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Thread: A Realistic View at 2017 Part I

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  1. #1

    A Realistic View at 2017 Part I

    The season ended sooner than any of us hoped. The baseball Gods have started to whisper, "Wait till next year!"

    Here's a look at what we have to work with this winter...

    The 40 (39) man roster- listed by roster seniority: (Possibly on bubble underlined- some due to having no options remaining)
    Pedroia, Buchholz (option), Wright, Vazquez, Holt, Bradley, Workman, Bogaerts, Brentz,
    Betts, Hembree, Kelly, Barnes, Swihart, Shaw, Rodriguez, Sandoval (a possible placed on the Castillo/Craig plan), H Ramirez, Porcello
    Ross, Marrero, N Ramirez, Johnson, Owens, Kimbrel, Jerez, Hernandez, Young, Price, Smith, Elias
    Rutledge, Leon, Pomeranz, Abad, Benintendi, Holaday, Scott, Moncada

    (Players with no options remaining: Wright, Vazquez, Brentz, Hembree, Sandy, HanRam, Porcello, Elias, Leon, Pomeranz, Abad, Holaday)

    Rule 5: assuming no acquisitions (unlikely), we have room to add one rule 5 player to our 40 man roster, unless we DFA one of the underlined players above. The following players will be eligible for the December 2016 Rule 5 Draft if they are not added to the 40-man roster by November 20, 2016:


    Danny Bethea, Ty Buttrey, Jamie Callahan, Carlos Coste, Allen Craig, Jake Drehoff, Jeff Driskel, Jeffry Fernandez, Pat Goetze, Reed Gragnani, Taylor Grover, Justin Haley, Juan Hernandez, Dedgar Jimenez, Raiwinson Lameda, Anyelo Leclerc, Tzu-Wei Lin, Deiner Lopez, Austin Maddox, Kyle Martin, Mike McCarthy, Daniel McGrath, Simon Mercedes, Mike Meyers, Mike Miller, Yankory Pimentel, Tim Roberson, Javier Rodriguez, Jake Romanski, Dioscar Romero, Ramses Rosario, Teddy Stankiewicz, Aneury Tavarez, German Taveras, JT Watkins, Jordan Weems, Jantzen Witte, Luis Ysla

    Assuming Buch’s option is taken, Hanigan’s is not, and all our free agents are not included in our 2017 starting point, here's how I see our 2017 depth chart at each position. I am placing some players at multiple positions, if they are better than whatever else we have there.

    SP: Porcello, Price, ERod, Wright, Pomeranz, Buchholz (assuming option given)
    Kelly, Elias, Owens, Johnson, Haley, Cuevas, Kopech (not 2017: Groome)
    RP: Kimbrel, (Buchholz, Pomeranz or Wright), Smith, Kelly, Ross, Barnes, Hembree
    Abad, Scott, Workman, Ramirez, Martin, Jerez
    C: Leon, Vazquez, Swihart, Holaday, Romanski, Butler
    1B: Ramirez, Shaw, Swihart, Pablo, Holt, Travis, Longhi (not 2017: Ockimey)
    2B: Pedroia, Betts, Moncada, Holt, Hernandez, Marrero (not 2017: Dubon)
    SS: Bogaerts, Hernandez, Holt, Marrero (not 2017: Dubon)
    3B: Bogaerts, Shaw, Moncada, Holt, Hernandez, Pablo, Rutledge, (Swihart?), (not 2017: Devers)
    LF: Betts, Benintendi, Young, Bradley, Swihart, Holt (not 2017: Basabe)
    CF: Betts, Bradley, Benintendi, Young, Holt
    RF: Betts, Bradley, Benintendi, Young, Holt, Swihart
    DH: Ramirez, Young, Moncada, Pablo, Castillo, Witte

    In my mind, nobody is untouchable, but clearly there are guys you try very hard to hold onto. Here's my top 15 list of who to keep (in order with last controlled year):

    1) Betts (2020-I might try to lock him up soon.)
    2) Benintendi (2022- He's got several more years of team control than Bogey & Bradley)
    3) Bradley (2020- Hope for more consistency)
    4) Bogey (2019- just 3 yrs left- Dubon in the wings)
    5) ERod (2021 or 2022- still has enormous upside)
    6) Moncada (??- still has top value)
    7) Porcello (2019- high priced but indispensable)
    8) Pedey (2021- still a force but will likely decline)
    9) Groome (??- far away but with a lot of promise)
    10) Kopech (??- may be ready by mid 2017)
    11) Swihart (??- I feel many GM want this kid.)
    12) Devers (?? May be blocked.)
    13) Wright (2020- 4 years is nice)
    14) Vazquez (2020- hope his offense pick up)
    15) Leon (2019- likely to see his offense reduced)

