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  • Quo Vadis Red Sox?

    This could potentially be merged with the "What would you do?" thread, as it essentially goes in the same direction.

    It seems in past years the Red Sox's philosophy seemes to have shifted a bit. Whether it was on purpose - because the rest of the league has caught up with them in using objective, quantifiable measures to exploit market inefficiencies and they felt the only advantage they had left was their deep pockets - or more accidental as they slowly succumbed to building an uberteam, I don't know. Nor does it matter.

    The glorious - or, depending on your point of view, infamous - Nick Punto trade has allowed them to regain payroll flexibility and start over. The question now is which direction they chose to go in. As far as I can tell, there are three possible directions to go in:

    a) Complete rebuilding mode. In that scenario, they essentially become the Marlins from a few years back. It means, letting Ortiz walk (preferably after making a qualifying offer to collect the draft picks), trading Ellsbury as well as Pedroia, maybe others too.

    b) The 2003 way. In that scenario, they go back to their origins. Build a core and complete it with smart signings a la Billy Mueller and Kevin Millar. This approach bears considerable risk. Finding value a la Ortiz (in 2003) or Ross (last offseason) is not easy. Sometimes these signings/trades work out, sometimes they don't.

    c) Buy a WS, or die trying. In that scenario, they use their regained payroll flexibility to immediatly buy/trade their way back into contention. It likely means going after Hamilton and raid the farm for a true ace.

    To me, scenario a is not an option. These full on rebuilds more often than not, do not work out. And it would ignore the fact that the Red Sox still have a very interesting core to build around.

    Scenario c doesn't seem to make sense either. First of all, the FA market is fairly weak this offseason. Star players tend to sign extensions more often than go free agency. And second, if that's the plan, they could have just kept Gonzalez/Crawford/Beckett/Punto, right?

    That leaves us with approach b and, hence, the question of how to deal with the holes at 1B, LF, SS, SP, DH; trying to identify the next Cody Ross (figuratively speaking).

    Discuss!
    Watching Derek Jeter make 40 defensive plays and then watching Adam Everett make 40 defensive plays at the same position is sort of like watching video of Barbara Bush dancing at the White House, and then watching Demi Moore dancing in Striptease. (Bill James)

    Dustin Pedroia doesn't have the strength or bat speed to hit major-league pitching consistently, and he has no power. If he can continue to hit .260 or so, he'll be useful, and he probably has a future as a backup infielder. (Keith Law)

  • #2
    Note: In what follows, I assume that the Red Sox let Bobby Valentine walk and replace him with a young, smart, energetic manager such as Dave Martinez.

    1B: The FA market at 1B looks bleek and the Sox have no viable internal options. At this time, I see three possibilities: 1) Trade for Matt Adams. He is blocked in Stl. You would have to give up significant pieces from the farm which goes against the idea of scenario b), but at least you get a young cost controled stud back. 2) Sign Kevin Youkilis. He's hitting .250 .368 .474 since having a manager again that trusts him. 3) Go with a Looney/Sands/Gomez platoon. Not the most appealing option, but neither was Kevin Millar in 2004. That's sort of the idea of this approach.

    OF: The FA market is just as bleek as at 1B. It makes no sense to trade Ellsbury now. Cody Ross has more value to us than anybody else (hits .233 .305 .393 away from Fenway), thus resign him to 2/12. Kalish gets another year as 4th OF/in Pawtucket. For the final spot, that leaves three possibilities: 1) Trade for Shin-Soo Choo. Has refused to sign an extension with the Indians, so could be available at a reasonable price. Would be a above average stopgap for LF. .288 .380 .469 career hitter who turns 30 next season. 2) Trade for Justin Upton. He's perennially available but the same applies to him as to Adams above (Obviously Upton and Adams are mutually exclusive). 3) Kalish/Sands platoon.

    DH: There is an obvious solution. Resign David Ortiz. Make a qualifying offer thaen sign him to 2/10.

