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A Realistic Offseason

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4 hours ago, JUSTgottaBELIEVE said:

But that’s why the thread is titled “a realistic offseason.” Those top guys aren’t realistic for this franchise so no sense in expending any energy towards it.

 

3 hours ago, CaliSoxFanViaSWside said:

I admire any stance that targets the top guys but you also said our payroll is mid market so in reality how much room does that give the Sox to add top guys . If they do fail to land either Cole or Strasburg who just can't punt and wait. Everyone including Hahn has said the money will be spent and the most likely year to spend it appears to be this year. Another flop year in free agency would be the worst thing possible  . There has to be a plan B, C and D in place where not landing the top talent isn't the only path.

I think this team CAN afford a Strasburg/Cole, it just isn't going to be possible for them to get 3-4 mid-level free agents on top of it, which is their normal "competitive plan." Given the budgetary constraints, that's why it's so critical for them to develop as many of these players as possible, even if many of them don't turn into stars. They need to find their role players so that they have the money for the difference makers.

It requires a change in strategy for the front office. Until the Machado debacle, I thought they were on the right track. That was such a clear blunder, that my confidence is shaken.

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16 minutes ago, ChiSox59 said:

edit: mean to quote @Eminor3rd, but seems my phone sucks at message boarding. 

I really liked your Mous take, but as I’ve read more of your thoughts on it, just seems like what you’re proposing / think is the right thing to do is a perpetual rebuild. Sure the Sox are still “building”, and I too have serious reservations about JD Martinez and Abreu coexisting on a the roster for multiple seasons, but the Sox can’t play in the middle for any more than 1 more season. 
 

They have limited long term commitments. They have money to spend. They have a good young cost controlled core. Their openings are at positions that should be easier to fill. There is no reason to punt the control of Moncada who could be a legitimate star in this game. They just need to deploy the money intelligently. 
 

The chances of them signing Cole is minimal, but go out at get Wheeler, sign Grandal, sign a stop gap SP, trade for a RF and go to battle. Will that team make the playoffs? Probably not. But it should be around contention and fun to watch, and then the entire team returns the next season with 1 more year under its belt.  Move Abreu to DH, get Vaughn in the mix and see what you have in 2021.
 

Just don’t see how the Sox could toil around for multiple more seasons as you seem to suggest. 

Not a perpetual rebuild at all, more like a riskier but higher upside free agency strategy. I'm proposing putting more eggs into fewer baskets, because that's how to get elite talent. Then, when 60% of your prospects disappoint you, it isn't so bad if they are 1-2 WAR players instead. Yes, it can fuck you up fast if an elite guy gets hurt or busts, but the only way that really any team has been able to mitigate that type of risk has been to spend a ton of money, and this team just isn't gonna do that. Spreading the risk makes sense, but not when all you get is slightly below average to slightly above average players to show for it. The Melky Cabreras and Jeff Samardzijas of the world have just as much bust potential as the Gerrit Coles and Manny Machados -- they just don't have the same upside. And your farm is much more likely to produce three Melkys than it is to produce one Machado.

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5 minutes ago, Eminor3rd said:

It requires a change in strategy for the front office. Until the Machado debacle, I thought they were on the right track. That was such a clear blunder, that my confidence is shaken.

It was quite a blunder, but 8 months later as we sit today, owing Machado 9/$270M and not having Moncada at 3B where be is arguably already a better overall 3B at a fraction of the price...not sure we’re in a meaningfully better spot. The money is still there. It didn’t go away. 

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2 minutes ago, ChiSox59 said:

It was quite a blunder, but 8 months later as we sit today, owing Machado 9/$270M and not having Moncada at 3B where be is arguably already a better overall 3B at a fraction of the price...not sure we’re in a meaningfully better spot. The money is still there. It didn’t go away. 

This is certainly correct if you think Machado is only a 3 win player going forward and that Moncada's breakout was the result of the position change. I, personally, don't think either is true, but I can't prove it either way so it isn't worth arguing. If Machado now projects as a 4-5 win player going forward instead of a 5-6 win player, and Moncada still takes the strides he takes to become a 4-5 win guy himself as a second basemen, I'd argue the team is in a much better position and still has room to add significant pieces without cracking into top payroll range.