    With three catchers in my top 15 and the catcher situation in MLB at a near all time low, I'm pretty sure that if a blockbuster is made, Swihart or Vazquez will be included. With Swihart's value higher at catcher, I think he's the one to go. With 3B in question, one could argue for keeping both Moncada and Devers until we know which one we want. I'm thinking we don't have that luxury. We are going to have to choose one and trade the other. Depending on whom our trading partner is and if they want a more immediate payoff or not, I'm thinking we may get a 1 year bridge at 3B and go with Devers. Moncada has tremendously high trade value.

    I'm not devaluing these kids, but I think it might make more sense to trade Moncada and Swihart as part of a package to get an ace type pitcher. I think those two offer a great start to a phone call.
    Now, let’s look at the contracts and luxury tax implications. (Contract cost is the average yearly salary, including bonuses, which is what the luxury tax uses.)
    Under contract for 2017 (7 players):
    $30M Price, $22M H. Ramirez, $20.6M Porcello, $19M Sandoval, $13.75M Pedroia, $10.5M Kimbrell, $6.5M Young.
    TOTAL: $123.35M
    (Note: Castillo's$10.25M Castillo and Craig's $6.2M contracts do not count on the luxury tax budget, if they remains off the 40 man roster.)

    Options ( 2 players): $13.5M Buchholz and $3.75M Hannigan
    TOTAL: $1.3M (buyouts) 0 to $17.25M (giving both)
    Let’s assume we say yes to Buch and no to Hanigan’s ($800K buyout):
    Updated TOTAL: $137.65M

    Arbs (9 players):
    Bogaerts:$650K > ~$6.0M (1st of 3)
    Bradley: $546K > ~$4.0M (1 of 4)
    Pomeranz $1.35M> ~$3.5M (2 of 3)
    J Kelly: $2.6M>$2.7M (2 of 3 arbs)
    Ross: $1.25M> $1.6 (2 of 3)
    Holt: $606K > $1.3M (1 of 3)
    Leon: $minor > $1.2K (1 of 3)
    Rutledge: $minor> $850K (1 of 3)
    Workman: $540K > $600K (1 of 3)
    TOTAL ARBS: ~$21.85M

    TOTAL of 16 players: ~$159.5M (with Buch)

    The 24 other players on the current 40 man roster (listed by seniority on the roster): Wright, Vazquez, Brentz, Betts, Hembree, Barnes, Swihart, Shaw, E Rodriguez, Marrero, N Ramirez, B Johnson, Owens, Jerez, Hernandez, Carson, Elias, Holaday, Scott, Moncada
    TOTAL: ~$13.5M


    Grand Total: ~ $173M
    Now, add the $12M for player benefits and our Luxury Tax Total is...

    TOTAL $185M

    That leaves us with about $4M to spend without going over the luxury limit as it is right now ($189M), however, the limit is expected to rise to over $200M and perhaps closer to $210M.

    If we assume it will be about $210M next year, which leaves us with about $25 to 30M to spend and stay close to or under the luxury tax. It is my understanding that the Sox luxury tax will be 50% next year, so I think there is interest to reset that number.

    $25 to 30M may appear like a lot of money, but finding a replacement for Papi (DH, 3B, LF or 1B) will not come cheap. We will probably also need 2-3 quality RP'ers and maybe a SP'er upgrade. If we don't try to spend big to replace Papi, we will probably acquire an aging vet to 1-2 year deal who plays corner IF (Turner/Todd Frazier?) and/or DH/ LF (Beltran?). There are countless ideas out there to improve this team and try to make up for the loss of Big Papi. I welcome your ideas, suggestions and critiques.
    Last edited by moonslav59; 10-10-2016 at 11:00 PM.

  2. #2
    Not to nit-pick, but didn't Pat Light get traded to the Twins?
    Any owners who sign previously suspended PED abusers to a big $$ contract are as guilty of perpetuating the PED problem as are the players.

  3. #3
    Quote Originally Posted by S5Dewey View Post
    Not to nit-pick, but didn't Pat Light get traded to the Twins?
    Yeah, I think I cut and pasted from an old list. I went back and corrected, and took Coyle off the list as well.

