The Red Sox got an early start on their rebuilding for 2015, and their offseason efforts will focus on sorting through their outfield surplus and adding arms to both the rotation and the bullpen.
- Dustin Pedroia, 2B: $96.5MM through 2021
- Rusney Castillo, OF: $67MM through 2020 (Castillo can opt out after 2019 season)
- Allen Craig, OF/1B: $25.5MM through 2017 ($13MM club option for 2018)
- David Ortiz, 1B: $16MM through 2015 (club/vesting options for 2016 and 2017 worth at least $10MM)
- Mike Napoli, 1B: $16MM through 2015
- Shane Victorino, OF: $13MM through 2015
- Clay Buchholz, RHP: $12MM through 2015 ($13MM club option for 2016; $13.5MM club option for 2017)
- Yoenis Cespedes, OF: $10.5MM through 2015
- Edward Mujica, RHP: $4.75MM through 2015
Arbitration Eligible Players (service time in parentheses; projections via Matt Swartz)
- Junichi Tazawa, RHP (4.086): $2MM
- Daniel Nava, OF/1B (3.044): $1.9MM
- Jonathan Herrera, 2B/3B (4.100): $1.4MM
- Non-tender candidates: Herrera
- Craig Breslow, LHP: $4MM club option with $100K buyout
Other Payroll Obligations
- $3.9MM to Dodgers, as part of nine-player trade in August 2012
With a sub-.500 record and virtually no hope of a late-season run, the Red Sox decided to become July deadline sellers. Most teams usually trade established players for prospects at the deadline, and the Sox didn’t shy away from this strategy themselves, adding young arms Edwin Escobar, Heath Hembree and Eduardo Rodriguez in separate deals for Jake Peavy and Andrew Miller, respectively. Boston’s biggest moves, however, saw the team pick up pieces who can help them in 2015 — Yoenis Cespedes came from Oakland in exchange for Jon Lester and Jonny Gomes, while the deal of John Lackey to St. Louis brought back Joe Kelly and Allen Craig. It was a nice return on two pending free agents (Lester and Peavy) and Lackey, who was contracted through 2015.
Kelly, who is controllable through the 2018 season, pitched decently in 10 starts after the trade and will join Clay Buchholz as the only locks for the 2015 rotation. The Sox will hope that at least one of their young starters (Rubby De La Rosa, Allen Webster, Brandon Workman or Anthony Ranaudo) can win a rotation spot and provide solid innings next year, though given how this quartet struggled last season, Boston isn’t counting on anything. Other prospects like Rodriguez, Henry Owens or Matt Barnes could be in the mix as well with a big Spring Training.
It remains to be seen if the Red Sox will pursue two new starters to fill the other two rotation spots, or if they’ll rely on internal options for one spot and then go for an ace. It seems likely the Sox will bid on Kenta Maeda if the Japanese right-hander is posted, so he could account for one slot. If the Red Sox look for a more proven ace, the biggest names on the free agent market are Max Scherzer, James Shields and ex-Boston playoff hero Lester; all will command big salaries, but team chairman Tom Werner recently said that the Sox are more than able to spend this offseason.
It still seems remarkable that Lester and the Sox couldn’t negotiate an extension, given that both sides were eager to work something out and Lester even indicated last January that he’d be open to taking a discount to remain in Boston. He didn’t quite mean a discount in the form of a four-year, $70MM contract akin to the initial offer made the Sox during offseason negotiations, and it seems talks never quite recovered from that below-market offer. It’s very possible that $70MM won’t even end up being half of what Lester receives in free agency.
While Lester could still re-sign with the Red Sox, it’s almost unheard of for a top-tier free agent to be dealt by his team at midseason and then rejoin them in the offseason. Second of all, Boston’s uneasiness about guaranteeing long-term deals to pitchers in their 30s informed their initial offer to Lester in the first place, so it would be odd to see them reverse course now that they’re competing against others for Lester’s services.
One possible alternative could be Shields, who will be 33 years old on Opening Day (two years older than Lester) but more of a fit for the Sox since he could be open to a four-year deal, whereas Lester would want a six- or seven-year commitment. The Red Sox have been scouting Shields already and seem like one of many teams who will be in the mix for “Big Game James.” With a top-ten (seventh overall) protected pick in the 2015 draft, Boston will be free to pursue qualifying offer free agents while still hanging onto their first-rounder. (They would still, of course, need to forfeit their second-round selection.)
There’s also the possibility that the Sox could trade for an ace and move some of their prospect depth. The Red Sox still have one of baseball’s most well-regarded farm systems, though the club will be a lot more careful about giving their prospects everyday roles in 2015. Boston went into last season counting on Xander Bogaerts, Jackie Bradley and Will Middlebrooks to step up as lineup regulars, and yet all three badly struggled at the plate, with Bradley and Middlebrooks losing their everyday jobs by season’s end.
