For the first time in a half-decade, the Red Sox enter a season with questions about who’ll take the lion’s share of playing time behind the plate. Christian Vázquez has been their Opening Day starter in each of the last five years. His trade to Houston at last summer’s deadline and subsequent three-year free agent signing with the Twins ensures Boston will have to find a new solution in 2023.
The Sox currently have just two catchers on their 40-man roster. Boston brought in Reese McGuire in a trade with the White Sox just hours after shipping Vázquez out last August. The former first-round draftee finished the season well, hitting .337/.377/.500 with a trio of home runs in 36 games with Boston. It was an excellent first impression for the 27-year-old (28 tomorrow) but an outlier in the broader context of his career. In 566 plate appearances between the Blue Jays and White Sox prior to the trade, McGuire had hit .241/.286/.359 with only nine longballs.
McGuire hasn’t had many consistent opportunities to get into a groove against MLB pitching. Before last season, he’d never appeared in even half a team’s games. He’s generally had a strong defensive reputation, though. McGuire has rated as an above-average pitch framer in each of the past two seasons, per Statcast. In just under 1600 career innings behind the dish, he’s thrown out a very strong 31.4% of would-be basestealers.
Connor Wong looks like the early favorite to split time with McGuire at Fenway Park. The other catcher on the 40-man, he’s only played in 33 big league games over the past two seasons. Part of the Mookie Betts trade return from the Dodgers, the 26-year-old Wong has put up an impressive .276/.327/.471 line in 131 games for Triple-A Worcester. That included a particularly strong .288/.349/.489 showing with 15 homers across 355 plate appearances for the WooSox last season.
There’s reason for optimism regarding both McGuire and Wong, though there’s obvious risk in relying on either as a regular considering neither have proven themselves over a full season against MLB competition. McGuire hits left-handed and Wong swings from the right side. That’d seemingly raise the possibility of mixing and matching based on pitcher handedness, though manager Alex Cora pushed back against that this afternoon. “It’s not a strict platoon situation,” Cora said (link via Peter Abraham of the Boston Globe). “Wong can hit righties, too, and Reese can hit lefties. We’ll see how we do it. We’ll see what the roster is and we’ll make decisions.”
The Sox shied away from any significant catching additions this offseason. Boston didn’t add anyone on a major league free agent deal or via trade. Former Marlin and Padre Jorge Alfaro was brought aboard via non-roster pact. Alfaro brings some more experience to camp and looks like the top depth option in the organization. That he was limited to minor league offers this winter hints at the strikeout and defensive questions that have dogged him throughout his career. Alfaro is a .256/.305/.396 hitter with a 34.1% strikeout rate in parts of seven MLB campaigns. He has excellent arm strength but typically posts below-average marks as a receiver.
Former top prospect Ronaldo Hernández and Caleb Hamilton, claimed off waivers from the Twins at the start of the offseason, are also in the organization as non-roster players. Each has upper level experience but has gone unclaimed on waivers this winter and seems clearly behind McGuire and Wong on the roster.
It’s possible Boston looks to augment the catching depth before Opening Day, perhaps by targeting a veteran currently on a minor league deal elsewhere but who doesn’t crack an MLB roster. The Guardians, as one example, have each of Cam Gallagher, Meibrys Viloria and Zack Collins on non-roster pacts battling for a backup job this spring. Gary Sánchez is the top remaining free agent catcher. However, Jon Heyman of the New York Post reported last week the Red Sox hadn’t had any contact with their longtime division rival.
With the Sox looking like a last place team this year, I really think they should give Reese a shot. He’d be an excellent backup but with the way he settled right in last year, maybe a chance to start is in the cards? With the way he parks himself behind the plate, I love how he handles the balls and there is absolutely a chance he can regain that power stroke he demonstrated early in his career. Good luck!
Well done sir.
Pudge, Tek and Spanky.
Fever Pitch Guy
avenger – It’s Mike McGuire, along with Sammy Sooser.
You beat me to it!
“the Red Sox enter a season with questions about who’ll take the lion’s share of playing time behind the plate.”
I’m pretty sure there is no question. McGuire will get the bulk of the playing time. It’s very unlikely to be Wong on the wrong side of the platoon. I like the Alfaro acquisition, but he is not on the 40-man, so Wong would have to be fairly bad for the RS to give up on him.
Alfaro had a weird, and very un-team friendly deal.
In ST instead of an opt-out he has that upwards mobility clause. Basically, on Mar 25th he gets to demand to be added to the 40-man within 72 hrs, or, BOS must offer him at no cost to any mlb team willing to add him to their 40 man.
So, the only way Alfaro can be kept as a non-40 man player after Mar 25 is if no mlb team will give him a slot.
Then, he gets opt outs on June 1, and July 1.
If those summer opt outs are unconditional, that’s a tough cookie to depend on sticking around, especially if the team stinks it up and a contender needs help behind the dish.
I think that is standard for the #27 type of players. They won’t commit to any team if they are going to be nothing more than minor league depth. Probably the only reason he joined the RS is because he thought Wong could be a weakness.