  4. #4
    IMO they will either Go Big or Go Home in regards to replacing Papi. I see them either going all-in to get someone like EE or have the DH position be a revolving door allowing players to rest a day without leaving them completely off the lineup card that day. Either of those options would be acceptable to me because I'm not writing the checks and therefore don't know how much money JH is going to be willing to spend.
    Any owners who sign previously suspended PED abusers to a big $$ contract are as guilty of perpetuating the PED problem as are the players.

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by S5Dewey View Post
    IMO they will either Go Big or Go Home in regards to replacing Papi. I see them either going all-in to get someone like EE or have the DH position be a revolving door allowing players to rest a day without leaving them completely off the lineup card that day. Either of those options would be acceptable to me because I'm not writing the checks and therefore don't know how much money JH is going to be willing to spend.
    If they decide to leave the rotation alone and just add maybe one or two new pen arms to join Carson Smith and one of the starters joing the pen, they'll be enough money for EE.

    EE would effectively block one of the kids at some point.

    I think we go with what we have and maybe add a short term 3B fix or LF/DH bridge to when Moncada, Devers and Travis
    are good and ready.

  6. #6
    Here are some possible free agents the Sox may be interested in:

    3B: Justin Turner, Martin Prado, Luis Valbuena
    1B/3B: Pedro Alvarez
    DH/1B: Encarnacion, Napoli, Morales ($11M option w KC)
    1B/LF: A Lind, M Moreland, B Moss
    DH/OF: C Beltran, Trumbo, J Bautista, M Holliday
    C: Wilson Ramos (then trade 1-2 of ours?)
    SP: Brett Anderson, Jason Hammel
    RP: (Listed all) John Axford, Joaquin Benoit, Jonathan Broxton, Buddy Carlyle, Brett Cecil, Santiago Casilla, Aroldis Chapman, Jesse Chavez, Tim Collins, Aaron Crow, Wade Davis *, Michael Dunn, Dana Eveland, Neftali Feliz, Jason Grilli *, Luke Hochevar, Greg Holland, J.P. Howell, Kenley Jansen, Casey Janssen, Kevin Jepsen, Brandon League, Boone Logan, Javier Lopez, Brian Matusz, Mark Melancon, Joe Nathan, Josh Outman, Yusmeiro Petit, Cesar Ramos, Francisco Rodriguez *, Sergio Romo, Marc Rzepczynski, Fernando Salas, Sergio Santos, Joe Smith, Craig Stammen, Drew Storen. Josh Tomlin, Jordan Walden *, Brad Ziegler


  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by moonslav59 View Post
    Here are some possible free agents the Sox may be interested in:

    3B: Justin Turner, Martin Prado, Luis Valbuena
    1B/3B: Pedro Alvarez
    DH/1B: Encarnacion, Napoli, Morales ($11M option w KC)
    1B/LF: A Lind, M Moreland, B Moss
    DH/OF: C Beltran, Trumbo, J Bautista, M Holliday
    C: Wilson Ramos (then trade 1-2 of ours?)
    SP: Brett Anderson, Jason Hammel
    RP: (Listed all) John Axford, Joaquin Benoit, Jonathan Broxton, Buddy Carlyle, Brett Cecil, Santiago Casilla, Aroldis Chapman, Jesse Chavez, Tim Collins, Aaron Crow, Wade Davis *, Michael Dunn, Dana Eveland, Neftali Feliz, Jason Grilli *, Luke Hochevar, Greg Holland, J.P. Howell, Kenley Jansen, Casey Janssen, Kevin Jepsen, Brandon League, Boone Logan, Javier Lopez, Brian Matusz, Mark Melancon, Joe Nathan, Josh Outman, Yusmeiro Petit, Cesar Ramos, Francisco Rodriguez *, Sergio Romo, Marc Rzepczynski, Fernando Salas, Sergio Santos, Joe Smith, Craig Stammen, Drew Storen. Josh Tomlin, Jordan Walden *, Brad Ziegler

    Wilson Ramos is recovering from surgery but is one of the guys we could really use. We really have good defensive catchers but with Leon looking helpless at the plate( taking strikes in critical situations and unable to deal with the curve), I would take a chance on a catcher who can hit. I would keep Vazquez and trade Leon and Holaday. Hannigan (gone anyway). I might try to keep Swihart as a deep backup.