But the real problem I have is this: even IF Machado turns into a bust, there was no way to know that at the time. At the time, it represented one of the biggest opportunities in history to get safe, elite production for an entire competitive window. And the money was NOT spent then. Sure, it didn't go away, but I have to wonder now how much of it was ever really there in the first place. And whatever opportunities exist to spend it now are nearly always going to be lesser opportunities.

Like, Cole now is the prize. But a 31-year old Cole is absolutely a worse buy than a 26-year old Machado was. The upside is similar but the floor is SO much lower. Injury could make him near replacement level at any moment. Every likes to shit on Machado's down year but it was still worth 3.5 wins.

But, all that said: you're right. What I'm proposing is risky. I just think it's the only way this team, given its restraints, can every really get over the top. At least, without a tremendous amount of luck.

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11 minutes ago, Eminor3rd said:

This is certainly correct if you think Machado is only a 3 win player going forward and that Moncada's breakout was the result of the position change. I, personally, don't think either is true, but I can't prove it either way so it isn't worth arguing. If Machado now projects as a 4-5 win player going forward instead of a 5-6 win player, and Moncada still takes the strides he takes to become a 4-5 win guy himself as a second basemen, I'd argue the team is in a much better position and still has room to add significant pieces without cracking into top payroll range.

But the real problem I have is this: even IF Machado turns into a bust, there was no way to know that at the time. At the time, it represented one of the biggest opportunities in history to get safe, elite production for an entire competitive window. And the money was NOT spent then. Sure, it didn't go away, but I have to wonder now how much of it was ever really there in the first place. And whatever opportunities exist to spend it now are nearly always going to be lesser opportunities.

Like, Cole now is the prize. But a 31-year old Cole is absolutely a worse buy than a 26-year old Machado was. The upside is similar but the floor is SO much lower. Injury could make him near replacement level at any moment. Every likes to shit on Machado's down year but it was still worth 3.5 wins.

But, all that said: you're right. What I'm proposing is risky. I just think it's the only way this team, given its restraints, can every really get over the top. At least, without a tremendous amount of luck.

How was Machado a 5-6 WAR player? He produced 30 fWAR over his first 6.5 seasons (yes I know 2014 was injury shortened but I’m not discounting one injury over a 6.5 year span since they are part of the game). That’s an average of 4.6 fWAR per season, not including his 3.1 from 2019. So he was already a 4-5 WAR player with downside to worse than that when considering the character flaws that were readily apparent heading into last offseason. I would be shocked if he produces more than 27 fWAR (3 per season) over the remaining 9 years of his contract.

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14 minutes ago, Eminor3rd said:

This is certainly correct if you think Machado is only a 3 win player going forward and that Moncada's breakout was the result of the position change. I, personally, don't think either is true, but I can't prove it either way so it isn't worth arguing. If Machado now projects as a 4-5 win player going forward instead of a 5-6 win player, and Moncada still takes the strides he takes to become a 4-5 win guy himself as a second basemen, I'd argue the team is in a much better position and still has room to add significant pieces without cracking into top payroll range.

But the real problem I have is this: even IF Machado turns into a bust, there was no way to know that at the time. At the time, it represented one of the biggest opportunities in history to get safe, elite production for an entire competitive window. And the money was NOT spent then. Sure, it didn't go away, but I have to wonder now how much of it was ever really there in the first place. And whatever opportunities exist to spend it now are nearly always going to be lesser opportunities.

Like, Cole now is the prize. But a 31-year old Cole is absolutely a worse buy than a 26-year old Machado was. The upside is similar but the floor is SO much lower. Injury could make him near replacement level at any moment. Every likes to shit on Machado's down year but it was still worth 3.5 wins.

But, all that said: you're right. What I'm proposing is risky. I just think it's the only way this team, given its restraints, can every really get over the top. At least, without a tremendous amount of luck.

I agree with everything you said here. Another good post. 

I am hopeful that Madrigal helps ease some of that pain. He’s a guy that fits what the Sox have lacked for some time with his ability to put the ball in play, play elite defense and low K rate. But yah, if Moncada takes the same strides at 2B, obviously having Machado is still a home run. I wanted to guy more than anything. But I’m also willing to realize 8 months later that things can still work out ok if the Sox are smart. But history isn’t necessarily on their side. 

