaining to ride the shuttle.)


Lineup
C Leon/Vasquez {Whichever one you don't trade this winter, with the plan being Swihart comes up from AAA and takes over mid-season.}
1B Encarnacion
2B Pedroia
3B Holt/Sandoval/Shaw battle royale
SS Bogaerts
LF Benintendi
CF Bradley
RF Betts
DH Ramirez

Bench
Backup C TBD
Young
Holt/Sandoval/Shaw (2 of these)


Holt plays a lot more IF than OF in 2017 as Farrell rests SS-2B guys more. It would be nice if Ramirez or Encarnacion could be the RHH 3B on occasion, especially if Sandoval is useless. If they can't, you might have to go with a Josh Rutledge-type on the bench.

Concerns (in no particular order):
1) Sandoval, say no more.
2) I believe Buchholz and Wright are out of options, so have to be on 25-man roster. This will complicate roster management, particularly if neither impresses in Fort Myers.
3) Lack of LH power in lineup. Maybe find a rare backup LHB catcher with a little pop?
4) Who's the #1 starter if you get to post-season play? Maybe Rodriguez grabs the mantle.
5) Adding big-ticket free agents can disappoint, especially in Year 1 recently.
 

TomRicardo

rusty cohlebone
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Why do people want to try to trade Kimbrel in a flooded closer market?

That makes no sense. Lets get .80 on the dollar for a closer then spend way more for a lesser talent?
 

nvalvo

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Jul 16, 2005
17,202
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This is all kind of ridiculous anyhow because there has been zero indication he wants to be traded or leaked Boston rumor to acquire him. It's sort of like 2014 Stanton for this board on a much more split level in terms of no rumors on either side, but I'm definitely guilty of leading the charge.
He's actually been pretty emphatic he *doesn't* want to be traded. The question is whether paying top shelf prices for a slugging first baseman makes sense for the Reds given the state of their roster.

Votto's 32. The years he could be expected to maintain his high level of performance run through, let's say, 2021. That correspond to years when the Reds are expected to be a bad team under the thumb of an apparent Cubs dynasty, and years in which the Red Sox are going to be contending with a young core of up the middle two way players.

Now maybe the Reds figure Votto is a fun player that keeps fans in the seats, so he's worth keeping around to keep the team watchable. But if the Reds can make their roster considerably cheaper while also acquiring some talent, they might be motivated to make a move. To be clear, I only think this is a good idea if the Reds are motivated sellers, and thus willing to either accept a modest prospect package (I'm thinking Sam Travis and a few lesser prospects with upside) or eat a meaningful chunk of the contract. 8/$130 is appealing in a way 8/$180 isn't.

I'll shut up about it now until there are any indications he's actually available.
 

InsideTheParker

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Jul 15, 2005
27,770
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Assuming Moncada is ready by mid season, there isn't much need in the field. I think the focus will be at C. Four guys, none that anyone really trusts or thinks can be more than average.
There are some assumptions in a few posts that puzzle me. One is that Moncada will learn how to hit breaking balls. (Wasn't that an expectation with Castillo?). The other is that pitchers have found the way to get Leon out and that he will not be able to adjust. (In my opinion, Leon was exhausted by the end of the year. I think he may be able to adjust, and his work throwing guys out has a lot of value.) Also, I know that late-season Travis Shaw was a hyuuuuge disappointment, but some of the posts underrate his value to the team after the Panda incapacity. Another suggestion I disagree with is trading BROCKHOLT. I think Farrell loves him, and unless they get something very shiny, he will stay with the Sox.
p.s. Is there no interest in making up for the loss of a left-handed power hitter? Encarnacion is good, but he doesn't replace Ortiz, for that reason.
 

bosockboy

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Jul 15, 2005
11,629
St. Louis, MO
Why does anyone think the Dodgers will just let Jansen walk? I'd say it's 90% they resign him. We should probably let go of that notion.

Koji for a year is a perfect bridge to getting Smith back, and we can use one more solid reliever whether it's Ziegler or another.
 