Middlebrooks in particular could be on the outs given that he declined to play winter ball, leading to some “disappointment” within the organization according to team president Larry Lucchino. Whether Middlebrooks stays or goes, the Sox will be looking for a left-handed hitting third baseman (as Lucchino noted), and Brock Holt could be an internal fit, though he’s a middle infielder by trade. The team could afford to use the versatile Holt mostly at third (or in a platoon with Middlebrooks) as Mookie Betts could take over the utility role.
For external options, a top-tier free agent third baseman like Pablo Sandoval would be a huge upgrade, or the Sox could pursue a trade for someone like the Pirates’ Pedro Alvarez, as the Boston Herald’s John Tomase recently speculated. I’d also toss the Cubs’ Luis Valbuena into the mix as a trade candidate; Valbuena is coming off a quietly impressive season and has two years of control left, though he doesn’t have a long-term spot in Chicago thanks to all of the Cubs’ blue chip infield prospects.
Boston will be looking for left-handed bats in general, as improved lineup balance is a stated winter goal of GM Ben Cherington. David Ortiz is the only left-handed hitter in an everyday role for the projected 2015 lineup, as Mike Napoli, Dustin Pedroia, Bogaerts, Christian Vazquez and all the outfielders (save Bradley and switch-hitting Daniel Nava) swing from the right side. A new lefty bat could be slotted at third base, or in a platoon with Vazquez, or the Sox could explore trading two of their right-handed hitting outfielders for one left-handed hitting outfielder.
However it breaks down, the Sox certainly have to do something to finalize their outfield alignment. The only outfielder seemingly guaranteed of a starting job next season is the one with the least Major League experience; Rusney Castillo posted an impressive .928 OPS in 40 PA in September, and Boston certainly expects him to see regular work given his seven-year, $72.5MM contract. Castillo’s best position is center field, however, so now Betts could be blocked in both center field and by Pedroia at his natural position of second base. There’s also Bradley, who entered the year as one of the game’s top prospects and delivered Glove Glove-caliber defense in center, despite looking completely overmatched swinging the bat.
With Castillo, Betts and Bradley in center, Cespedes and Nava in left, and Craig and Shane Victorino in right, at least one move is sorely needed to clear some room. The other issue is that several of these players could be hard to trade since they’re coming off down years — Bradley, Nava and Craig all struggled while Victorino spent most of the season on the DL. While Cespedes seems to be a great fit for Fenway Park, he isn’t yet sure if he wants to sign an extension in Boston, which could make him a trade candidate to be moved for pitching.
This is just my speculation, but Cincinnati and Philadelphia stand out as teams that could be natural trade partners for the Red Sox this winter. The Reds have a hole in left field and seem destined to trade at least one of four starting pitchers entering their walk years. Johnny Cueto or Mat Latos would provide a nice front-of-the-rotation boost for the Sox, though it’ll take more than prospects to acquire either pitcher (especially Cueto) since the Reds plan to contend in 2015. Cincinnati could ask for an experienced, controllable youngster like Bogaerts or Betts in any negotiation, along with perhaps another MLB-ready piece like Nava (who has the on-base skills that the Reds are looking for — at least against right-handers) and/or a young pitcher.
The Phillies, meanwhile, would go in the opposite direction and ask for multiple top prospects in exchange for Cole Hamels as they attempt to rebuild their farm system. Boston has the financial resources to pay the $96MM owed to Hamels through 2018 and they’d only be committed to Hamels through his age-34 season. It might take both fully absorbing Hamels’ contract and giving up a heavy prospect load to convince the Phils to make a trade, however, so the Sox might prefer to just spend on a free agent ace and keep their minor leaguers.
The bullpen also stands out as an area of great uncertainty for the Red Sox, starting with Koji Uehara’s free agency. Up until mid-August, Uehara was pitching so well that there was talk of extending him a qualifying offer (a one-year deal in the $15MM range), yet those discussions vanished after Uehara posted an 11.74 ERA over his final 7 2/3 IP of the season. This doesn’t suddenly mean Uehara is finished, of course, as some regression was probably inevitable given the otherworldly numbers he posted in 2013 and in the first three-quarters of the 2014 season. The Sox still have an interest in re-signing Uehara, and it’ll be intriguing to see how his market develops as teams weigh his late struggles and age against his pre-August superstar numbers.
As for the rest of the bullpen, it’s possible the young starters that don’t make the rotation could be used in relief roles, which would shorten Boston’s offseason shopping list. Manager John Farrell would like to see free agent Burke Badenhop return, while Craig Breslow’s $4MM team option seems likely to be bought out given his struggles in 2014. Veterans Junichi Tazawa and Edward Mujica are still in the fold and rookie knuckleballer Steven Wright pitched well in limited action. I’d expect the Red Sox to add at least one more experienced relief arm to the mix. If Uehara departs, that experienced arm could well be a closer, either in a trade or as a free agent signing.