    SS/SP: This is a bit harder. Let's look at that in a month or so, when we have a better idea of who's available.
    Watching Derek Jeter make 40 defensive plays and then watching Adam Everett make 40 defensive plays at the same position is sort of like watching video of Barbara Bush dancing at the White House, and then watching Demi Moore dancing in Striptease. (Bill James)

    Dustin Pedroia doesn't have the strength or bat speed to hit major-league pitching consistently, and he has no power. If he can continue to hit .260 or so, he'll be useful, and he probably has a future as a backup infielder. (Keith Law)

    Comment


    • #3
      What has to be done is improve the pitching farm system.

      It is rare that a farm system developes a superstar ace but most good teams have a homegrown core of relivers and back end starters. If you have those guys off the book (cheap) you can spend on other parts (especially SP). But if you already have to pay a lot for the BP (bailey for example) less money is free
      I now have my own non commercial blog about training for batspeed and power using my training experience in baseball and track and field.

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by dominik View Post
        What has to be done is improve the pitching farm system.

        It is rare that a farm system developes a superstar ace but most good teams have a homegrown core of relivers and back end starters. If you have those guys off the book (cheap) you can spend on other parts (especially SP). But if you already have to pay a lot for the BP (bailey for example) less money is free
        And how do you suggest doing that? Obviously, I agree with you, but I'm just not sure how to do that. I really believe that Ben has been trying to do that. Increase the pitching in the upper minors. But it's though.
        Last edited by Therwil Flyer; 08-30-2012, 11:28 AM.
        Watching Derek Jeter make 40 defensive plays and then watching Adam Everett make 40 defensive plays at the same position is sort of like watching video of Barbara Bush dancing at the White House, and then watching Demi Moore dancing in Striptease. (Bill James)

        Dustin Pedroia doesn't have the strength or bat speed to hit major-league pitching consistently, and he has no power. If he can continue to hit .260 or so, he'll be useful, and he probably has a future as a backup infielder. (Keith Law)

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by Therwil Flyer View Post
          And how do you suggest doing that? Obviously, I agree with you, but I'm just not sure how to do that. I really believe that Ben has been trying to do that. Increase the pitching in the upper minors. But it's though.
          Maybe the Dodgers help us out again and accept Matsuzaka/Bailey for Zach Lee? They lost Billingsley and Jansen. I highly doubt it though. It would give us another interesting arm in the minors. Hope that Bard becomes Bard again and is the closer for 2013 (and beyond).
          Watching Derek Jeter make 40 defensive plays and then watching Adam Everett make 40 defensive plays at the same position is sort of like watching video of Barbara Bush dancing at the White House, and then watching Demi Moore dancing in Striptease. (Bill James)

          Dustin Pedroia doesn't have the strength or bat speed to hit major-league pitching consistently, and he has no power. If he can continue to hit .260 or so, he'll be useful, and he probably has a future as a backup infielder. (Keith Law)

          Comment


          • #6
            I agree that the answer has to be "B". You have a good core with Pedroia, Middlebrooks, and Ellsbury and Ortiz (in the short term, at least), plus Lester, Buchholz, and Bailey on the pitching side. You also have an intriguing selection of young players making their way through the system (Bradley Jr, Barnes, Bogarts, etc).

            The key, as you suggest, is to fill in the holes. I think they NEED to play Inglesis almost every day the last month. See if you think he's playable in the big leagues. If you don't, might be time to trade him and find a new replacement to hold down the fort until Bogarts is ready (assuming he sticks at SS).

            SS and SP are always tough to fill spots, so we'll have to wait and see on those...but thankfully, passable corner OF/1B aren't that hard to find...so I'm optimistic. If Ross will resign fairly cheaply, I think you do it. I think Kalish will be in the mix.

            I could see Lavarnway picking up some AB's at 1B on days he's not catching (get him a 1B mitt and send him to winter ball!)

            I think they'll monitor the FA and trade market for options for 1B/OF...I could see a trade that doesn't send any top prospects away but brings in some passable vets worth taking a flier on (maybe trading guys who will be Rule V eligible this winter).

