A Realsitic View at 2015: Part I

  1. You have chosen to ignore posts from moonslav59. Show moonslav59's posts

    A Realsitic View at 2015: Part I

    I had hoped the beginning of this thread would start after the 2014 season, but sadly 2015 seems more on people's minds than what is going on with this year's team. 2014 has become an audition period for 2015's 25 man roster, so here it goes...


    We all can expect some changes to be made this winter: trades, signings, and the rule 5 draft. Maybe some will be big splashes- maybe not. Let's start with our biggest need areas:


    1) Starting Pitcher (1 or 2): Replacing Lester and Lackey will not be easy. Expecting our young starters to become 1 or 2 slot pitchers that quickly is unreasonable. It is probably a good idea to let Kelly have the 3 slot and Buchholz, de la Rosa, Webster, Ranaudo and maybe eventually Owens, Rodriguez, Escobar and Diaz battle for the 2 remaining slots.


    2) Relief Pitcher (2-3): Uehara and Badenhop will be a FAs (see below), and we lost Miller. Mujica is a question mark, Breslow has a club option (see below). Tazawa looks like a nice set-up pitcher, but may not be closer material.


    3) Big bat: Where does he play?


        SS and or 3B: My guess is Bogey will pretty much be handed one of these jobs on opening day, unless he struggles the rest of this year and next ST. Holt is not a good left side IF'er, but his bat may force him into an IF position. Middy is a huge question mark on offense and is sub par on defense. He may end up being better suited for 1B or LF, if and when he gets his offense in gear. Cecchini is a poor defender and is unproven at the plate. Herrera is nothing more than a utility IF'er. Marrero looks to be an outstanding defender at SS, but his offense could be a problem. I suppose we could try to obtain a SS and 3Bman, but I doubt it.


        OF: We currently have 8-10 players who can play an OF position (Cesedes, Craig, Victorino, Nava, JBJ, Betts, Holt, and possibly Bogey, Middy, Cecchini or a rookie like Hassan, Ramos, Brown or Brentz), so upgrading here would squeeze a few guys out of the picture, but I still think we have too much quantity and too little quality in our OF.


    4) Catcher: we could use an experienced back-up catcher, but I suppose we could go with 2 from vazquez, Butler, Lava and Swihart.


    I'm not going to list all the free agent options out there right now as some have team options, so I'll wait for the list to narrow. I'm not going to list possible trades right now, but I'm sure that will be discussed at length over the next 7 months.


    I'll start by providing a framework of what we have right now, our budget, and our roster issues. (Some of this is from my 40 man roster thread.)


     


    The 3 Free Agents: Staying or Departing?


    Uehara: I'd offer close to $17-18M/2. It will be hard to replace him, except to bring him back.


    Ross: Possible re-sign as a back-up/mentor.


    Badenhop: I'd look to trade him this month on a waiver deal, if possible. Do not re-sign.


    Kelly Johnson: Will not be returning, in my opinion.


    For arguments sake, I will assume all these guys go to free agency, but that does not mean I do not want Uehara, but I will leave their slots on the roster open.


    _____________________________________________



    Rule 5 Eligible Players (from soxprospects.com)


    Highlighted Green= Highly probable additions to 40 man roster


    Highlighted Yellow= Borderline addition to 40 man roster due to skill level or not ML ready enough to worry about being taken by the rule 5 draft.



    The following players will be eligible for the December 2014 Rule 5 Draft if they are not added to the 40-man roster by November 20, 2014:


    Jonathan Aro, Matt Barnes, Wilfredo Boscan, Michael Brenly, Corey Brown, Miguel Celestino, David Chester, Sean Coyle, William Cuevas, Jacob Dahlstrand, Keury De La Cruz, Dayan Diaz, Luis Diaz, John Ely, Jason Garcia, Matt Gedman, Sergio Gomez, Bo Greenwell, Dreily Guerrero, Williams Jerez, Ellis Jimenez, Matty Johnson, Zach Kapstein, Jesus Loya, Mike McCarthy, Matty Ott, Mickey Pena, Aneudis Peralta, Oscar Perez, Kendrick Perkins, Carlos Pinales, Noe Ramirez, Henry Ramos, Carlos Rivero, Tim Roberson, Robby Scott, Travis Shaw, David Sopilka, Matt Spring, Blake Swihart, Andres Torres, Jose Valdez, Brayan Villarreal, Shannon Wilkerson, Madison Younginer


    Probably 5 Rule 5 Eligible Players added and 5 borderline additions (see final board). Diaz may not need to be protected, since maybe no team is willing to keep him on their 25 man roster all season long. (I changed him to yellow below.)