Miller has openly discussed how much he and his wife enjoyed their time in Boston, so it’s quite possible the Red Sox could look to bring back the southpaw. His terrific season is only raising his price tag, though, and Boston may not want to pay the rumored rate of three years/$21MM for a setup man, even as one as dominant as Miller. One potential solution could be for the Sox to sign Miller and then use him as a closer; while he’s never served as a ninth-inning man before, Miller has the classic high-strikeout rate and power arm that traditionally fits the closer mold.
The 2012-14 Red Sox became the first franchise to ever go from last place to a World Series championship to last again over a three-season stretch. It’s been quite a roller coaster stretch for Boston fans, though they can take heart in the fact that recent history has shown their team could be back in contention very quickly. Cherington and company have a lot of work to do this winter in sorting through both the young and veteran options on the roster, but with at least $50MM (hat tip to WEEI.com’s Alex Speier) in available payroll space to work with this offseason, the Sox are willing to spend to enable another quick rise up the AL East standings.
This will be a fascinating offseason. I would be ecstatic if somehow the Red Sox could land Sale or Stanton with a package something like Betts, Swihart, Owens, Johnson/Rodriguez. More realistically I see them signing Shields and trading for another top end pitcher (hopefully one not already mentioned).
No way Sale is traded he is a Cy Young candidate on a super affordable contact and the White Sox are just a few pieces and luck from making noise.
I’m curious if Castillo’s contribution to the total salary, in regard to the luxury tax, is the average over his 7 year contract or is it 6.X years. Basically does the luxury tax calculation consider when Castillo signed at the end of the year or does it not consider when a player signs.
I believe it applies over the 7 year average.
The Red Sox need to sign FA players to legit contracts if they want a solid team. No more one year deals. Those who took our one year deals were AJ Pierzynski, Stephen Drew, and Chris Capuano and all stunk.
If you want good players, you need to offer multi-year deals.
Napoli signed a 1-year deal before ’13. So did Drew the first time around, when he was awesome. It’s certainly possible to make smart one-year deals.
A bit of revisionist history there, no?: Napoli signed a 3/39 deal, then they found a problem with his physical which thought he career was over, so they reduced it to a one year deal; Drew was not “awesome” as he was coming out of injuries (broken ankle), only managing to play 86 games in 2011, and 79 games in 2012 (mustering a -.3 WAR).
“If you want good players, you need to offer multi-year deals.” We are not talking about the same thing. You need to identify the values if you’re going to build a team on short-term deals. In the 2012/2013 offseason, Boston’s strategy worked with Victorino, Ortiz, Napoli and Drew, but then their strategy failed in ’14 with Victorino hurt, Napoli and Ortiz regressing, Pierzynski struggling, Capuano struggling and Drew an albatross. We’re talking about roster construction. Sure, Drew was only available for 1/9.5 in 2012/2013 offseason because of a bad 2012 season, but Boston still correctly identified Drew as a legitimate piece for their ballclub. They still signed Napoli to the one-year deal after the longer-term fell through. I’m not revising history. I’m simply stating facts. Two key 2013-championship-team members were on one-year FA deals. That’s a simple fact.
First, your point was on “one year deals” so Ortiz and Victorino are out.
Secondly, looking at Napoli (hardly a normal one year scenario) and Drew but not looking at the original point of Drew pt. 2, Capuano, and Pierzynski absolutely weakens your point to the threshold of luck. They lucked out with Drew pt. 1, and they lucked out that Napoli’s career wasn’t over; but as the original poster noted, this is not the way to build a “solid team” nor a consistent competitor.
The Red Sox don’t have to bargain shop exclusively like the Royals, Pirates, or Rays do. They can afford big-time free agents on smart deals. So far though, it seems like Ben is adverse to such deals so far in his tenure. I think it could be because he was phenomenally lucky in his first season or so both trading a lot of big contracts to the Dodgers and winning a WS by not offering a more than a 3-year deal; however, the 2014 season MUST be viewed jointly as a more likely outcome to such behavior that made the 2013 season so successful. You can’t just note the times you win in a gamble to say it’s a “good deal” but also the times you lose.
I agree with the vast majority of your post and don’t like defending any member of the Drew family, but 2013 wasn’t all luck. Drew’s WAR has always been above average for the amount of games he plays a year when he’s not fooling around on the DL and can hit above the Mendoza line. A 4 WAR season would have been lucky, but he was perfectly capable of pulling those numbers as long as he didn’t try to go on the DL for stepping on his kids’ lego pieces.
