After crunching a variety of payroll numbers, WEEI.com’s Alex Speier concludes that the Red Sox should have at least $50MM to $55MM in 2015 payroll still available. You’ll want to read the typically excellent piece to understand exactly how Speier reaches his conclusions, but the bottom line is that the team’s financial situation dovetails with an impressive stock of prospects to convey unmatched flexibility to GM Ben Cherington entering the offseason. Of course, as Cherington notes, that doesn’t mean that Boston can snap its fingers and return to contention. “I think we have a challenging offseason ahead of us that’s sort of, in a way, simple to see but that doesn’t mean it’s easy to execute,” he explained.
Here’s more from the AL East:
- Free agent shortstop Stephen Drew, recently of the Yankees, says he would welcome a chance to continue in pinstripes as he looks to rebound from a rough 2014. As George A. King III of the New York Post reports, Drew’s agent — Scott Boras — still believes his client has productive baseball ahead of him. “I would say clubs would spend a good deal of time focusing on his career offensive statistics as opposed to a couple hundred at-bats,” said Boras. “Defensively, he is still elite and a lot of teams will have interest in him as a shortstop.” Boras did seem to acknowledge that Drew needs to rebuild his stock one year after declining a qualifying offer and waiting to sign until after the draft. “If it’s a multi-year [deal], I don’t think it would be a long one,” said Boras. “I trust this player.”
- Meanwhile, Joel Sherman of the New York Post analyzes the possible Derek Jeter replacements for the Yankees. He ultimately rejects many names that have commonly been linked to New York, noting that many of the free agent shortstops come with questions about how long they can continue to play the position. Sherman lists Drew, Didi Gregorius, Jose Iglesias, Jimmy Rollins, and Alexei Ramirez as five possible candidates. (All but Drew, of course, would have to be acquired via trade.)
- 2012 Blue Jays third-round draftee Anthony Alford has agreed to a full-time baseball commitment. The Clarion-Ledger reported yesterday that Alford had decided to end his football career at Ole Miss to join the Jays. As John Lott of the National Post explains, Alford’s deal with Toronto — which came with a $750K bonus — allowed him to focus primarily on football. That risk was the only way to acquire Alford’s rights, said GM Alex Anthopoulos, who explained that the organization believes Alford to be an “outstanding prospect” who could move quickly in full-season baseball.
- Orioles executive VP Dan Duquette says his ballclub is better now than in 2012 due to its starting pitching, and credits pitching coach Dave Wallace for the improvement, as MLB.com’s Britt Ghiroli reports. Meanwhile, Duquette talked over some of the organization’s notable mid-season moves to fill gaps that had opened, acknowledging the hard work and remarkable performances of players like Steve Pearce and Caleb Joseph. Of course, as Ghiroli suggests, some portion of the credit for those fill-ins must go to Duquette and his front office.
Absolutely not for Jimmy Rollins. Not because I don’t like him but because he is too old. Definitely not all that interested in Stephen Drew either. As an owner, I would boycott anyone that has Boras for an agent.
Not sure I get that. Is there really anything wrong with negotiating with Boras clients? It’s not like you’re forced to sign any of them.
Boras is negotiating like it’s still 2007.
Boras is the agent. Talk to you in Feb.
It’s not a good policy to boycott an agent. But in this case, I wouldn’t even call Boras about Drew. He hasn’t shown he can do anything offensively.
i don’t think you boycott an agent (even if you could). If you are interested ina Boras client and understand the way he does business, you make an offer. That doesn’t mean you give him what he wants. Up to him and his client whether they want to accept. If they don’t you move on, and maybe, because it’s Boras and he loves to shop, you make it clear you are taking the offer off the table.
Yeah, I understand all the replies that you can’t boycott an agent, and it probably makes more sense to tell him what you’re willing to pay and don’t increase that offer under any circumstances.
Why would you boycott an agent?
If you want the player you have to negotiate with the agent. Teams aren’t going to avoid a player they think will help their team over that.
Alexei Ramirez might be a pipe dream in my opinion. Jimmy Rollins, Jose Iglesias are more realistic.
They have the pieces to get Ramirez, he’s just a lot more expensive now that Chicago is looking to win in 2015.
Chicago really needs Catching and NY has it to spare. Could get done.
That’s what I meant by pieces. It’s going to take more than just a catching prospect to get a deal done though and I’m inclined to think the ChiSox would want someone else who could contribute at the ML level. Ramirez’ WAR won’t be easy to replace at SS.
Alexei really isn’t that good.