Red(s)HawksFan

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Jan 23, 2009
12,271
Maine
Bullpen
Jansen
Kimbrel (Plan on trading after 2017 season, but open to offers sooner than that.)
Pomeranz (In lefty Scot Shields role.)
Koji/Smith (Assuming their uptime/downtime will dovetail into "one" pitcher. If you get more, that's great.)
Kelly/Barnes (One of them departs this winter.)
Ross
Scott/Whatever (This reliever should have options remaining to ride the shuttle.)
I'm not sure why Pomeranz would be ticketed for the bullpen next year. In his first full season as a starter, he did quite well. There's zero performance-based reason to relegate him to the bullpen at all. Unless he has some debilitating and lingering injury that can only be mitigated by short and frequent outings rather than regular longer ones, or he's traded, I think it's a given that he'll be in the rotation next year.
 

chawson

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Aug 1, 2006
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Agree on the pass for EE because he'll likely be paid more than Votto and is a lesser player, but Votto would lap a guy like Hanley's production for the next 3-4 years.
Agree that he's probably the better hitter (and is 8 months younger), but Votto's got 7/$184 in guaranteed money left on his contract. Heyman reported this week that EE "might get" four years from someone, with estimates between $80-100m.
 

Harry Hooper

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I'm not sure why Pomeranz would be ticketed for the bullpen next year. In his first full season as a starter, he did quite well. There's zero performance-based reason to relegate him to the bullpen at all. Unless he has some debilitating and lingering injury that can only be mitigated by short and frequent outings rather than regular longer ones, or he's traded, I think it's a given that he'll be in the rotation next year.
I don't think the Sox will put him in the pen either, though I think they should. He could be a real asset going 2-3 innings in tight games, It would also be better for his health/durability (given his high curveball percentage) as it would keep his total innings down and also let him use his fastball more in relief.

Sox probably won't pursue Jansen either, and Encarnacion is most likely a 50-50 proposition. I didn't think this was a predictions thread.
 
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richgedman'sghost

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ct
The off-season "to do" list is very manageable

Sparing someone offering top of the rotation talent, the starting pitching is set.
Clay's option will definitely be picked up
Wright provides the perfect long man/5th starter in case of injury or poor performance

Bullpen
Koji - I assume he either resigns at significantly less than 10M/yr or retires. In any case, I don't think he should be counted on to be an 8th inning guy, nor healthy enough to pitch more than 40 games.
Kelly shows enough potential to be able to be a 7th inning guy and maybe develop into much more.
Retaining Ziegler would seem to be the most critical move for the bullpen as the reliable 8th inning set up guy. If he isn't resigned, that would leave a significant hole to fill.
Carson Smith shouldn't be considered part of the bullpen. If he recovers in the last half of the year, that would be a welcome bonus.
So my moves would be resign Ziegler and take Koji back at 1/5M if he is willing. If Koji retires, I don't think that there needs to be another acquisition.

OF - Set

IF - Set with the exception of 3B
Shaw - at this point he is a utility corner infielder. I doubt he has a ton of trade value, but if he is moved for some value, that would be fine. If not he can fill in for HRam, when he is DH or at 3B
3B - Panda by default with Moncada in the wings. I don't think it is worth using assets (money or players) to improve at 3B, since certainly 1 yr from now Moncada will be ready (and I am hoping by the ASB). Holt and Shaw to fill in when Panda hits the buffet too hard.
We can dream all we want about moving Panda, but he brings back nothing even if the RS pick up 80% of his contract.

DH - rotate HRam with the rest of the roster to give them rest using Shaw, Holt as fill in for the DH of the day.


Catcher
The RS certainly have plenty of options here.
The 1st decision: Is Hanigan worth exercising the option, or just spend 800k on the buyout? If the option is exercised, it should be for the sole reason for trading him for a lottery ticket or two.
Holaday - AAA depth for RS in case of injury
Sandy is the starter as long as he doesn't turn back into a pumpkin
Vaz - back up. D specialist, who should be much improved 2 yrs removed from TJS.
Swihart riding the shuttle back and forth from Pawtucket every time an injury strikes a catcher or outfielder.
If they can find a trading partner to give the RS something they value, a trade is not a bad idea.


Trade Chips
Holaday, Hanigan (if option exercised), Vaz or Swihart (but only if they get real value in return)
Shaw but I don't think the return will be much.
Panda - keep dreaming
and the roster could definitely be improved by trading 2 or 3 nickels for a dime in multiple spots. However, most teams rightfully are not interested in those trades.

For the 1st year I can remember, the RS have the potential to return next spring without making any moves and still be considered one of the favorites in the AL.
Why are you so rude and inconsiderate towards J Man? You do realize he has some health issues right? I would consider banning you for your inconsiderate remarks but I will be generous and assume you had never "met" J Man before since he mostly writes in the football thread. I do think a public apology is in order though. Next time consider your words and actions more wisely before criticizing a fellow poster.
 