I felt the Mar 25 clause was strange in that it wasn’t your standard add me or release me, it’s add me or give everyone else a right of refusal on me while I remain under contract with you.
The other option dates? Yeah, pretty standard. And I do agree on the Wong thing.
Alfaro plays for I think the Dominicans in the WBC, so, that’s going to give him some extra exposure and reps that will be lacking while Boston looks at the Spanky/Wong option.
Biggest downside to Alfaro is you need to build someone off the 40man to make room for him. Optioning Wong makes room on the 26, but does nothing on the 40. (Unless there’s another injury)
You can have Max Stassi for a bag of beans
Just have the car jacker be the starter.
I heard Vasquez called the Sox after the season and asked to come back. They turned him down. The Sox passed on a golden opportunity.
Vazquez was not worth the $10,000,000 per year the Twins paid. The Red Sox made the correct move in passing on Vazquez.
One never knows what it would have taken to get a deal done. I for one would consider less to not have to move if I was happy where I was. The three years he got at that money was the problem.
“Vazquez was not worth the $10,000,000 per year”
“The three years he got at that money was the problem”
Arent you two saying the exact same thing? When looking at the value of a contract, you always look at years + salary.
I agree, it was too much, but Im surprised how lowly his defense has been valued at Houston and now Minny. Neither team, it appears considers him a starting catcher.
Not necessarily. One guy says he wasn’t worth 10m a season.
The other said it was the fact it was 3 years, implying that a single year worth 10m could be reasonable.
Nobody knows how it’d play out because bloom screwed up, again, by not engaging. Vaz would’ve brought stability at a tough position in baseball without a lot of depth to it, and, a much stronger mentor for Wong than ol spanky gives. Speaking of spanky, nothing to show he isn’t one and done, nothing in his past profile shows an ability to sustain what happened for a brief stretch last season.
I think defense isn’t being valued as highly because of the rise of the robo-ump as they’re calling them. Traditional framing is viewed as worth less, and, owners likely have an inkling of how quick and extensive mlb will shift to the technology.
As far as kill rate on base stealers, again, 2 pick off moves to 1B and the guy can lead off literally halfway to 2nd and you can do…. nothing. Horrible new rule.
If the Sox had Maldonado, fans would be screaming about his bat. Is his glove that much better than Vasquez or before him Leon? I agree teams don’t look at Vasquez correctly but $30m over three, the Twins I don’t think are one of them. I blame the pitchers for a lot of things too. With the new rules, we’ll find out.
Are you saying that JC “explicitly said” that? Like you did yesterday and were proved completely wrong. Remember!!! You didn’t even respond to my comment, because you so wrong.
Seriously GA, what do you wait for me to comment to someone else before you jump in and disagree. Grow up.
If the Sox had Maldonado, fans would be screaming about his bat. Is his glove that much better than Vasquez or before him Leon?
The more casual fans are more concerned about offense from the catcher than defense.
You proved nothing yesterday, and, if you don’t understand the meaning of explicitly, get a dictionary.
Use of the word was correct.
I respond when, and where I choose. Don’t flatter yourself. When someone looks like an idiot, sometimes it makes more sense to let their pointless comment and personal attack slide so they look the part they are.
Here, you again make an inaccurate statement, and, claim to have ‘won’ some dispute that never existed. You never were right yesterday, or today.
I think I will respectfully disagree. I think most people why it’s either one or the other with starting catchers. Vaz, and even both of the current young guys can both hit and call a good game. Plenty of catchers can do both.
I think the bat vs defense applies more to back up catchers.
Just my humble opinion.
You said JDM was “explicitly” talking about the Red Sox when he said he couldve held out for more, but chose the Dodgers. You KNOW he wasnt talking about the Red Sox. He was clearly talking about any team that would offer more $$$.
Expicitly (def) in a clear and detailed manner, leaving no room for confusion or doubt.
Denial River is a nice place.
Go and re-read what I wrote.
I said he explicitly talked about wanting to go to a winning team that would compete.
Apparently you spend lots of time in denial.
Admit you’re wrong, as you usually are, and move on.
Your exact quote:
“JD explicitly stated he felt he left money on the table and did take a bigger pay cut to get out of the chaim-mess. . .”
That part of your comment talks about money, nothing else. Wanting to go to a team with a better chance of winning is a no-brainer for 95% of the players, Captain Obvious, thats not what I was talking about. Its your arrogant “explicitly stated” that rubbed me the wrong way.
Do you kayak on Denial River?
Even the partial quote you take, which wasn’t the full post, says itself – “TO GET OUT OF THE CHAIM-MESS” (emphasis added since you continue to ignore it.
The rest of my post, you ignore, is JD’s take on wanting to get to October and play meaningful games.
So, MR DENIAL, what do you think getting out of the chaim mess followed by a player quote refers to? Is the chaim-mess money? NO. It is the piss-poor roster that will once again fail to amount to much, and, has zero chance at a ring.
I couldn’t cate less how you feel things ‘rub’ you. Get a thick skin, and admit you’re wrong. You just don’t like that even players hate what chaim is doing, in addition to the media, and the REAL fans, and seeing it pointed out bothers you.