    Note: Deven Marrero does not need to be added until 2016, but may make the MLB club and need to be added at some point during the next season- probably not until after the season has begun.


    ____________________________________________


    So, this leaves the 40 man roster looking like this (Budget salary included):


    Green Highlighted = Probable 40 Man


    Yellow Highlighted = Borderline (possibly traded?)


    The 7 Returning Players (barring trades) with Luxury Tax Salary Numbers


    $16M Napoli(Could be traded to make room for Craig at 1B)


    $15M Ortiz


    $13.7M Pedroia


    $13M Victorino (Could be traded to make room for Cespedes in RF)


    $9M Cespedes


    $7.5M Buchholz 


    $6.2M Craig


    $4.8M Mujica


    The big 8 total: ~$85M (assuming no trades of these players)


    ______________________________



    Club Options:


    $4M Breslow Club Option with $100K buyout


    I'll assume he returns, but he could be traded.


    Total: ~$89M


    _____________________________


    3 Arbs with 2013 salary:


    $1.3M Herrera (3 of 3)- could be traded


    $1.3M Tazawa (2 of 3)


    $557K Nava (1 of 3)- could be traded


    I'll assume all return.


    The total salary should be about $5M combined.



    Total: ~$94M for 12 players, not counting pre-arb players.


    _________________________________



    The Non Arb Players Currently on the 40 Man Roster:


    Holt


    Middlebrooks


    de la Rosa


    Bogaerts


    Bradley Jr.


    Kelly


    Betts


    Workman


    Webster


    Cecchini


    Vazquez


    Ranaudo


    Escobar


    Hembree


    Wright


    Brentz


    Britton


    Butler


    Hassan


    Lavarnway


    Wilson


    Layne


    _____________________________



    If we do not sign any free agents (impossible), then the other 28 players needed to make the 40 man roster would be paid about $14M total.


    Total: ~$108M


    Add: $10.1M for Player Benefits & $3.9M Dodger payment.


     


    TOTAL: ~$119M 



    That leaves about $70M to spend on free agents above the minimum wage or other salary spent on the players they replace.



    _________________________________________



    So here's the 2015 40 Man Roster as I see it right now with no additions (blank spaces are placed where I believe a FA or trade-acquired player will be):


    36 are pretty much sure bets, unless traded, so the other 4 will come from the borderline players or from future trades.


    SP (11-13): __________, __________, Buchholz, Kelly, de la Rosa, Webster, Workman, Ranaudo, Barnes, Owens, Escobar, L. Diaz, Wright



    RP (6-9): ____________,  Tazawa, Breslow, Mujica, Hembree, Britton,  A Wilson,  Layne,  N Ramirez,


    C (3-5): ___________, Vazquez, Swihart, Lavarnway, Butler



    1B (2): Napoli, T Shaw



    2B (2): Pedroia, Coyle



    3B (3): Bogaerts (SS?), Middlebrooks (LF/1B?), Cecchini (LF?)



    SS (1-2): __________, Herrera, Marrero (AAA)



    LF (2-3): Craig, Nava, Hassan



    CF (2-3): Bradley, Betts, H Ramos



    RF (3-5): Cespedes, Victorino, Holt (IF/OF), Brentz, de la Cruz



    DH (1): Ortiz


    _________________________________________



    So, I have a minimum of 5 free agent signings and 31 players highlighted in green. Take away the $3.3M the free agents replace (assuming minimum wage players replaced) and we have about $73M to spend on the 5 free agents or upgrades via trades.



    The remaining 4 slots would be filled from the pool of players highlighted in Yellow - probably Wright, Wilson, Butler, and Herrera. (Note: Marrero does not need to be added to keep in the system).