Sampo Gida

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Aug 7, 2010
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On Encarnacion. Remember when Papi entered his declining years? He only went on to have his best 6 year stretch in his career from age 35-40, at least by OPS+ . OK, so not predicting Encarnacion matches that, but Fenway should help offset some of his expected decline.

Red Sox have a formula for success over the last 14 years and 3 championships. That includes maintaining a premium advantage over other teams at DH. So many teams, especially those with a DH by committee approach get poor production out of the DH spot. Lots of players don't hit as well at DH. If they need a rest, rest them, and let them sit on the bench. Most of what players need in terms of rest is a mental break, and having to hit does not allow that.

Hanley has a history for being injured and EE provides some decent insurance at 1B. Neither Pablo nor Shaw have the bat for 1B IMO. Let Hanley play a few games at 3B during interleague and you can get Encarnacions bat in the lineup at 1B w/o losing Hanleys bat.

The offense got some power from unexpected sources due to what I think was a juiced ball, but who knows if the ball stays juiced with the strike zone officially set to rise next year (subject to approval). Guys like EE dont need a juiced ball, if thats what it was, to deliver. Also, Pedroia is prone to injuries (just found out today the reason for his drop off in production at the end) and will be 1 year older, and you saw in the 2nd half that JBJ and XB may not be as good as their first half numbers suggested. C and 3B are a weak spot for them offensively . The offense looks poised for some serious regression even w/o Papi, and without him, it looks like it needs help to come close to repeating this years production.

As to if the Red Sox can afford him, I don't know. They are at roughly 228 million this year with benefits included, a whopping 39 million over the LT threshold at 17.5% tax rate will be close to 7 million in tax. There is pretty good reason to believe the next CBA will have a pretty significant jump in the LT threshold. I'm thinking at least 209 million after so many years of being fixed at 189 (only a 10 million jump over 6 years), and what follows is based on that estimate. With 26 million in projected arb salaries (from MLBTR), + 161 million for 12 players assuming they pick up Clays option (from Cotts), and add 10 million for league minimum and call ups, plus 12 million for benefits, I have them at roughly at 209 million.

So they would have to release a couple of guys and move someone by trade to be able to stay under the LT threshold. They also would not be able to afford any bullpen arms. So I don't think they could afford EE w/o going over the LT for a 2nd year. That 22 million owed to Craig and Castillo for 2017 really hurts. However, assuming they will be OK going over a 2nd time and paying 30% tax, while keeping their tax obligations at 2016 levels, they probably have close to 25 million to spend in 2017. 38 million if they don't pick up Clays option (they could resign him to something with a lower AAV)

So, I think they can be players in the 22 million AAV range for 3-4 years, and might consider an extra year at a lower AAV and still have enough money to bolster the pen. I think that short exit from the post season really hurts the chances here though as the post season revenue was not what it could have been. They really went all out financially this year with their payroll. I'd put the odds at 50/50 at best (pulling them from the nether regions so take it for what its worth) of them going after and getting Encarnacion since other teams will be involved.

I'm think Bautista might be a better bet coming off a down year. 3 years 54 million with a 1 year optout. Fenway might be his best bet to restore his value and try again after next year.
 

Papelbon's Poutine

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Dec 4, 2005
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The money owed Castillo and Craig doesn't apply to the LT.

I also have no idea why we would be further messing with Hanley by having him play 3B. He's either a DH or a 1B at this point.
 

grimshaw

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May 16, 2007
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Portland
Agree that he's probably the better hitter (and is 8 months younger), but Votto's got 7/$184 in guaranteed money left on his contract. Heyman reported this week that EE "might get" four years from someone, with estimates between $80-100m.
Just a few recent 1B comps:
Cabrera's is at 7 yrs 208 remaining through his age 40 and the talent gap is negligible (and really, Votto has been quite a bit better the past two years).

Chris Davis is 7/161 through his age 36. He's had two great seasons mixed in with some duds, so it's tougher to value him. 1 season in and it already looks not good.

The EE contract estimate looks ok - somewhere between Nelson Cruz and Chris Davis. Cruz signed at age 35 for 4yrs 58 in the 2014 off-season and has produced about the same as EE. With the cost of a win going up and him being a year younger, and also being the best bat on the market, 20-25 mill per year seems reasonable.
 
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