If you want to be rubbed ‘the right way’ I’m sure McGuire can help you with that.
Your just a Bloom hater he got it right when he tried dumping vaz years ago the short fat man is nothing but a poser who won’t be a starter again for a good team
Saying vaz would be a better mentor to wong than tek is idiotic
Your humble opinion that vaz can call a good game sux
Alfaro has a huge contact problem but when he hits the ball he absolutely crushes it. He could launch a lot of balls onto Landsdowne Street. I hope thé Sox give him enough playing time to see what he can do.
Problem is he is awful defensively and when he has played this spring its been as a DH. With the possibility of the return of base stealing thanks to the pitch clock and new rules it would probably be better to roll with the defensive Catchers (McGuire, Wong)
No need to agree on this. But I think Alfaro is a perfectly viable catcher. He has a cannon arm, he is athletic for his size. I don’t see anything in his defensive stats that suggest he can’t catch. But again, to each their own. In my view, the Sox are in a rebuild year and they should take some risks. If Alfaro has a good first half he will have trade value. McGuire and Wong seem so bland. I’d rather see what Alfaro can do.
Well said. The only point I’d add though: some LH hitters like McGuire could really surprise in a positive way, at Fenway. Depending on their swing tendencies, a LH bat, might feel more comfortable by slowing down their swing a bit – just to make better contact – knowing that the short wall in LF turns some routine fly balls into base hits.
Fever Pitch Guy
saratoga – It doesn’t matter how hard a player can hit the ball if he can’t make contact with it.
Thanks for that amazing insight. Who could have figured out such a complex idea?
Red Sox comp; Gedman/Allenson 1984 !
Gedman would be a huge improvement over what they have now. And he’s 63.
I agree milt… again the rest of the story… Gedman… no chance against Lucus… HBP… que Hindu… I often say if the Redsox win it in 86 Dave Henderson is Big Papi before Big Papi in Redsox lore…
Richard Leo Gedman… another favorite of mine!!!86
Reece “just beat it” McGuire
Pedro Martinez’s Mango Tree
With all the questions surrounding this team, what’s one more gonna hurt?
Red Sox acting like a mid market team is disappointing.
Their payrolls theast few years would disagree with you. There is no rule that says they had to spend to the same level as the other top market guys this off-season, especially when they’re reworking how they do things in general. We’ll see what their approach yields in each of the next few years.
He said nothing about their payroll. Under bloom, the Red Sox have been going after players that a mid market team would.
Because they want to re-set and also not get stuck with aging contracts. Next year will tell a lot in my view.
For a lot of people this past offseason was supposed to tell a lot…
let’s hope so Dewey
Keep kicking the can down the road…
I’ll take the 2 best defensive catchers on my team. Offense from the catcher position is great but defense is more important.
The Red Sox won championships with their catchers hitting below .200 in 2018 and with Jarrod Saltalamacchia in 2013.
Not a problem.
whyhayzee – So you are equating the 2023 team with the 2018 and 2013 teams?
If you don’t have studs in LF, RF, SS you have to make up the difference somewhere. The 2023 team didn’t have to fall off that far at catcher but they did.
So, YES, a great Red Sox team can win without a high quality catcher. The 2023 team and any in the foreseeable future under Bloom….. NOT SO MUCH.
Cora’s kid is making $10MM (Kiki)) and his numbers in Boston are:
.238/.318/.403/.721 with an OPS+ of 95
I don’t want to hear anyone say anything about a player being paid too much when Kiki gets $10MM considering what he’s done and Devers can’t field and gets over $30MM a year for over a decade. MONEY IS IRRELEVANT based on these two outrageous overpays.
Were you aware that Vazquez had the 6th highest average of all starting catchers in baseball in 2022? So he wasn’t a slug, he was a catcher on a very bad team that didn’t produce runs.
With the horrendous prospects for winning this season, it’s time to deal for a good young catcher.
The Top candidate would be Pittsburgh. They have two excellent young catchers:
1 – BA’s #22 Prospect Endy Rodriguez
2 – BA’s #73 Prospect and first pick in the 2021 draft – Henry Davis
Rodrguez is considered the better defensive prospect and his minor league average is .304 and his minor league OBP is 394. His minor league OPS is .927 and BA puts his defense at 50 and his arm at 55.
They may not want to give him up since he seems to have a high ceiling so if they won’t then pursue their other star catcher before someone else does. Davis has similar ratings:
HIT – 55 versus 60 for Rodriguez, Power – 60 (same as Rodriguez), Run – 45 (same) Field (40 versus 50) and Arm – 60 vs 55.
You can’t go wrong with either guy.
Also, the Mets have Parada and Alvarez as two top Catching prospects.
Parada would be a reasonable swap for a middle infielder since Bloom is stock piling them.
The Red Sox need to plan for a Catcher of the future. This year is a perfect time.
I checked 2024 free agency and no catcher is available that is 30 or younger and most are over 33 which is a bad age for catchers.
Bloom was supposed to be good at procuring players with upside. I hope he actually makes 1 GOOD deal before he is fired.