Easily in the top ten for shortstops. Descent offense, good defense, some pop and some speed. He’s a solid all around player. There are about 20 teams in baseball he would be an upgrade for, and the Yankees are one. He’s good enough.
Who would you rather have Brenden Ryan, or Alexei
I’d rather have Julio Lugo than Brendan Ryan as a starter.
I don’t see an upgrade unless they try to make a trade for a shortstop.
JJ Hardy would be an upgrade, heck now that Jeter has retired just about anyone would be an upgrade for NYY.
Just having Jacoby and Gardner (sounds like a lawfirm) at 1-2 in whatever order is an upgrade.
Along with Brendan Ryan’s glove which would easily make up for 40 year old Jeter’s lack of defense but people also forget we have Prado who can play SS.
I’m almost positive they’re writing in Prado for full time 2B right now, who can fill in for Beltran in RF. They’ll give Refsynder a long look in ST and hopefully he plays his way into a spot. They’d need to really be confident that their offense is top notch to bank on Ryan playing every day at SS all season.
Thing is Prado is best used a utility player that can give players a day off instead of using the DH slot for that. Prado saves them from having a a utility player with a below average bat wasting a valuable roster spot. Refsynder should definitely have been called up this year especially after Brian Roberts left but then again like someone else was saying on here, had the Yanks not traded for Drew they might have been interested in him this offseason. I doubt they are now unless they can get him for 10 million or less. If we dont sign Headley then Prado might see the most time at 3rd.
Desmond, Tulo, Peralta, Hanley, Hardy, Aybar, Reyes, Andrelton, Starlin, Rollins, Crawford, Escobar
No I don’t see him top 10, and there are several more guys that are about his level.
He isn’t really any better than what is on the market, and can’t imagine why he thinks Alexei is a pipe dream.
That’s a nice arbitrary list there. I used fWAR for the year. Where he ranks 8th among shortstops, between Hanley Ramirez and Jose Reyes. What did you use?
Which one of those do you have a problem with being ahead of him? 3 year rolling averages are better when you are using UZR and a big span of offensive production from him. With adjustments that a 24 year old castro is probably a better bet than a 33 year old ramirez.
Arbitrary? Which ones would you seriously take after Alexei?
In 7 years he has over 21 fWAR. He’s a three WAR player per year. I would take him over Reyes. He’s defensively better than Castro. The offense is probably a wash. This year I’d take him over Castro. In two year I’d probably take Castro. That doesn’t mean he’s not better than Castro right now. I’d take him over Simmons too. Simmons is a defensive stud, but I’m going to take a good defender who can also hit over the guy who is really really good at one thing any day. He’s well rounded. He’s an all around player, which those two are not. He was ranked 8th this year, he was ranked 8th last year. He’s a consistently solid player. Is he the best? No. Is he in the top third? Absolutely.
I would think Detroit might want to see what they have in Iglesias, plus I doubt they would trade him since he’s value is low right now.
Jose isn’t going anywhere, he too amazing and too much fun to watch at ss. If he does get traded, the team acquiring might want to bring in their best doctors to exam him. Suarez I expect to be available but the Yanks would want better. I thought it was a given Hardy was going to the Yanks.
Vandals Took The Handles
The problem with the Sox trading Alexi is that the have no one on their roster or in the high minors that is really a SS. Fill the catcher hole, open one up at SS.
Additionally, Alexi is veteran team leader. With Konerko retiring, that would it puts too much on Abreu and Sale.
Rollins is only realistic if he agrees to be traded. He’s a 10-5 player and can’t be traded anywhere unless he agrees to it. And he has basically said “Hell no, I won’t go” anytime the subject has come up.
Drew will be 33 by Opening Day 2015. Which means unless he has a career year, Boras took away his chance at a big payday. I wouldn’t really call him an elite shortstop anymore either. He’s a part time second baseman now. The part time comes from his extended vacation at the Boras Carnival of Fun with Kendrys Morales.
I hope he’s happy that he was used as an example by his agent in a failed attempt to get people to feel sad for ho hum talent who decline 14.1 million dollar paydays. Boo hoo, Stephen Drew.
Even when the Red Sox signed him in 2013 some people called him an “elite shortstop”… Since when is being slightly above average an “elite”? He’s never been that. Of course Scott Boras is going to keep pitching that, he’s the one trying to sell him.
His defense is typically pretty good, though he’s had his off years. With his rising age and declining bat, I don’t think there’s much to look forward to with him.
Who called him elite?
What he is, or has been, is an above average offensive SS who plays well above average defense.