    I would go after Beltran for DH. He is a quality hitter with power. EE is likely to be very expensive, want at least 5 years, not to mention pending legal issues. Trumbo might not want to be DH and while he has power, his avg. is pretty low.

    I would take a shot at Justin Turner for 3rd base. We currently have Shall, Hill, Holt, Hernandez, Sandoval and Moncada as possibilities. I would keep Holt, Hernandez and try to develop Moncada. I would trade Shaw and Hill while giving a look to Sandoval.

    I think Hanley can fill our 1st base needs so wouldn't go after one. Our outfield is solid as is second and short, so in my opinion, 3rd, catcher and DH need upgrades.

    I would go high for RP with Kenley Jansen and Mark Melancon being my two targets. If we want a SP, which we don't have to have, but could use an upgrade, then try to work a trade for Quintana. We have some carrots to offer.

    Clearly the FA market will be competitive and we are unlikely to get all of the ones I am interested in. DD will have the tough job of getting value in return for whoever we are able to get, if any.

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by oldtimer View Post
    Wilson Ramos is recovering from surgery but is one of the guys we could really use. We really have good defensive catchers but with Leon looking helpless at the plate( taking strikes in critical situations and unable to deal with the curve), I would take a chance on a catcher who can hit. I would keep Vazquez and trade Leon and Holaday. Hannigan (gone anyway). I might try to keep Swihart as a deep backup.

    I would go after Beltran for DH. He is a quality hitter with power. EE is likely to be very expensive, want at least 5 years, not to mention pending legal issues. Trumbo might not want to be DH and while he has power, his avg. is pretty low.

    I would take a shot at Justin Turner for 3rd base. We currently have Shall, Hill, Holt, Hernandez, Sandoval and Moncada as possibilities. I would keep Holt, Hernandez and try to develop Moncada. I would trade Shaw and Hill while giving a look to Sandoval.

    I think Hanley can fill our 1st base needs so wouldn't go after one. Our outfield is solid as is second and short, so in my opinion, 3rd, catcher and DH need upgrades.

    I would go high for RP with Kenley Jansen and Mark Melancon being my two targets. If we want a SP, which we don't have to have, but could use an upgrade, then try to work a trade for Quintana. We have some carrots to offer.

    Clearly the FA market will be competitive and we are unlikely to get all of the ones I am interested in. DD will have the tough job of getting value in return for whoever we are able to get, if any.
    This is the textbook definition of a pipe dream. Ramos is injury-prone and is going to be very expensive. Beltran is a good choice, but Turner is going to command big money while blocking Moncada, Jansen and Melancon will be super expensive, and we already have a closer, while Quintana will command a king's ransom.

    A realistic offseason will be one of Encarnacion and Beltran and a couple of RP's.
    We miss you Mike.

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by User Name? View Post
    This is the textbook definition of a pipe dream. Ramos is injury-prone and is going to be very expensive. Beltran is a good choice, but Turner is going to command big money while blocking Moncada, Jansen and Melancon will be super expensive, and we already have a closer, while Quintana will command a king's ransom.

    A realistic offseason will be one of Encarnacion and Beltran and a couple of RP's.
    Beltran is best used as a DH. Beni and Young make a great LF combo.

    I can't see us getting both EE and CB.

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by moonslav59 View Post
    Beltran is best used as a DH. Beni and Young make a great LF combo.

    I can't see us getting both EE and CB.
    My post says quite clearly one of Encarnacion and Beltran.
    We miss you Mike.

  11. #11
    Here's one idea:

    Sign: Encarnacion & Boone Logan (LHP)

    Trade: Blake Swihart, Travis Shaw, and any three from: Michael Chavis, Trey Ball, Josh Ockimey, CJ Chatham, Henry Owens & Brian Johnson (maybe we have to include Basabe or Travis)
    For: David Robertson & Todd Frazier

    This leaves us with....

    SP: Porcello, Price, ERod, Buch, Wright, Pom (LR)
    RP: Robertson, Kimbrel, Smith, Kelly, Ross, one from: Barnes/Hembree/Abad/Scott
    C: Leon, Vaz
    1B: Ramirez
    2B: Pedroia
    3B: Frasier
    SS: Bogaerts
    LF: Beni-Young
    CF: JBJ
    RF: Betts
    DH: EE
    Utility: Holt, Hernandez (Moncada)

    Line-up is kind off righty dominated, but...