Also, if the Red Sox want to keep all their prospects in place then they will need to sign free agents.
If they sign Sandoval, Henry best buy the Popeye’s down the street and turn it into a vegan juice bar because that’s a disaster waiting to happen.
The Sox don’t need an actual third baseman. Just put all the outfielders out there and one will be close enough to the ball. A Joe Maddon style shift will work fine.
Wow.. that is a smart comment.
I am serious.
Especially in that Fenway Left Field that is literally 8 strides deep.
The pitcher can cover third if need be. Or if one of the outfielders disappears into the Monster as Manny often did.
You know, this would be one of the most interesting things to see happen. Go Bogaerts/Napoli/PeeDee in the infield with Betts as the flex leftfielder/third baseman/infielder thing and Castillo, Cespedes and Victorino/Nava as a leftcenterfielder, rightcenterfielder and rightfielder. It would be awesome to see, if completely unrealistic.
If life gives you lemons, make lemonade. If life gives you outfielders, make a ridiculous shift.
I like your concept. I will apply it to the Tigers.
“If life gives you lemons, make lemonade. If life gives you too many slow hitters and poor fielders, move the fences into AL East ‘softball field’ dimensions.”
“Shifts are soooo last season. We’re going to use rovers.” – Cherington.
I felt this way about the Yankees’ outfield this season. Just put Gardner and Jacoby out there and put the RFer in the infield to help out.
Hah…….Castillo? Team’s were looking at him as a second baseman but they thought his movements were to rigid. If his movements are that stiff to the left and right at second base, third base is likely a bad idea. Seriously, I think their 3B is going to be Bogaerts. He is not a great shortstop now and I don’t think it’s going to happen long term. He will be the SS next year but let’s see how long that lasts. Marrero is good defensively if he shows he can handle the bat the job many fall to him and I’m not positive Betts can’t play the position although we will likely never see Betts their much after all the position switches he’s been through already. I’m of the belief they would have given him more time at AS if he had moved up the ladder at the same time as Marrero.
The a Mookie or Xander should only be on for is Sale, Kershaw, Trout, or Stanton. Other than that forget it they should be untouchable.
Anthony Rendon? Manny Machado? Yasiel Puig? Are we only talking about realistic trade targets? It wouldn’t seem so since you included Trout and Stanton. I would trade Bogaerts for any of Sale, Kershaw, Trout, Stanton, Anthony Rendon, Bryce Harper, Manny Machado, Yasiel Puig, Paul Goldschmidt, Andrew McCutchen, Jose Abreu, Madison Bumgarner, Jonathan Lucroy, Salvador Perez, and several others.
Why would the Sox want Machado? He may be an OK hitter but he is
potentially one more knee injury from being out of baseball. He also
needs to grow up you can’t be throwing bats at the other team.
He’s not even a very good hitter; phenomenal defender though.
He hasn’t played enough to truly grow into his potential as a hitter, but you can see it.
Machado’s knees should be fine. He had some kind of deformity in them. They fixed the one last year, and fixed the other one this year. So his knee issues should be fine going forward, although there’s always a chance freak accidents can happen.
That could be true, but you don’t trade elite prospects for players with that many knee injuries. Too risky, even with his potential.
I doubt the Orioles would want to trade Machado for either player anyway. I’m sure they probably think Machado is/will be a bigger star than either one of them.
I don’t see any way he gets traded. What the O’s would and should want is vastly higher than any team would pay. Beyond that, his salary is very valuable to the O’s.
So the Sox should want to trade for a player that had a physical deformity in BOTH of his knees? Then there is more of an injury risk with him then if it was just knee injuries like i thought it was.
I’m not sure the Sox “should” want to trade for any player, let alone Machado. And I doubt the O’s would want to trade him. My only point was that the reason why Machado got knees injuries is now fixed, so he really isn’t as big of an injury risk going forward as one might expect.
Funny how teams overvalue their own prospects.
That’s why they have bobblehead nights………hometown love. Love is never rational unless it’s between parents and a child.
The price tag on Uehara and Miller will be through the roof, if Tigers Dombrowski is involved in any way… especially if money from Scherzer and/or VMART is freed up.
If V-Mart and Scherzer walk, Detroit has a lot more issues than that. I think Price will walk after ’15 too, and Torii Hunter is gone too. This team realistically has one more shot for a title in 2015, but they need a serious overhaul if they’re not going to end up the new Yankees. The Cabrera and Verlander contracts are probably going to go down as top-ten worst contracts ever.
Here is why I do not agree with a couple of your points:
1. JD Martinez is a credible replacement who is 10 years younger. They need to get younger, this may help prompt that.
2. Cabrera, JD Martinez and Castellanos could share the DH position which would upgrade their defense over the course of 162 games.