“Bloom was supposed to be good at procuring players with upside. I hope he actually makes 1 GOOD deal before he is fired.“
He’s hasn’t come close to being the guy who was touted as being able to do that. You or I could sign 30+ players that are either past their prime or coming off injuries and hit on a few of them too.
And why would the Pirates do that? (Chuckle) Another big market fan thinking small market teams are their farm clubs.
Reading comprehension. He was citing teams with multiple top catching prospects, the idea being that one might be available for talent at a different position. What makes you think he was talking up one of those teams giving one of those prospects away?
Umm, because that’s what he said? Reading comprehension is a valuable skill, I agree.
If the Sox offered Marcelo Mayer for Henry Davis, do you think the Pirates would say no? They went with Davis to save signing bonus $ for later rounds, but with that done, and with Davis not exactly tearing it up, I’m 100% certain the Pirates would make that deal.
If the Sox had Maldonado, fans would be screaming about his bat. Is his glove that much better than Vasquez or before him Leon?
As a RS fan, I’d say no pretty quickly. Some of the scouting reports question his ability to stay behind the plate. He can still hit, but his minor K/W is 61/25. I don’t think I’d trade Casas for him either, unless I was more sure that he would stay at catcher.
Uh, the Pirates are loaded with middle infield prospects, so no, that offer would get a dial tone.
Nobody has too many SS prospects. If Cruz manages to handle SS, any good SS behind him can play OF, 3B, Util, whatever. The Pirates have a deep system but not a lot of elite prospects. Endy Rodriguez is their best.
The Pirates would never consider trading Davis or Rodrigues for another infield prospect. Premier catching prospects are gold compared to middle infielders whom seem to be a dime a dozen these days.
Windowpane21 hours ago
The Pirates would never consider trading Davis or Rodrigues for another infield prospect. Premier catching prospects are gold
Generally speaking, yes, but you also need to be sure they are a true catching prospect. There is no certainty that Davis stays at catcher.
And even if Davis was better defensively, is he not still behind Endy?
We certainly don’t need to agree. And nobody really knows for sure what the teams would consider, especially since they have so much more information than we do. But I think you are over-estimating Henry Davis. He is not a lock to stay at C, and Endy has clearly passed him by as the best C prospect. I would be much more surprised if the Red Sox refused Mayer for Davis than the Pirates.
Windowpane – That’s a fair comment except I am a fan of teams of all sizes. Boston is one team I have followed because of my father. I also follow the Cubs and Brewers as a former Chicago area person. My comment comes comes more from a fantasy sport perspective. When a team has an abundance of talent at one position a good GM often recognizes this and trades from strength to gain some resource(s) that fill an area where the program is weakest.
That’s why I thought the Pirates had 3 good options:
1 – Keep Davis at C and while they wait use Rodriguez at Catcher then move him to a new position if there is one he can handle like OF.
2 – Trade your strong area to fix a weak area. The PIT farm system is light on OF and SPs. Boston might have a fair trade value they could send to Pittsburgh for either of the two players. That’s why Pittsburgh might do the deal. Remember, Cherington is the GM and might be willing to fix his holes.
3 – Immediately move Rodriguez to the OF in hopes of solving the shortage and using current catchers until Davis makes the majors.
So, your small market bias against big market fans is understandable but not all big market fans are as myopic as you suggest.
Pulled – it’s too soon for the sox to make that sort of trade.
1) There’s no young core knocking on the door yet. Actually, there’s no guarantee anyone that’s being touted as anything will even make it. So you don’t want a high-cost mlb-ready piece right now, you’ll just waste control.
2) because you don’t know what pieces in the minors will make it, you don’t know areas of surplus to deal from. Any blue chip young catcher will cost BIG right now.
3) because the team is, again, so far away it makes sense to see how the computer strike zone and pick off rule change things. As stated elsewhere, if you pick off a 2nd time, functionally, the runner can walk 2/3 the way or even one step away from 2nd and you can do….. nothing. Free base at that point. So functionally you get one pick off attempt, ever, or, the arm-strength side of defense goes down in value. Those two factors could impact on what skills at C are worth, and change costs in the future.
Do the sox need a c-of-the-future? Yes. Are there more pressing needs at the moment? Yes.
Is there any team out there giving up a GOOD young catcher for anything the sox would offer? I don’t think so.
GA – I agree that the farm system emergent players are unknown today, however, a plan for the future is needed today. Start filling the slots and make adjustments as needed. If Mayer or Yorke are busts then adjust by either having a different SS/2B become the new long term solution or deal for one.
I hate the lack of organization that Bloom has presented to us fans. Without a solid plan the future is a ‘wing it’ situation and far less likely to succeed.
I disagree with the idea that the farm system has nothing in it to trade for a young catcher. There are plenty of guys that have great upside potential. I wouldn’t rank them as the services do, but I do like several players, especially pitchers. I think this team has the potential to become a STL-type farm system with far more pitching than hitting. That’s why, I say start balancing things out now rather than later.
Let me suggest a list of GOOD players in the Boston Farm System:
1 – Roman Anthony – OF at 18 great ROK numbers and bad A numbers. Young enough with excellent skills to blossom. Needs to repeat A and kill it in 2023.