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19 minutes ago, Eminor3rd said:

This is certainly correct if you think Machado is only a 3 win player going forward and that Moncada's breakout was the result of the position change. I, personally, don't think either is true, but I can't prove it either way so it isn't worth arguing. If Machado now projects as a 4-5 win player going forward instead of a 5-6 win player, and Moncada still takes the strides he takes to become a 4-5 win guy himself as a second basemen, I'd argue the team is in a much better position and still has room to add significant pieces without cracking into top payroll range.

But the real problem I have is this: even IF Machado turns into a bust, there was no way to know that at the time. At the time, it represented one of the biggest opportunities in history to get safe, elite production for an entire competitive window. And the money was NOT spent then. Sure, it didn't go away, but I have to wonder now how much of it was ever really there in the first place. And whatever opportunities exist to spend it now are nearly always going to be lesser opportunities.

Like, Cole now is the prize. But a 31-year old Cole is absolutely a worse buy than a 26-year old Machado was. The upside is similar but the floor is SO much lower. Injury could make him near replacement level at any moment. Every likes to shit on Machado's down year but it was still worth 3.5 wins.

But, all that said: you're right. What I'm proposing is risky. I just think it's the only way this team, given its restraints, can every really get over the top. At least, without a tremendous amount of luck.

29 year old Cole not 31 year old Cole.

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18 minutes ago, ChiSox59 said:

It was quite a blunder, but 8 months later as we sit today, owing Machado 9/$270M and not having Moncada at 3B where be is arguably already a better overall 3B at a fraction of the price...not sure we’re in a meaningfully better spot. The money is still there. It didn’t go away. 

Yeah, we may not see another 26 year old FA stud available in a year where the big spenders are out of the bidding for decades.

Every FA option currently available is either an inferior player to Machado or Harper or aging out of their prime, or unlikely to sign here. So yes, "the money's still there," but none of the goods available at market are quite as good as a year ago.

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30 minutes ago, Two-Gun Pete said:

Yeah, we may not see another 26 year old FA stud available in a year where the big spenders are out of the bidding for decades.

Every FA option currently available is either an inferior player to Machado or Harper or aging out of their prime, or unlikely to sign here. So yes, "the money's still there," but none of the goods available at market are quite as good as a year ago.

Every FA this winter minus Cole, Strasburg, and Rendon is a realistic target. There are plenty of very good players available to spend  the money on, plus I’m still advocating extending Moncada into 2027/2028 for big $$$. I’ve been beating on that drum since April before his breakout 2019 season.

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34 minutes ago, Two-Gun Pete said:

Yeah, we may not see another 26 year old FA stud available in a year where the big spenders are out of the bidding for decades.

Every FA option currently available is either an inferior player to Machado or Harper or aging out of their prime, or unlikely to sign here. So yes, "the money's still there," but none of the goods available at market are quite as good as a year ago.

As the need/desire for a “left handed hitting right fielder”  becomes so evident this offseason, the complete miss on Harper last year hurts just that little bit more.  

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1 minute ago, JUSTgottaBELIEVE said:

Every FA this winter minus Cole, Strasburg, and Rendon is a realistic target. There are plenty of very good players available to spend  the money on, plus I’m still advocating extending Moncada into 2027/2028 for big $$$. I’ve been beating on that drum since April before his breakout 2019 season.

So everyone except the top talent is a “realistic target” for this major market team with unprecedented payroll flexibility.  

SMFH!!!

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13 minutes ago, Thad Bosley said:

So everyone except the top talent is a “realistic target” for this major market team with unprecedented payroll flexibility.  

SMFH!!!

Yes, that’s what I said. Again, plenty of very good tier 2 free agents available the next couple winters and the Sox should continue to find ways to extend their young superstars to lengthen their contention window.

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1 minute ago, JUSTgottaBELIEVE said:

Yes, that’s what I said. Again, plenty of very good tier 2 free agents available the next couple winters and the Sox should continue to find ways to extend their young superstars to lengthen their contention window.