3. If VMART does not sign with the Tigers, it will be a serious overpay. $80-100MM for 4-5 years perhaps? They should be able to get a solid 2 way Centerfielder for that kind of money…. maybe another player as well.
4. Cabrera and Verlander appear to have albatross contracts. However, they both had similar core surgeries in the offseason. Neither was 100% for most of the year. It is too early to declare regression.
It is very possible that Cabrera could go right back to hitting .320/35/120 and then become like Big Papi 5 years from now… and Verlander could become a Greg Maddux in his mid-30s.
5. If Scherzer, Price, Porcello and VMART all leave after 2014 or 2015, they will get top draft picks. If the Tigers are failing next year, they can trade Price and Porcello and reload like the Red Sox did this year.
1 JD Martinez is a POSSIBLE replacement. He has had one good year too early to say he isn’t going to go back to being the player he was in Houston.
2 If they share the DH position how does it help the defense who plays in the field for them?
3 Name a 2 way centerfielder that is available in free agency that they can sign?
4 Yes and you can be the next Bill Gates. Cabrera isn’t Papi and Verlander has had 2 years of mediocor stats he is on the down swing.
5 The picks they will get will be above pick #10 the top 10 picks can not be touched. BUT the Tigers can get a top pick because if they all leave the Tigers will end up with top 10 pick of their own.
1. JD showed me enough over this year. He adjusted his swing and it will stay adjusted. He can hit balls thrown to all parts of the strike zone. He can hit opposite field shots. Both good signs that he will likely not regress.
2. They are all poor defenders. Starting with Don Kelly, almost ANY other defenders would be better than them… with the possible exception of a 100% healthy Cabrera, who is actually OK according to Fangraphs.
3. Not free agency. A trade.
4. Cabrera is better than Papi. I am saying he will regress to Papi levels in 4-5 years.
Verlander is still letting his arrogance get in the way of leveraging what he has as an older pitcher. The “Maddux transformation” may take a year or 2.
5. My understanding is that they will get end of first round picks. The team that signs them will lose their 1st round pick, unless it is in the top 10.
1 Hey i hope JD is able to make the full time transition but he could just as easily end up regressing. As i said 1 year does not prove he isn’t going to regress.
2 Again who do you get that can fill in for all of those players and still give the production they give? Remember you only have so many roster spots SO you would most likely have to have 1-2 players that can play all of their positions.
3 AND who is available in a trade that is a 2 way centerfielder? And what does Detroit have that the team that has the Centerfielder wants?
4 You should be happy if Cabrera is 1/2 what Papi is in 4-5 years. Verlander is NOT a control pitcher like Maddux. Maddux NEVER transformed into Maddux he was always the same type of pitcher. Very few, and i repeat VERY FEW power pitchers can transform into a control/finesse pitcher.
5 yes they will get 1st rounders unless it is a top 10 OR if the team has already signed a player that causes the loss of their 1st rounder. then you end up with 2nds or even 3rds. PLUS they need to offer them the qualifying offer.
What evidence is there that Verlander could become Maddux? Maddux was never a power pitcher. He was always a command guy.
For Verlander to even come close to living up to his contract, he’d have to go from an elite power pitcher, to an elite command and finesse pitcher. How many of those have there ever been?
At his peak, Verlander had 4+ pitches (Fastball, Slider, Curveball, Change Up).
His velocity is down, which means he cannot blow hitters away, but if he tweaks his other pitches a bit and stops being so arrogant with his fastball, he has a good chance to be a top pitcher with only the other three being plus pitches.
Anything can happen. But there isn’t a “very good chance” it happens, as it rarely ever happens.
Verlander was very rare because he had FOUR plus pitches. However, even having THREE plus pitches is rare. He just needs to layoff the fastball a bit more and also focus a bit more on location when he does use it.
Also, having core surgery really hurt his 2014. His offseason weightlifting program was bi-passed. Verlander’s offseasons were a primary reason why he was so hard throwing and still durable in prior years.
I don’t think you understand that when he had his fastball 15-20mph faster than his off-speed pitches, his secondary stuff all became +pitches because of the speed differentiation.
A 95-100mph fastball is hard enough to hit when you have to think about that insane 12-6 curveball that’s 84mph. Now his pitches are all around the same speed, meaning guys don’t have to worry about that overpowering fastball like they use too as they can foul off most of what he’s throwing.
Your statement “around the same speed” (fastball v. breaking stuff) is really stretching it.
When Verlander’s won the Cy Young and MVP in 2011, his average fastball was 95.80.
This year it was 93.48. We are talking about 2.38 miles per hour here.
Keep in mind he posted this average number while recovering from core surgery.