2 – Marcelo Mayer – SS (like Davis a first round pick but not playing at that level yet) Needs to dominate A+ and graduate to AA in 2023. If both stops are a success we could see him by 2024.
3 – Nick Yorke – 2B (Two oood seasons and a clunker last year. 2023 will either be a thumbs up or thumbs down for this prospect.. Needs to dominate Hi-A and move to AA by mid 2023. if he can do that, he could be up by the end of 2024 along with Mayer.
4 – Triston Casas – Rushed too soon to the MLB team. Could struggle badly in 2023 and completely stall as a prospect or he could become the every day 1B for the future. April should decide his fate. If I was Bloom, I’d put him in AAA until he hit .300 over at least 25 games. He’s risking this kid’s future by leaving him on the MLB roster.
5 – Ceddanne Rafaela – Developed some skills between 2019 and 2021 and did adequately at age 20 A ball in 2021. 45 games at Hi-A at 21 was excellent and 70 games at AA at 21 was very promising.
6 – Miguel Bleis – Successful ROK season at 18 doesn’t tell you much but it’s all good in the right direction. Need 4 years to see him as a regular but quickly becoming good trade bait or a keeper.
7 – Blaze Jordan – In 2 years has mastered ROK, A and Hi-A. Another high upside guy who needs at least 2 years to get to the bigs and probably 3 years.
8 – Bryan Mata – A SP who recovered from surgery after 2019 to become a guy who had 9 great starts in AA in 2022 and got roughed up a bit in AAA in 2022. He should be ready to see some time in the majors in 2023 if he can master AAA..
That’s 8 GOOD prospects that could be traded for a GOOD catching prospect. In addition, several pitchers who are young and have proven they have great upside considering their age and experience.
1 – Bryan Bello – His performance at AA and AAA suggest he’s ready to get beat up a bit for a year or so in the MLB and then start emerging as a middle to upper portion of the rotation guy.
2 – Tanner Houck – Has proven himself at the MLB level but is a DD guy so a perfect option for a trade to get a premiere prospect catcher. Considering all his MLB experience, it’s great that he’s only a pre-arb 2 player. 5 years of control left.
3 – Garrett Whitlock – Same age as Houck but considered a veteran being paid nearly $5MM per year for the next 6 years. SP or RP? He’s great trade bait since he’s good and cheap for 5 years.
4 – Josh Winckowski – Any guy that takes 3 years to master rookie ball isn’t going to be on my radar so when we got him in the Benny give away I wasn’t impressed. His performance at AA in 2021 did not suggest a promotion to AAA should have happened but it did because Bloom hoped to prove what a steal he made for Benny. Just the opposite proved out. By rushing Winck to the majors and even AAA ball, they did him a huge disservice. He actually has decent talent but has a longer learning curve than other Boston pitchers progressing through the minors. He needs to stay at AAA in 2023 until he can put up 75 innings or more with an ERA below 3.20 and a WHIP under 1.1.. That won’t happen because of Bloom and Cora but that’s what SHOULD happen to give him a chance to be an impact player in 2024.
So, as negative as I am about the 2023 MLB roster, I am not negative about the players in the farm system from both DD and Bloom and the SPs that got a shot last year and proved to be excellent prospects that are ahead of schedule.
We have plenty in the minors and majors to make a deal to get talent from other teams. Our problem isn’t the talent it’s the GM and his inability to make good deals, his inability to identify areas of need and filling them and his foolish belief that you don’t trade away minor league talent (you DFA them instead!).
Pulled, I may not have been clear enough in the way I worded things…
My point is with all the 35, 36, 37 year old players on the roster, and all the expiring deals, you need to KEEP those guys you identified. When I said anything the sox would offer, it’s with the idea you can’t offer the few promising guys that are around.
If we’re lucky 1/3 of those 8 become even servicable but cheap mlb starters with a ops+ around 100. And if you’re really lucky you get one plus player.
If we had a true baseball ops guy like dombrowski with an eye for talent that doesn’t just rely on a computer printout, he could weed out some chaff that wasn’t going to amount for much and use it in trades. Unfortunately, nobody left in this front office has that eye.
When bloom rode out controlled guys focusing more on hunting retreads than going for it with the core, he left a ton of long term holes in the roster. Had he traded guys with 2-3yrs left for true blue chip prospects, you instantly get young and jumpstart your rebuild. Letting guys go in rule 5 for cash and waiver claims/trades after dfa when you’re under pressure didn’t help either.
All that’s left now is a best case scenario you keep all those kids, hope a few hit, and pay up for a catcher l, CF (for cf or rf), and maybe a SS in FA. Otherwise you’re going to need a 4-5 year rebuild starting now, and hope a bunch of high draft picks hit.
Dark days lie ahead.
GA – I agree that the farm system emergent players are unknown today, however, a plan for the future is needed today.
FWIW, in as much as we disagree on other stuff, your minor league assessment is pretty good, and has been even prior to this.
“With the horrendous prospects for winning this season”
Fangraph predicts them to be in 4th place, and over .500. Not seeing why they would be considered to have “horrendous prospects”.