    _________________________________


    With about $73M to spend on free agents and still remain under the luxury tax limit, we could possibly sign 2-3 big names and 2-3 role players or just 2-3 big names and backfill the rest with players currently inside our system.


    I'm not going to make any projections at this point. Too much is unsettled, but we have 2 good things going for us at this point:


    1) About $73M to spend on free agents is enough, if spent wisely, to fill all our biggest needs.


    2) Our large stockpile of prospects allows us the flexibility to make a blockbuster trade or two that few teams have. We also have a lot of ML experienced depth at some positions that can be dealt as long as the player from whatever position we choose to upgrade.


    As I have mentioned several times over the last year or so, I believe our team is too heavy on quantity heavy and too light on quality, but that can be discussed later.


    I'm excited about this upcoming winter and our extended future. As always, your thought and suggestions (or corrections) are welcome. Let's try to keep it "realistic". Let's try not to get too personal or uncivil with other posters.


     


    Sox4ever

     
  2. You have chosen to ignore posts from moonslav59. Show moonslav59's posts

    Re: A Realsitic View at 2015: Part I

    Any takers for Badenhop or Breslow on waiver deals?

    MLBTR sayd the Tigers & Royals are interested in Nava.

    Could anyone offer a nice package for Napoli?

    I'm still holding out hope we trade for a big slugger this winter, and OF is maybe the best slot to find one, so trading Napoli and moving Craig to 1B would make room for such a move. It would also free up space for Nava, Betts, Holt, JBJ and others to try and win a spot or platoon slot in next year's Sox OF. 

    Sox4ever

     
  3. You have chosen to ignore posts from craze4sox. Show craze4sox's posts

    Re: A Realsitic View at 2015: Part I

    In response to moonslav59's comment:

    Any takers for Badenhop or Breslow on waiver deals?

    MLBTR sayd the Tigers & Royals are interested in Nava.

    Could anyone offer a nice package for Napoli?

    I'm still holding out hope we trade for a big slugger this winter, and OF is maybe the best slot to find one, so trading Napoli and moving Craig to 1B would make room for such a move. It would also free up space for Nava, Betts, Holt, JBJ and others to try and win a spot or platoon slot in next year's Sox OF. 

    Sox4ever


    The poor play of our youngsters may have put us in just that type of position moon.  Trading vets along with or instead of some of the kids.  I really hope a few of these kids catch a hot streak before the end of the season.

     
  4. You have chosen to ignore posts from moonslav59. Show moonslav59's posts

    Re: A Realsitic View at 2015: Part I

    I'm not as down on our kids as many here seem to be. Our young pitchers have done well, and I am giving Bogey and JBJ a learning curve to work with. I'm counting on next to nothing from Vic, Middy, Buch, and Breslow next year.

    Sox4ever

     
  5. You have chosen to ignore posts from bostonfan191646. Show bostonfan191646's posts

    Re: A Realsitic View at 2015: Part I

    In response to moonslav59's comment:

    I'm not as down on our kids as many here seem to be. Our young pitchers have done well, and I am giving Bogey and JBJ a learning curve to work with. I'm counting on next to nothing from Vic, Middy, Buch, and Breslow next year.

    Sox4ever



    I'm with you. Bogey and JBJ have been very inconsistent, going through some horrible stretches and slumps, but it's not like they're devoid of talent. A little bump from Jackie and he's a .250 hitter, and with his defense that's your everyday center fielder for the next 8 years. 

     
  6. You have chosen to ignore posts from hill55. Show hill55's posts

    Re: A Realsitic View at 2015: Part I

    According to Cot's Baseball Contracts, Clay Buchholz in 2015 will be owed $12 million (not $7.5 million):


    http://www.baseballprospectus.com/compensation/cots/al-east/boston-red-sox/" rel="nofollow">http://www.baseballprospectus.com/compensation/cots/al-east/boston-red-sox/" rel="nofollow">http://www.baseballprospectus.com/compensation/cots/al-east/boston-red-sox/

     
  7. You have chosen to ignore posts from craze4sox. Show craze4sox's posts

    Re: A Realsitic View at 2015: Part I

    In response to bostonfan191646's comment:

    In response to moonslav59's comment:

    I'm not as down on our kids as many here seem to be. Our young pitchers have done well, and I am giving Bogey and JBJ a learning curve to work with. I'm counting on next to nothing from Vic, Middy, Buch, and Breslow next year.