Red sox should sign Headley to play third as he is great defensively and brings strong OBP has no Draft pick attached and it’d hurt the Yanks. 3 36 should get it done.
Then they should sign Masterson to a make good 12 million deal or 3 30. Peripherals are strong and ground ball tendencies are nice.
Finally they should pony up and give Lester 6 138. They have plenty of payroll flexibility for the first half of the contract and the 2nd half is long enough away they could ensure it doesn’t limit them.
47 million spent and 3 main needs filled.
Why sign Headley when they have Cecchini ready to go? He looked ready and if he needs a little more time they have Holt to play 3rd till he is ready. Yes to Lester and either Masterson on a 4/60 or Shields on a 4/80 or 5/100. THen resign Miller for 3/35 to be the set up. Let Koji walk and give Mujica the Closers role with Miller ready to take over if he fails.
Because they relied too much on youth last year and they didn’t produce. You can’t give Cecchini third base with only 36 PA. His defense and his ability to hit for power are both suspect. If he wants the job he needs to take it away from an established veteran. And Holt is a sub. There is no reason for him to be a starter next year.
This. Relying on kids to come up and playing starting roles in MLB is a fool’s path. Killed the Sox this year (Bogaerts was the best prospect in baseball last year bar none, or maybe second to Profar, who also bombed). Teams hype their prospects so that they can use them as trade bait, but then their fans start to believe it.
How is it a fools path? The Sox were “killed” because of more then relying on 3 young players (Xander, JBJ and Middlebrooks) They were killed because most of the team took a regression from 2013. Victorino was hurt. Nava played poorly the first half. Moving prospects into the Majors should be the thing to do. Key example is the Yankees of the mid 90s. They brought up 5 prospects and let them play and filled the team around them with veterans. As to Xander “Bombing” a lot, and i repeat A LOT of players have a difficult 2nd year and this year was his 2nd year. Yes i know that most people say this was his rookie year but he played in the playoffs and played good. He also seemed to break out of his “funk” in September. SO i guess Trout was just HYPED to trade him? OR maybe it was Strasburg? Billy Hamilton? To say that teams just Hype prospects to trade them means you have no idea what a prospect is or how they get Hyped.
The point is you don’t just give youth the position without them earning it. JBJ showed absolutely no ability to hit ml pitching before last season, yet he was given center field. You absolutely cannot do that with unproven players. They have to earn it. Mookie Betts was absolutely hammering the ball in the minors. That is how he earned his promotion. And once he earned it, he didn’t play every day until he had earned that too. That is how you transition a young player into the starting lineup. You don’t just give them the position until they make it impossible for you to ignore them. Cecchini hasn’t done that, and probably won’t until he’s had a solid season at AAA. 36 plate appearances facing AAAA guys, proves absolutely nothing. Sign a veteran, and if you change your mind trade the veteran. Pablo Sandoval is going to get offers from many different clubs this off season. Someone will want him if the Red Sox sign him and then elect to move him in the next few years. But once you see him play, it’s very very doubtful you’ll still be calling for Cecchini.
The “BIG” problem with signing Sandoval is his weight. He is too heavy and very likely will have back problems before the end of this coming contract and most likely end up like most of the other player that have weight problems and lose his hitting ability. I would much rather sign Aramis Ramirez for a 1 or 2 year deal at 12-15 million then get bogged down with a 5 year $20 Million a year player with weight problems.
I wouldn’t assume he would have back problems. Tony Gwynn played until he was 41 and was still productive. Kirby Puckett retired at 35 at the top of his game. John Kruk was still productive when he retired at 34. A five year contract would take Sandoval through his age 32 season. Not much of a risk there. It’s just as likely that Ramirez will fall apart during his age 37 and 38 season. And he’s right handed. No reason to sign another right hander. If you don’t want Sandoval, then there’s Headley. But the purpose of the rebuttal was to advise against leaving a spot open for Cecchini not to endorse Sandoval.
None of the players you mentioned were anywhere close to his weight. I would rather have Headley then pay $20 million a year for Sandoval. The risk of him is just too great for me to be comfortable with that kind of contract on him. It seems as if the Sox brass thinks he will be healthy they are going to try for him. I just hope they spend the money on pitching instead of Sandoval. It’s like Hamels the Sox Brass seem to have made up their minds that Hamels is a player that is better then Lester. Wasting Prospects to get a guy that is owed what Lester would accept is crazy.
They have not made their mind up that he is better than Lester. They have made their mind up that his contract is better than what it would take to sign Lester. Lester is looking at 7 year 150. Hamels is owed 114 million over 5. The “hometown discount” is off the table. Lester probably would have signed for around that in spring training, but the FO blew it. And signing Sandoval in no way means they won’t be able to afford pitching. They have 60 million to spend. I don’t think Sandoval gets 100 million. Probably between 80 and 90 for 5 years. Exactly because of the reasons you have specified. They said they were looking for a top of the rotation guy, a middle of the rotation guy and a left handed hitting third baseman. They have more than enough for all of that.