Red Sox were 4 games below .500 last year. They look much better this year considering the team is relatively healthy, young players looking good, and more balanced schedule.
I’d take that bet.
8 games behind TB. Theoretically, 30 starts from Sale might’ve been enough for us to have had a better record.
If the bullpen was average last year vs a dumpster fire they’d probably have won another 8-10 games
rsmith – Horrendous prospects of winning NOT horrendous prospects!!
Fangraphs is no better than a guy with a quarter to flip when it comes to predicting the future.
The team lost a treasure trove of players and added a bunch of question marks at best. The balanced schedule does help them far more than the other teams in the division because they all get to play Boston, one of the weakest teams in baseball whereas Boston reduces it’s games against 4 good teams.
You must consider the facts and if you want to believe with your heart versus your brain, that’s fine. Lots of people on this site do the same thing. Those that want to discuss realistic chances of winning discuss actual talent based on actual stats. Since I don’t believe in the BS on fangraphs, who did they pick to finish behind Boston? TB or BAL? Both should finish at least 5 games ahead of Boston or more depending on Sale, Paxton and Yoshida. Injuries could also be a significant factor because the offense is ONE person and if he goes down stick a fork in them.
Last year’s 4 games below .500 team lost two all-star hitters, a top flight catcher, an all-star pitcher in Eovaldi. The team added a guy from Japan that is unproven, a closer who will need to see a lead before he can get a save, two retread SPs to replace Wacha and Hill (two 2022 retread SPs).
Start at 4 games below .500 and subtract the net of the off season and you end up 10 to 15 games below .500. Could the surprise factor come into play like in 2021? NOPE. The remaining 2018 Champion team hitters are gone except Devers. They carried the team in 2021.
Also, with Cora at MGR, you must subtract at least 8 wins from any stat based expectation due to his ineptness as a manager.
Pulled – I’m not sure if i think it’s fair to compare kluber and paxton to hill and wacha. The baseline predicted better health and better quality of appearances from one group over the other.
B dog 351
How’s anyone up on Reese. The guy is a freak . You always hear about players being a big clubhouse guy. One would think that Reese might present an issue. No one in that clubhouse is busting his chops on that ? Come on! Not like he is the second coming to Fisk.
Exactly B dog. I doubt anyone is looking to hang out with this guy after games, especially those with families. He has to add a level of uncomfortableness in there.
The people with families didn’t seem to have a problem with Napoli or Gomes in 2013
Green mountain – maybe he can start oiling up casas in the outfield before games, make a friend that way?
That’s hilarious GA!
all in the suit that you wear
I think people on here are thinking about this way more than anyone with the Red Sox.
So you would invite a guy, that got busted for publicly masturbating, over to sit down and eat with your family? Ok…
all in the suit that you wear
I never said anything about my family. You are really out to get him, eh? I don’t even know the guy. I don’t reject people I don’t know. Looks like the guy made a mistake. The charges were dropped. I will trust law enforcement over you.
“So you would invite a guy, that got busted for publicly masturbating, over to sit down and eat with your family? Ok…”
How many people are you inviting over to dinner from your work? I work with a guy who’s got a weirder backstory than that. Im not going to invite him over for dinner, but Im not going to freak out either. They work with the guy, they’re not married to him.
A “mistake”? A mistake is when you forget to carry a digit in a math problem…. McGuire knew exactly what he was doing. No “mistake” there. Just a pervert with no self control who doesn’t have any courtesy for people around him.
Stupid thing to do, but if I were to count up the number of stupid things my friends and I have done as kids, I’d run out of numbers.
all in the suit that you wear
If there was any evidence that McGuire had any idea that people could see him, I’m sure he would be a convicted sex offender, but he is not. The charges were dropped. I wasn’t there, but it looks like it was a mistake. Were you there?
You surely don’t need me to agree with you. But civilized people don’t do such things in public. I see a clear difference between a “mistake” (e.g. taking the wrong exit from the highway), and a bad decision (e.g. masturbating in public). Maybe you don’t. To each his own.
Randy Moss once stomped on a mans head in college. I feel that is far, far worse. You mustve been against the Pats from signing him then, right?
This is a rabbit hole. Many players have done worse, seems odd to find this guys transgression that bad, that no team should ever hire him again.
You have your moral code, I have mine.
B dog 351
A stupid thing to do !! You can see if the guy had too much to drink and made a jerk out of himself or a dui .That’s a mistake . Seriously the clubhouse / work environment . I work construction with guys occasionally we go out for drinks afterwards. None of us would be going with someone like that. Maybe that’s being too judgmental.
Again, what you do in your off-time is your business. Go out for drinks with whoever you want. — I got one for you, I wouldn’t let him baby sit my kids either.
But what does any of that have to do with whether or not the guy should be allowed to work? We’re talking being employed as a baseball player, not dinner with the fam, or drinks with the boys. If he messes up again, Sox should have a short leash. But, right now, just seems too serious.
There’s stupid, and, there’s moronic without excuse.
In what world (ok, let’s exclude California) is it ever OK to pull up in a parking lot and start whacking off?
And, what is the uncontrollable level of urge to beat it off you can’t just go in a restroom?