    Sox4ever



    I'm with you. Bogey and JBJ have been very inconsistent, going through some horrible stretches and slumps, but it's not like they're devoid of talent. A little bump from Jackie and he's a .250 hitter, and with his defense that's your everyday center fielder for the next 8 years. 



    I think we need more than a powerless 200/250 hitter with solid defense from JBJ to stick.  JBJ needs to raise his OBP to a decent major league level like Iggy did before really helping our team or being packaged for an upgrade.  We already have a good arm/defender who hits 250 but at least supplies a bit of power in Ces.  We have way too many potential OF's and weak IF defense at 3B and SS.  You simply can't contend with a team full of platoon guys filling every day roles.

     
  8. You have chosen to ignore posts from RedsoxProspects. Show RedsoxProspects's posts

    Re: A Realsitic View at 2015: Part I

    I wish I had time to even remotely approach the level of detail the Moonster has given above. Sometimes I think we should put him on salary guys as he puts in the work without punching the clock! Some quick thoughts:

    1) I think they release Breslow. That $100,000 buyout is pretty attractive right now. He would need to really finish strong to keep a spot IMO.

    2) I think there is virtually no chance they trade Napoli or Victorino. Just not going to happen. Victorino is major damaged goods right now and the Sox just don't sell low ever. And I don't think anyone wants Napoli for $16 mil. He is a good fit for us. I think they would be more likely to move Craig, but my guess is they keep both. I think they keep every animal they can in the lineup. Craig is a potential wolverine and Napoli is a potential grizzly bear. They both help the lineup score runs. Our number 1 problem for sure this year. In some ways they have already solved that problem.

    3) One way or the other Mr. Betts is going to be in the lineup. My guess is CF, but it absolutely could be 3rd or SS. I don't see why not other than he has not played either slot much. I prefer him as an infielder and it appears his arm is better than people think.

    4) They probably use a good chunk of that money Moon is talking about for a top starting pitcher but I for one would just go with what they have. I know it is a heck of a roll of the dice but my guess is some of these guys start becoming decent starters. A rotation of:

    * Kelly

    * Buchholz

    * DelaRosa

    * Webster

    * Ranaudo

    Workman moves to the pen as an important setup guy, competing with Tazawa possibly for that role. Starter depth is Wright, Owens, Johnson, Escobar, Barnes.

    I'm pretty sure the Sox sign at least one starting pitcher, and I'm sure they want a proven ace, but it is going to be expensive and unless it's one of the top guys I wouldn't be a bit surprised if they don't pan out any better than what we have already. Lester and Scherzer probably are $150-$180 mil guys next winter. I'm not thrilled with the James Shields option. There are others and we probably sign one of them but I would squeeze that penny 5 times before spending it on a starter over 30.

    5) I'm doing a hail mary right now for our good friend JBJ but I'm penciling Betts into his slot already.

    6) I'm doing a triple back flip hail mary for Mr. Middlebrooks to work out at 3rd. It would help this team so much if he did.

    7) I hope they find a way to extend Cespedes to a Napoli type deal this winter. I think he's going to be worth it. And Right handed power is so valuable to have. He's our RF for the next 4 years hopefully, and our LF for 2 more years after that. If they want to spend some of that cash he is option A to me. A solid value pick who should do very well in Fenway.

    8) I'm counting on nothing from Marrero except as a sub. If he continues to develop great but I'm not buying it. I don't think he is going to hit any better than JBJ. If you look at his history why should he?

    9) I'm counting on Owens, Johnson and Barnes basically to emerge by year end as decent starters at the mlb level ( year end 2015 ). At least one of those guys is probably ready by then and another a good reliever.

    10) Hembree and Escobar are both real solid relievers by mid season 2015. With a FA signing ( Miller ? ) and Workman, Mujica and probably Koji getting resigned I think our pen would be fine. Mujica has actually been good for the past 3 months and real good for the past 2. 