            I think they've done a good job of adding pitching depth (in the Punto trade), but really lost opportunities to add more low-minors pitchers when they didn't trade Shoppach earlier, didn't trade Sweeney, etc.
            Visit my card site at Mike D's Baseball Card Page.

            Comment


            • #7
              I think Hamilton would be a TERRIBLE fit for the Bosox.
              I don't have a problem with him discussing religion and his relationship with God, but it probably works a lot better down in TX than it would in the Northeast.
              You just know that the in-your-face wise guy types up here are constantly going to be offering to buy him beers, or worse. Plus asking him where his babysitter/handler is.
              Josh really should end up in a place where there is more of an emphasis on being polite in public than on getting in stranger's faces and showing them how funny you are.
              I lived in Dallas and like it up here better, but there's a very good reason why urban Northeasterns have the reputation they do.
              "If I drink whiskey, I'll never get worms!" - Hack Wilson

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by Therwil Flyer View Post
                And how do you suggest doing that? Obviously, I agree with you, but I'm just not sure how to do that. I really believe that Ben has been trying to do that. Increase the pitching in the upper minors. But it's though.
                well obviously it is hard to do if your first round pick is about 20 or worse every year. you just get less talent there of course. I think in their situation it is important to not waste talents and improve the development of the players. you can not control a lot of things but at least you should try to optimize mechanics, medical treatment and conditioning. especially the last 2 things could likely be improved.
                I now have my own non commercial blog about training for batspeed and power using my training experience in baseball and track and field.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by dominik View Post
                  well obviously it is hard to do if your first round pick is about 20 or worse every year. you just get less talent there of course. I think in their situation it is important to not waste talents and improve the development of the players. you can not control a lot of things but at least you should try to optimize mechanics, medical treatment and conditioning. especially the last 2 things could likely be improved.
                  Well not this year! We have a legitimate shot at a (protected) 10th round pick this year!
                  Standings (in reverse order):
                  8. MIA 59-72
                  9. SD 61-71
                  10. NYM 61-70
                  11. PHI 62-69 (tied)
                  11. BOS 62-69 (tied)
                  13. MIL 62-67 (tied)
                  13. SEA 63-68 (tied)

                  Basically, if they fall behind the Mets and Padres, they would end up with the 10th pick (there is a comp pick for losing out on Appel somewhere). Speaking of Appel, I doubt he will still be around at 10, but one can dream, right?
                  Watching Derek Jeter make 40 defensive plays and then watching Adam Everett make 40 defensive plays at the same position is sort of like watching video of Barbara Bush dancing at the White House, and then watching Demi Moore dancing in Striptease. (Bill James)

                  Dustin Pedroia doesn't have the strength or bat speed to hit major-league pitching consistently, and he has no power. If he can continue to hit .260 or so, he'll be useful, and he probably has a future as a backup infielder. (Keith Law)

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Dude Paskert View Post
                    I think Hamilton would be a TERRIBLE fit for the Bosox.
                    Agreed. Same with Greinke, the big potential FA pitcher.

                    I lived in Dallas and like it up here better, but there's a very good reason why urban Northeasterns have the reputation they do.
                    You could cover up the road signs, and I'd still know when I was out of South/Central NE. As soon as you hit northern NH, VT, upstate NY, etc...the people get a lot nicer.

                    Last time I was in Texas, two things amazed me...how NICE the people were...you'd walk in a place and they'd greet you like you were a long-lost relative...and how INEPT they were...if you went to a restaurant and ordered a steak, a baked potato, and a beer, you'd get your potato, then 20 minutes later you'd get your beer...then they'd come out 30 minutes later and tell you they were out of steak!

                    So, our angry/edgy area does have some advantages!
                    Visit my card site at Mike D's Baseball Card Page.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Mike D. View Post
                      Agreed. Same with Greinke, the big potential FA pitcher.

                      You could cover up the road signs, and I'd still know when I was out of South/Central NE. As soon as you hit northern NH, VT, upstate NY, etc...the people get a lot nicer.