You know, of he got nabbed for peeing in a Gatorade bottle because there were no bathrooms open and nearby, and, he didn’t want to piss against a building? I get it.
But whacking off isn’t uncontrollable like the urge to excrete waste products, sorry.
all in the suit that you wear
So, you think it’s ok to beat the guy up for the rest of his life about this and you think you know what civilized means?
I only follow college football. I did not take any position on the Pats signing Randy Moss. I barely even recall he was a Patriot. Even to the extent I follow NFL (which I do occasionally), I don’t follow the Pats. So no – I was neither for nor against the Pats signing him. I wasn’t following that story. Now, if I knew a player had killed a man, I would not support a team signing him. So if I had know Miss killed a guy and if I had known the Oats were signing him, I would be opposed to it. Not that the Pats would care what I think…
is it ever OK to pull up in a parking lot and start whacking off?
There could be degrees of this. For example, if he was leaving a strip club, and his car was parked behind the building in the middle of nowhere. Maybe he thought he’d have at it and be done before anyone even entered the lot.
And, before anyone says it is absolutely unforgivable, how many of you have almost been caught with a girl in various stages of undress?
B dog 351
Suit . Let me ask this question. It’s ok to have Pete Rose banned for how long.? Guy had a gambling addiction. Bonds, Clemens, Mac with the steroids . I ll respect your opinion if you’re ok with those guys.
all in the suit that you wear
BDog: Good question. I think all those guys have served enough time.
Suit- the charges were not dropped, he ended up paying a fine and court costs. I’m sorry but that’s not a “mistake”
all in the suit that you wear
grnmtnyeti: The indecent exposure charge was dropped or reduced to disorderly conduct. No sex crime. No sex offender status.
“McGuire pleaded no contest last week to a disorderly conduct charge and was fined $500 stemming from an off-field incident in February, The Canadian Press reports. With his legal issues settled, McGuire can focus on getting ready for the season.”
Good thing for McGuire the justice system thinks more of people than you. It doesn’t really matter if it was a mistake or a bad decision. I don’t care what we call it. I’m not into semantics. The justice system cut him a break. I see you can’t.
Plea bargains happen all the time. Murderers get manslaughter. Reckless killers avoid manslaughter for probation. Drug dealers get diversion. Thugs, muggers, burglars, all have DAs decline to press charges.
An outcome in today’s criminal justice system is more often a travesty than an appropriate sentence for the behavior at hand, and, it’s a reason criminal activity is exploding. These days, crime does pay.
The ‘outcome’ shouldn’t be held up as justification for how the behavior should be responded to, and, in fact, MLB has begun taking a much harder line than the criminal justice system in cases that come before it, a sad indictment of the so called justice system in its own right.
But, that’s one of the few remaining vestiges of what this country was founded on – green mountain can react and treat Spanky as he sees fit within the confines of the law; suit, you can choose to do so differently; I can choose a third way.
They haven’t taken that away from us…. yet.
all in the suit that you wear
GA: You seem to be ok with treating people badly. I don’t think that will lead to any good, especially for a guy like McGuire who caused no problems before or after one incident. That is probably why the justice system cut him a break.
People have different definitions of bad treatment, and what ‘cutting a break’ is, or when it’s warranted.
It’s also why some people believe, or don’t, in the death penalty.
I believe in accountability, not preferential treatment, and not where some people get breaks and some don’t.
The law should be black and white, not shades of grey. Remove the discretion and everyone is treated equal. If the outcomes aren’t what was intended, rewrite the law with more specificity.
all in the suit that you wear
GA: Things are rarely black and white which is why there are judges. In this case, it looks like McGuire got a break from the judge or prosecutor or both. He had been in no trouble before and they likely decided not to ruin his life with a sex offender status over one incident. One day you might want a break for a mistake or bad decision and will have a different view about giving breaks.
I mean what he did was gross and deserving of criticism but I highly doubt any of his teammates give two poops about it at this point.
Aquaman is going to shock the world.
This the start of a new series ? Red Sox “fill in the blank” question. It could be a 10 part series lol
Catchers effect the game in so many ways besides offense.
The most important factor is how comfortable your pitchers are throwing to them how much confidence they have in there game calling ability. This is going to be even more important this year with the pitch clock. The pitcher and catcher are going to have to be on par with each other or there will be violations.
I think Reece(spanky) McGwire is very solid defensively and from what I witnessed in watching Wong at AAA pitchers like throwing to him as well. I am a little concerned with the amount of passed balls that Wong had but he is very athletic and can even play the infield as backup. On the other side Wong does have options left so by default they may start him AAA but I hope not I think he can be a valuable player this year.
There is only one Adley Rutschman and he is true difference maker but I think Bostons catching duo will be mostly solid and Wong has upside offensively with good pop in his bat. I wasn’t real enamored with the Red Sox off-season but not signing Vasquez is not one of the issues imo.
Bruin1012 – I think it’s fair to say as you did that Bloom screwed up in so many areas that catcher isn’t at the top of the list BUT not signing Vazquez was a huge mistake since the alternatives are so bad.
Having two below league average catchers in platoon versus one above league average catcher and a below league average back-up is a big difference. Every small step down shouldn’t get lost in the aggregate!