    1) Beni v R/ Pedey v L
    2) Pedey v R/ Bogey v L
    3) Betts
    4) EE
    5) HanRam
    6) Frasier
    7) Bogey v R/Young v L
    8) JBJ
    9) Leon/Vaz


  12. #12
    Quote Originally Posted by moonslav59 View Post
    Here's one idea:

    Sign: Encarnacion & Boone Logan (LHP)

    Trade: Blake Swihart, Travis Shaw, and any three from: Michael Chavis, Trey Ball, Josh Ockimey, CJ Chatham, Henry Owens & Brian Johnson (maybe we have to include Basabe or Travis)
    For: David Robertson & Todd Frazier

    This leaves us with....

    SP: Porcello, Price, ERod, Buch, Wright, Pom (LR)
    RP: Robertson, Kimbrel, Smith, Kelly, Ross, one from: Barnes/Hembree/Abad/Scott
    C: Leon, Vaz
    1B: Ramirez
    2B: Pedroia
    3B: Frasier
    SS: Bogaerts
    LF: Beni-Young
    CF: JBJ
    RF: Betts
    DH: EE
    Utility: Holt, Hernandez (Moncada)

    Line-up is kind off righty dominated, but...

    1) Beni v R/ Pedey v L
    2) Pedey v R/ Bogey v L
    3) Betts
    4) EE
    5) HanRam
    6) Frasier
    7) Bogey v R/Young v L
    8) JBJ
    9) Leon/Vaz

    First of all, I think JBJ needs to revamp his swing, which is both long and uppercut right now. Perhaps he went to this swing thinking he would generate more power, but instead he has become a low contact guy. If he could adopt a swing like Chase Utley (compact), he would make contact far more often and not lose a lot of power. He is a great defensive CF and has shown flashes of the hitter he could be. Definitely a keeper and a lefty to help our lineup.

    Pedey, Betts, Bogaerts, Beni, Hanley all make up the strength of our lineup. Add JBJ and we have 6 high quality guys.

    I would go for Wilson Ramos in the FA market and set up C with Ramos/Vazquez.

    I would prefer Beltran for DH, assuming EE to be an expensive, long term acquisition.

    In the pitching area, I would go after Quintana with our trade bait. If Robertson could be gotten,, then that would be great, but I suggested a couple of free agent pitchers elsewhere that I would also chase. If I let go of a starter, it would be BUchholz.

  13. #13
    Quote Originally Posted by oldtimer View Post
    First of all, I think JBJ needs to revamp his swing, which is both long and uppercut right now. Perhaps he went to this swing thinking he would generate more power, but instead he has become a low contact guy. If he could adopt a swing like Chase Utley (compact), he would make contact far more often and not lose a lot of power. He is a great defensive CF and has shown flashes of the hitter he could be. Definitely a keeper and a lefty to help our lineup.

    Pedey, Betts, Bogaerts, Beni, Hanley all make up the strength of our lineup. Add JBJ and we have 6 high quality guys.

    I would go for Wilson Ramos in the FA market and set up C with Ramos/Vazquez.

    I would prefer Beltran for DH, assuming EE to be an expensive, long term acquisition.

    In the pitching area, I would go after Quintana with our trade bait. If Robertson could be gotten,, then that would be great, but I suggested a couple of free agent pitchers elsewhere that I would also chase. If I let go of a starter, it would be BUchholz.
    Robertson has 2 @ 24 M on his contract. Same as Kimbrel I thought. Robertson could be had if you give up some mid level prospects. He gives up a lot of homeruns, keep that in mind. Moon has them with Frasier. But what do you do with Panda.

  14. #14
    Quote Originally Posted by Wade Boggs View Post
    Robertson has 2 @ 24 M on his contract. Same as Kimbrel I thought. Robertson could be had if you give up some mid level prospects. He gives up a lot of homeruns, keep that in mind. Moon has them with Frasier. But what do you do with Panda.

    Just based on his contract alone, you have to give Sandoval a look. Possibly 3rd, 1st or DH. He bats from the left side, something in short supply next season, so another reason for giving him a look. He probably has zero trade value, so we either eat his contract or try to find a home for him. I am not optimistic about his return to acceptable form but stranger things have happened.

  15. #15
    Quote Originally Posted by Wade Boggs View Post
    Robertson has 2 @ 24 M on his contract. Same as Kimbrel I thought. Robertson could be had if you give up some mid level prospects. He gives up a lot of homeruns, keep that in mind. Moon has them with Frasier. But what do you do with Panda.
    You "Castillo" Panda or trade him if he has a spring revival.

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