So “JUST gottaBELIEVE” in a non-major market approach by a major market team to compete in a league dominated by the likes of New York, Boston, and Houston by going after “tier 2 free agents”.  Sounds like a great plan to me - except for the plan’s extraordinary failure rate as employed by the team just a few years ago.   

Set the bar higher if you want our team to actually optimize the window of competitiveness coming its way.  

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1 hour ago, Eminor3rd said:

 

I think this team CAN afford a Strasburg/Cole, it just isn't going to be possible for them to get 3-4 mid-level free agents on top of it, which is their normal "competitive plan." Given the budgetary constraints, that's why it's so critical for them to develop as many of these players as possible, even if many of them don't turn into stars. They need to find their role players so that they have the money for the difference makers.

It requires a change in strategy for the front office. Until the Machado debacle, I thought they were on the right track. That was such a clear blunder, that my confidence is shaken.

I'm more of the mind that you have to trust the guys who are already here or coming next year. If Moncada is a superstar and Eloy is on his way to becoming our own version of JDM who can play LF for a few more years and Robert's ceiling of an elite power hitter and great glove type who might be the best of them all can be realized fairly quickly then that is 3 very strong players you can build around right now. Madrigal also has his place who can contribute by playing good D, making contact What the lineup is missing is still  LH power/balance, OBP and a RF. I don't think DH should be a position where a lot of money is spent because with balance and depth and positional versatilty DH can be handled through a rotation.

I'd love to see Collins become the LH power OBP guy. It would sure make the chances of a successful rebuild  more likely. Also one of Kopech, Cease or Lopez stepping up immediately would be great so there is a certain amount of waiting the Sox have to do since I am also in the don't trade prospects boat or guys like Lopez and Cease just to get a RF. Waiting is also beneficial to the OF prospects though many think we may not see any of them develop into a starting type but as long as they all can field well it's possible the hitting will come. If some were bad fielders I wouldn't be thrilled with them either but many here have given up on them.  Putting our hopes into player development is pretty risky too. If the Sox were the ones to hire Chaim Bloom away from the Rays instead of the Red Sox I'd feel a whole lot better .

Right now the thing we all expect is the Sox to spend money this off season. On who ,we don't know, How much they spend we don't know. Will it be less this year to spend more next year ? Right now we are all just talking in circles with every thread evolving into everyone's ideas on how the next 2 years should go.

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1 hour ago, Eminor3rd said:

Not a perpetual rebuild at all, more like a riskier but higher upside free agency strategy. I'm proposing putting more eggs into fewer baskets, because that's how to get elite talent. Then, when 60% of your prospects disappoint you, it isn't so bad if they are 1-2 WAR players instead. Yes, it can fuck you up fast if an elite guy gets hurt or busts, but the only way that really any team has been able to mitigate that type of risk has been to spend a ton of money, and this team just isn't gonna do that. Spreading the risk makes sense, but not when all you get is slightly below average to slightly above average players to show for it. The Melky Cabreras and Jeff Samardzijas of the world have just as much bust potential as the Gerrit Coles and Manny Machados -- they just don't have the same upside. And your farm is much more likely to produce three Melkys than it is to produce one Machado.

I don’t see anyone advocating the Sox sign 3 Melky Cabrera types this offseason. That would be like bringing in Yasiel Puig, Travis d’Arnaud, and Edwin Encarnacion as the three primary FA additions. They should and will land better players than that tier.

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4 minutes ago, Thad Bosley said:

So “JUST gottaBELIEVE” in a non-major market approach by a major market team to compete in a league dominated by the likes of New York, Boston, and Houston by going after “tier 2 free agents”.  Sounds like a great plan to me - except for the plan’s extraordinary failure rate as employed by the team just a few years ago.   

Set the bar higher if you want our team to actually optimize the window of competitiveness coming its way.  

When has this franchise ever signed a tier 2 guy? I’m talking players of the caliber of JDM, Grandal, Bumgarner, etc. Considering the largest free agent signing in franchise history is Jose Abreu, I would say very few and I have no idea what you’re talking about when you say they tried a few years ago (Melky and LaRoche were not tier 2 guys, Robertson was and I would say he lived up to his contract).