Who knew middling free agents would struggle in the Bigs after taking a half year off (sarcasm font)? At some point,a FA will realize the risk is too great to simply decline 14M. If you decline and misread the market, I think Nelson Cruz proved you have to swallow some pride and take the pillow contract. Losing 5M is alot better than losing a chance at 4/50M a year later.
He had his chance at a big pay day. No way he’s worth anywhere near $14.1 million, so that was a good pay day in 2014. He also said he was worried about someone making him a qualifying offer for 2015, which would have been $16 million +. So if his fears had come true that would have been over $30 million over two years, far, far more than he is worth. Now, because of his strategy he only made $10.1 million last year and he’ll be hard pressed to get $4 million for next year. So he’s going to have played two years for less money than he could have made last year alone had he just accepted the qualifying offer.
Really don’t like Sherman’s ideas. Like the free agent market better than his ideas. Gregorius may be a good defender, but he doesn’t have the bat to even be a close to respectable everyday player. And you want give up Clarkin and Warren for that? Can
Iglesias stay healthy?
I donot like Rollins. And anyways, does giving up Phelps and Flores to get a 35 year old shortstop making $11MM on a 1 year deal really put the team in better standing?
Alexei is overrated. He simply isn’t that good, JR should be used in getting someone actualy good.
It’s weird he’s focusing so much of trade targets when the FA market for shortstops isn’t terrible this year. I don’t really see why they shouldn’t go for Hardy.
Right. It’s like it’s the winter to actually find a shortstop. All the shortstops have flaws, but the suggestion he has are just terrible.
Hardy and the Yankees fit together like chocolate and peanut butter. The two make the most sense, and since this is real life, that means something will muck things up.
Plenty of other teams in that SS market though. He’s gonna make way more than he’s worth.
I am hoping for Hardy. But I would settle for Drew if he would sign for like, 5 dollars.
East Coast Bias
Joel Sherman… what the what?
Generally, I try to avoid anything he writes ever, but I can’t help it and always end up feeling as you do now.
I watch him on MLB network and he seems pretty reasonable, but everything I read by him is bonkers. I did enjoy this sentence though, “That leaves the Yankees in the market for a shortstop. It isn’t like being in the unicorn market, but it is hard to locate a good one.”
Iggy and Didi aren’t the type of trade targets the Yankees go after. They are both on affordable contracts so the Yankees would actually have to give up some talent instead of simply taking on significant salary obligations to acquire them.
Move A-Rod to shortstop and re-sign Chase Headley.
Red Sox fan?
“Move A-Rod to Sunny Oaks Retirement Home and re-sign Chase Headly”
I’m not even gonna try to come up with anything for this one.
Where’s the link to the Speier story?
Whoops. Will edit that shortly.
There is no way Jimmy Rollins accepts a trade to the Yankees.
As per usual, Jimmy Rollins gets no appreciation from many Philly sports fans, who want to see him gone as part of a veteran purge. But those fans are totally undervaluing Rollins’ value. He put up a really good 3.9 WAR this year at age 35, more than earning his $11m salary. (Other than 2013, Rollins has never been overpaid.)
With no replacement waiting for 2015 (perhaps JP Crawford will be ready by 2016), the Phillies wouldn’t benefit from trading Rollins unless they netted a top prospect, which they probably wouldn’t. Phillies fans should just accept that Rollins will likely be here next year, and there’s a lot worse things than that.
If the Yankees are really going to sign a shortstop on the other side of thirty, than a cheap one year deal with drew might actually be a better idea than an overpriced overlong deal with someone else. cheap means really cheap. if drew has anything left, he can rebuild his value in a market that will get him a lot of exposure. if he’s done, then it’s not a big investment.
If Drew is still a terrible shortstop and you lose out on a descent free agent while he hits below .200, regardless of what you pay him he costs you a ton more than his salary. I don’t know what the free agent market for shortstops looks like next year, but I can tell you having a descent hitter (sorry Jeter) in that position this year would have done a great deal to further the Yankees playoff aspirations. He costs you what you pay him, and whatever you lose by playing him when he’s not hitting. He could get really expensive.
Showing, perhaps, that agents are a lot like politicians, here’s a Boras quote from a MLBTraderumors post in May, after Drew signed. Looks good in hindsight?
“The quest, knowing that Stephen had set forth a path to achieve the dynamic of being an unrestricted free agent the idea was to put himself in a position where the team, and within an environment we knew he could be successful,” said Boras. “It turned out we did get multi-year offers as the season opened up but it was Stephen’s decision to take a one-year deal and return to the Red Sox and have a chance to compete for another championship.”