                      Last time I was in Texas, two things amazed me...how NICE the people were...you'd walk in a place and they'd greet you like you were a long-lost relative...and how INEPT they were...if you went to a restaurant and ordered a steak, a baked potato, and a beer, you'd get your potato, then 20 minutes later you'd get your beer...then they'd come out 30 minutes later and tell you they were out of steak!

                      So, our angry/edgy area does have some advantages!
                      Oh yeah, Greinke would be even worse. I remember Jim Eisenreich's own fans riding him in Philly!

                      I think the angry/edgy types tend to be more interesting, although it does get old to be innocently walking down the street and suddenly get berated loudly for something trivial or meaningless that nobody should even notice or comment on. I wouldn't leave here for TX unless I absolutely HAD to. I have a great many friends who were transplants and will never leave TX, but it just wasn't a long term option for me.
                      Oh, and those locals who were so friendly to you...a goodly percentage of them really, really did NOT like you one bit because you weren't local. Took me a while to figure it out, but it was very pervasive and deep-seated, even among people I thought were my friends. I was "a good guy for a Yankee" to them, which is kind of like being "pretty tolerant for a Nazi".
                      "If I drink whiskey, I'll never get worms!" - Hack Wilson

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        this is the weather. Rain makes the people grumpy. In europe we can see this too.

                        in rainy countries like germany a lot of people ar nagging around a lot while the people in the southern countries like spain or italy are more friendly and open (even though having a lot less money).
                        I now have my own non commercial blog about training for batspeed and power using my training experience in baseball and track and field.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Mike D. View Post
                          Agreed. Same with Greinke, the big potential FA pitcher.



                          You could cover up the road signs, and I'd still know when I was out of South/Central NE. As soon as you hit northern NH, VT, upstate NY, etc...the people get a lot nicer.

                          Last time I was in Texas, two things amazed me...how NICE the people were...you'd walk in a place and they'd greet you like you were a long-lost relative...and how INEPT they were...if you went to a restaurant and ordered a steak, a baked potato, and a beer, you'd get your potato, then 20 minutes later you'd get your beer...then they'd come out 30 minutes later and tell you they were out of steak!

                          So, our angry/edgy area does have some advantages!
                          I have noticed that many Bostonians are not outwardly friendly and love to put down each other with snappy one liners or comebacks. In my job I talk with people ranging from Ivy League professors to trailer park clans and have learned to treat everybody as individuals. I'm an ex-Bostonian and haven't a clue who would fit into the Red Sox mold. Isn't that what their agents are for?
                          "He's tougher than a railroad sandwich."
                          "You'se Got The Eye Of An Eagle."

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            I not sure what to do with this team...but do know that Ellbury is not a "franchise player". He is a nice leadoff hitter with speed and has a good glove. He will not duplicate what he did last year or even come close, so whatever crap Boras is selling, i am not buying. I recognize Boras is doing his job, and if i were a player, her would be my agent...however, there is not way in hell Ellsbury is a top guy on the club.

                            We need starting pitching. We need some pop in the OF. We need a first baseman

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Boston Boxer View Post
                              I not sure what to do with this team...but do know that Ellbury is not a "franchise player". He is a nice leadoff hitter with speed and has a good glove. He will not duplicate what he did last year or even come close, so whatever crap Boras is selling, i am not buying. I recognize Boras is doing his job, and if i were a player, her would be my agent...however, there is not way in hell Ellsbury is a top guy on the club.

                              We need starting pitching. We need some pop in the OF. We need a first baseman
                              Not me! Sure, he tries to get as much for his clients as he can (like any other agent), but look at how badly he screwed over Varitek by telling him to NOT accept arbitration. Bora$$ is just a glorified pimp.

                              Don't know what the answers are for this team, but Grienke and Hamilton are definitely NOT the answers! I say pass, try to go economical in 2013, and wait for a better FA crop, then spend the money WISELY.

                              Comment

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