Yes but this year it would be just him Castillo and Betts and i wouldn’t call Castillo “Youth”. Holt is capable of handling the position for 1/2 a year if Cecchini proves in the spring he isn’t ready yet to take over Also Castillo or Betts could realistically end up at 3rd so as to get them both in the lineup. Taking a job from a guy you just signed is not possible how does he take the job from someone you are giving $15-20 million a year to? Are they going to put Panda on the bench so Cecchini can play if Cecchini is better then Panda? NO, they will keep running Panda out there because if Cecchini was to beat him out for the 3rd base job NO ONE would want to take Panda’s contract off the Sox.
So you’re going to play Betts at third base who was moved off of shortstop because his throws weren’t accurate and Castillo at third base who has never played a single game there in his entire career? Holt isn’t good enough to be an every day player. Cecchini has to earn the position just like everyone else. Sign a veteran and if Cecchini is the guy, he’ll take the job by the end of the year. And there is absolutely no way Cecchini would beat Panda out. That’s the point. Panda is now and will be a better player than Cecchini. If somehow Cecchini is magically better than Panda, you trade Panda. He’s a 3 or 4 fWAR a year player going into his age 28 season. There would be teams lined up around the corner to have a player like that. And if you have to eat a little money so be it. But as for right now, Panda is a top 10 third baseman in MLB who plays solid defense and Cecchini is a guy with 36 plate appearances with questionable defense and non-existent power. Unless you want to spend the rest of the season looking for a third baseman when Holt hits .260 with 4 hrs in the first half?
Joseph Jonathan Herrera
I think there has to be a middle ground here. I don’t feel comfortable putting Cecchini or Middlebrooks or Holt starting there in 2015, nor do I think Sandoval is answer either. Headley, on the one-year show me deal like Beltre and Drew got, would be the best option for 2015 to me, unless a trade comes up. I think Sandoval will command 5/100 or more, which may be too steep if there’s concern about his weight and fielding 3B.
There is no reason to be concerned about his ability to play third base. He’s an above average fielder. I doubt Sandoval gets 100 million. Headley would be a solid if unspectacular choice. Although you’d be in exactly the same position at the end of the season. Looking to sign a left handed hitting third baseman.
I love Cecchini and believe he will eventually develop into a .360 OBP guy with 10-15 HR. However, he had some struggles in AAA this year and has extremely little experience in the big and isn’t the best defensive 3B. I say give him one more year of seasoning while Headley holds down the fort.
So the lineup is pretty much filled but the rotation problems I feel are worse than people think. Most people assume Lester is coming back but if he does or doesn’t you still have major holes in that rotation. Buchholz has been terrible this year and they need to make him earn a rotation spot in the spring. Kelly is a back of the rotation arm at best. They shouldn’t really expect De La Rosa or Raunado to be more than 5th starters (not saying they dont have higher potential than that but Im saying they need to keep expectations low and be happy if they surpass them). I’m curious as to how Ben will assemble this rotation. I’m not exactly sure what the infatuation with trading for Stanton is, when the real issue is the rotation.
Lester, Shields, McCarthy, and any number of trade options (Hamels, Lee, Cueto, Latos?) are legitimately in play.
I personally would like Hamels and Lester but that most likely means goodbye to Betts. Id like to see Amaro come back to Earth on his demands before Ben talks to him. McCarthy I wouldn’t trust higher than a #4. Lester+Shields would be nice in that it wouldn’t cost prospects but not sure Shields takes a shorter term deal.
Man, Hamels for a Betts led package makes so much sense if Amaro wasn’t so crazy (I’m sure he’d want Betts, Xander, and cast or something equally crazy).
Betts at 2nd for the Phillies with Utley at 1st and Howard being cut is a solid move going forward.
As a Phillies fan, as enticing as Betts is, I can’t imagine that getting done. But I’d really like a deal of Owens, Margot, and Coyle (not sure if Sox fans see that as a worse deal than Betts and another top 10 guy). Maybe a throw in to add to it (outside the Sox top 15 – a high risk, lower level, high reward guy). I’m not sure how Margot is viewed though by Boston, considering he’s only in A+ ball, but his raw stuff, to go with the numbers he put up, are very impressive.
I think Sox would do Owens/Margot/Coyle for Hamels.
Joseph Jonathan Herrera
Sox prospects website has Margot ranked 3rd in the system. At his age, tough to project but the talent is there. He could be the top of the order guy they think, or he could be the next Engel Beltre.