Boston took bigger step downs at SS, 2B and SP but the step down at C is significant especially in light of the fact that they took step ups in the bullpen and nowhere else. Maybe Yoshida but we don’t really know. Duvall vs Kiki vs Duran is a wash. Verdugo versus Refsnyder is a wash. Wacha and Hill versus Kluber and Paxton is likely to be a step down since Wacha and Hill over performed in 2022.
The Red Sox desperately need to add a catcher of the future soon. It’s perfect timing to work with all the new young pitchers. The 2023 draft has no first round catching prospects so a trade will have to happen to get one into the Red Sox system. That’s why I suggested a few places like Pittsburgh and NY Mets.
I can’t see Pittsburg trading Endy Rodriguez or Henry Davis. Endy is their catcher and Davis probably isn’t a catcher he will probably be a first baseman and Boston has their first baseman. There just aren’t that many impact catchers and if you don’t have one you put good defensive catchers behind the plate that pitchers like to throw too.
The Wong injury is unfortunate and it looks like Alfaro will have to be added to the team so someone, maybe Ort will have to lose his 40 man spot.
McGwire and Wong would of been adequate but now it looks like McGwire and Alfaro. Alfaro has huge power, huge k numbers and so so as a defensive catcher. I’m not sure if pitchers are comfortable with him behind the plate or not but I guess we will find out.
I don’t think Bloom had a good off-season but that doesn’t mean I don’t think Boston can’t win this year. The Red Sox have quite a large Beta, they could be terrible or they could be a playoff level team. It’s going to depend on how healthy Sale, Paxton, Kluber, Whitlock, Bello, and Houck are how many innings can they throw this is the key if they stay relatively healthy the Red Sox will surprise.
The Red Sox imo also have legitimate pitching depth in AAA with Crawford, Walter, Winckowski, Mata and Murphy. Winckowski and Crawford got valuable experience last year and what’s not to love about Walter a lefty that throws strikes and has a true wipeout pitch he’s my sleeper this year. I think the Red Sox have legit arms in AAA for the first time in years let’s just hope they don’t have to all be called up at once like last years injury problems. Worcester should have a wicked AAA starting pitching.
So I guess what I’m saying this team can be pretty good and probably at least a playoff contender with good health but I’m more confident in the AAA pitchers as viable big league pitchers if worst case happens. In any event this should be an interesting season.
Is Marc Sullivan still playing??? I was shocked to hear about one of my favorites John Marzano ( rip friend) on one of the many baseball trips to Fenway .. he had a walk of hit vs Seattle I believe… Rocket started and gave up a bomb to the heavy hitting Dave Valle… Gary Allenson maybe is Sullivan not available….
Marinararivera + Tony Plush
Any type of offense you can get from your catcher is just a bonus. It’s much more important to have someone who can call a game and give you solid defense behind the plate. Besides, there are only maybe 5 or 6 catchers in the game that offer true offensive upside. Realmuto the goat, Adley Rutschman, Salvador Perez, Sean Murphy, Alejandro Kirk and Wilson Contreras. Great teams like last year’s Astros and the 2018 Red Sox won it all with dick for offense by their catchers.
marinararivera – Did you mean William Contreras or Willson Contreras? I might keep both on the list. Personally, I think William is the better Contreras.
I like your list but did you know that during the last two seasons there have been 18 individual performances that produced 100 hits by a catcher in a season?
ONLY FOUR CATCHERS have done it twice in 2021 and 2022:
1 – JT Realmuto,
2 = Salvador Perez
3 – Will Smith (not on your list)
4 – Christian Vazquez,
That’s 8 of the 20 instances. The remaining catchers doing it once are:
9 – Sean Murphy
10 – Alejandro Kirk
11 – Buster Posey (retired)
12 – Yadier Molina (retired)
13 – Travis d’Arnaud
14 – Omar Narvaez
15 – Adley Rutschman (1 for 1!)
16 – Willson Contreras
17 – Tyler Stephenson
18 – MJ Melendez (1 for 1!)
This is why I would argue that Vazquez was worth keeping even at $10MM per year. There is such a shortage of quality hitting catchers and he’s far better at blocking, throwing and framing than Devers is at fielding!!
Big mistake giving up on Vazquez. I personally think it came down to the fact that he was a 2018 Championship player so he had to go.
“ONLY FOUR CATCHERS have done it twice in 2021 and 2022”
Is that a criteria that anyone uses? Seems like you wanted to find a way to make Vasquez seem better offensely than he is. Ok, so he’s been consistent hitting singles for 2 years in a row. What about power, OBP?
How about OPS in 2022: (AB/OPS) Min 300ABs
I’d consider Vazquez a slightly above average hitter, and slightly below average defensive catcher. No Im not saying OPS is the tell-all but its certainly a better descriptor of offensive prowess than who got 100 hits, 2 seasons in a row.
Marinararivera + Tony Plush
Holy hell, how did miss will smith? In my opinion he is the second best. I can’t believe I forgot to mention him. Id like to see William Contreras and Raleigh do it for one more year before I include them with the others.