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3 minutes ago, JUSTgottaBELIEVE said:

When has this franchise ever signed a tier 2 guy? I’m talking players of the caliber of JDM, Grandal, Bumgarner, etc. Considering the largest free agent signing in franchise history is Jose Abreu, I would say very few and I have no idea what you’re talking about when you say they tried a few years ago (Melky and LaRoche were not tier 2 guys, Robertson was and I would say he lived up to his contract).

Why are you so confident then that our major market team can sign even a “tier 2 guy” if, other than the Robertson signing, they don’t have what you consider to be an encouraging track record in doing so?  What makes this offseason any different?   

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1 hour ago, JUSTgottaBELIEVE said:

How was Machado a 5-6 WAR player? He produced 30 fWAR over his first 6.5 seasons (yes I know 2014 was injury shortened but I’m not discounting one injury over a 6.5 year span since they are part of the game). That’s an average of 4.6 fWAR per season, not including his 3.1 from 2019. So he was already a 4-5 WAR player with downside to worse than that when considering the character flaws that were readily apparent heading into last offseason. I would be shocked if he produces more than 27 fWAR (3 per season) over the remaining 9 years of his contract.

That argument holds water if you believe that a player is going to produce the average of his entire career, for better or for worse, in every season going forward.

But I don't think anyone actually thinks that. At least, those who do projections for a living don't. 

ZiPS, the projection system used by both ESPN and FanGraphs, and one that is notoriously considered "conservative" by the general public, projected Machado for 5.7 fWAR going into 2019: https://blogs.fangraphs.com/2019-zips-projections-san-diego-padres/

Edited by Eminor3rd

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13 minutes ago, JUSTgottaBELIEVE said:

I don’t see anyone advocating the Sox sign 3 Melky Cabrera types this offseason. That would be like bringing in Yasiel Puig, Travis d’Arnaud, and Edwin Encarnacion as the three primary FA additions. They should and will land better players than that tier.

I would argue that Mike Moustakas also fits into that tier, which is what I was getting at.

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43 minutes ago, Thad Bosley said:

So everyone except the top talent is a “realistic target” for this major market team with unprecedented payroll flexibility.  

SMFH!!!

To be fair Rendon just doesn't fit.  I don't understand the Cole is not a possibility thing tbh.  There is zero reason the FO should not be trying to pay him.

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1 hour ago, KennyPowers said:

29 year old Cole not 31 year old Cole.

Good catch; point remains the same, but slightly less so.

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3 minutes ago, Eminor3rd said:

I would argue that Mike Moustakas also fits into that tier, which is what I was getting at.

Sure, but no one is advocating Moose as the Sox’ top signing this winter. As a third or fourth signing, though, he’d be fine.

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8 minutes ago, Thad Bosley said:

Why are you so confident then that our major market team can sign even a “tier 2 guy” if, other than the Robertson signing, they don’t have what you consider to be an encouraging track record in doing so?  What makes this offseason any different?   

Financial flexibility, heat on Jerry after recent Sampson controversy and fan base itching for a competitive team, young core talent showing they are ready to win now (TA, Moncada, Lubo, and Gio all took massive steps forward this season), and Kenny/Hahn needing to show results on the field and in the win column.

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3 minutes ago, JUSTgottaBELIEVE said:

Sure, but no one is advocating Moose as the Sox’ top signing this winter. As a third or fourth signing, though, he’d be fine.

Well, the whole thread between me and Cali was based on me saying I didn't think Moustakas was a fit.

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Fuck it just sign Strasburg and Rendon and you're at around $130M payroll .Stick Moncada in RF , If that happens I care a lot less about balance in the lineup OBP or LH power. Go with Stras, Gio, Cease, Kopech, and Lopez in the rotation. Stick Collins at DH and find another cheap catcher like Avila or Castro. Save some money for 2021 which is going to be the real contention year anyway.

Weather or not this should be in green i have no idea. Every thread it's the same conversations over and over and the season isn't even over yet. I think I've heard everyone's ideas and not a lot is going to change much until a week after the World Series ends when we find out who opts out and to a lesser extent on Dec.2nd when we find out who is non tendered, See y'all in 10 days or so.

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