Hamels is an elite pitcher, and not yet 30 (or just 30, too lazy to check). He’s been fantastic in a hitting park and has several years of prime left. He’s worth WAY more than Betts, but frankly the Phils would probably be interested in other players because they have a better 2B and a pretty decent CF as well. Not sure the teams really match up, to be honest.
Hamels, Cueto, and Latos won’t be had though without giving up great prospects. Prospects who a similar poster just stated he wouldn’t give up for anything less than “Sale, Kershaw, Trout, or Stanton.”
It’s pay the piper time, either in cash or prospects, and I’m not certain Red Sox fans are comfortable with the idea of not having their cake and eating it, too.
I wouldn’t mind seeing Brandon McCarthy on a 3-year, $42 million deal. He’s proven to be a 3-win pitcher and will be 34 when the deal ends. He fits into Fenway well with his low GB-rate and a normalized HR rate should help ease him back into reality. The only problem I see is the Yankees do want to resign him, or he’d want a one-year, pillow deal of $16 million, which I would support as well.
No one is going to give him a one year 16 million dollar deal. 3/42 is highly unlikely as well.
Good. That means they won’t have to pay him as much.
I don’t see McCarthy settling for a two-year deal when he can either build his value on a pillow contract or look for a long-term deal, such as 4/50. All signs point to him being a valuable pitcher so it doesn’t seem unreasonable to offer him a short, high-AAV contract.
He’s not getting 4/50 either. He’s had two underwhelming seasons in a row. He isn’t in a better position than any of last year’s mid tier FA class who couldn’t get that.
I think we’re arguing two different things. I’m trying to say that McCarthy would be a great addition to the Red Sox staff, and the Sox could overpay for him if need be. Also, a 3-WAR pace season shortened due to injury and a season where he was worth 3 wins over a 200-inning stretch don’t seem like two underwhelming seasons to me.
McCarthy could be a great addition to the Sox staff, but that doesn’t mean that they or any other team would give him the overpay you’ve suggested.
Fangraphs is a lot kinder to him than Baseball Reference, but he’s still got his poor time in Arizona and his shaky stats working against him. His promising peripherals show that someone will pay him, but nowhere near the amount you’re suggesting.
If you think it’s an overpay, why don’t you suggest some of your own numbers? I honestly don’t we the point of posting just to refute others’ opinions without giving one’s own.
I agree with Steve Adams’ assessment that 3/36 is probably what he’ll end up with. He did an article on McCarthy yesterday. A fourth year probably means less of an AAV than 12 million.
As someone who scans MLBTR regularly I’m pretty ashamed to say that I didn’t see the article. Looking over it, I still think the Sox could pry him away from the Yankees with a few million more that they can afford to give up, i.e. 3/42 or 4/50 would be the deal that would get it done. We will see, I suppose.
3/36 isn’t the starting point for McCarthy though. I’m not even sure the Yankees would go that high for him. You’re drastically overvaluing him.
At the FA rate of $6m per win, 2.5 wins a season doesn’t seem like an overevaluation, especially for the Red Sox who can afford to spend a bit of cash.
Long as he’s in the AL I guess it works. He can’t pitch in the NL at all.
Daniel Murphy for Shane Victorino
Hamels will be 31 in December. Sox have got to start evaluating Positions and Batting order. Me, I’m putting Mookie in CF and lead-off. Start there. The biggest dilemma for me, is Left-side of Infield. Moved Bogaerts too many times, really don’t know what position fits him. Terrible coaching. The last part of season which was lost, put people in spots, where you might not use them. Betts at 2nd, Bogaerts at SS, Middlebrooks at 3rd. Now still have question marks. If this Front Office Trades a kid like Betts, and keeps Castillo, they better be right. Big gamble. I don’t care about Sept. numbers too small to evaluate. I’ve seen Betts play in Double AA, this kid is good.
I’d be willing to give up Nava and Betts for Latos or Cueto
Joseph Jonathan Herrera
I don’t think they trade Betts for a rental. Unless they get an extension on either of them, I don’t do a deal with Betts.
Trade for Josh Donaldson. Give up Betts +
Geovany Soto for backup catcher on a 1 year deal.
Lester for 6/120
Trade a couple outfielders to San Diego for either Cashner or Tyson Ross
Sign a few of Andrew Miller/Luke Gregerson/Luke Hochevar/Badenhop
Bench- Holt Middlebrooks Soto maybe Brentz
De La Rosa (could change after ST if someone gives a convincing performance)
I believe that’s 25 guys
Also I swear if I here one person refer to Brock Holt as the 2nd coming of Yastrzemski I’m going to punch a wall
Trade Buchholtz and Craig. Bye letting them go you free up 25 million!!!
Now go get Scherzer, he’s your #1 Pitcher. 180 mil for 7 years. Keep OWENS