    11) They probably sign a FA catcher but I would just go with Vasquez and Lavarnway. I no absolutely no one will agree with me on that but Swihart is probably ready by mid year and he can already provide decent injury depth. They probably do sign a Ross type, although maybe not Ross. Russell Martin? They have the cash but they would want to do a short term deal if they signed him but why not 2 years? Someone will get hurt and he with Vasquez and Swihart probably would get plenty of PT. Unfortunately my guess is that Martin gets more than they will offer him.

    *** It is a risky approach but the chances of us turning this around next year are pretty small even with quite a few FA signings but I haven't studied it much at all. I'd try to use some of that cash to extend Cespedes and try to bring Lester back. Maybe do a trade for a CF or 3rd baseman. Denard Span would be decent in CF and I don't think the Nationals keep him. I wouldn't be at all surprised if the Sox go after him. He is the other side of 30 but he is a potential value pick who won't get a QO. And they have the cash. And he could play RF or CF. I Don't see the Dodgers or the Yanks going after him that much. Considering JBJ's situation why not just slot Betts at 3rd and pay Denard Span some of that cash.

    The Sox want to win in 2015. My bet is they go after Hanley, Lester, Span, maybe a starting pitcher like Liriano. They might even bring back Ross. He would be dirt cheap. 

     
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    Re: A Realsitic View at 2015: Part I

    I think Almanzar might be in the rule 5 picture next time.

     
  10. You have chosen to ignore posts from bostonfan191646. Show bostonfan191646's posts

    Re: A Realsitic View at 2015: Part I

    In response to craze4sox's comment:

    In response to bostonfan191646's comment:

    In response to moonslav59's comment:

    I'm not as down on our kids as many here seem to be. Our young pitchers have done well, and I am giving Bogey and JBJ a learning curve to work with. I'm counting on next to nothing from Vic, Middy, Buch, and Breslow next year.

    Sox4ever



    I'm with you. Bogey and JBJ have been very inconsistent, going through some horrible stretches and slumps, but it's not like they're devoid of talent. A little bump from Jackie and he's a .250 hitter, and with his defense that's your everyday center fielder for the next 8 years. 



    I think we need more than a powerless 200/250 hitter with solid defense from JBJ to stick.  JBJ needs to raise his OBP to a decent major league level like Iggy did before really helping our team or being packaged for an upgrade.  We already have a good arm/defender who hits 250 but at least supplies a bit of power in Ces.  We have way too many potential OF's and weak IF defense at 3B and SS.  You simply can't contend with a team full of platoon guys filling every day roles.



    uh, who said 200? I said .250. If JBJ hits .250 he's one of the best center fielders in baseball. He's already the best defensive center fielder in the game, and takes away an awful lot of base hits. Ellsbury hit .280 this year, if JBJ hits .250, that's a difference of 15 hits over 500 ABs...whatever. 

     
  11. You have chosen to ignore posts from craze4sox. Show craze4sox's posts

    Re: A Realsitic View at 2015: Part I

    In response to bostonfan191646's comment:



     




    In response to craze4sox's comment:




    In response to bostonfan191646's comment:




    In response to moonslav59's comment:




    I'm not as down on our kids as many here seem to be. Our young pitchers have done well, and I am giving Bogey and JBJ a learning curve to work with. I'm counting on next to nothing from Vic, Middy, Buch, and Breslow next year.




    Sox4ever




     





    I'm with you. Bogey and JBJ have been very inconsistent, going through some horrible stretches and slumps, but it's not like they're devoid of talent. A little bump from Jackie and he's a .250 hitter, and with his defense that's your everyday center fielder for the next 8 years. 


     


     




    I think we need more than a powerless 200/250 hitter with solid defense from JBJ to stick.  JBJ needs to raise his OBP to a decent major league level like Iggy did before really helping our team or being packaged for an upgrade.  We already have a good arm/defender who hits 250 but at least supplies a bit of power in Ces.  We have way too many potential OF's and weak IF defense at 3B and SS.  You simply can't contend with a team full of platoon guys filling every day roles.


     




    uh, who said 200? I said .250. If JBJ hits .250 he's one of the best center fielders in baseball. He's already the best defensive center fielder in the game, and takes away an awful lot of base hits. Ellsbury hit .280 this year, if JBJ hits .250, that's a difference of 15 hits over 500 ABs...whatever. 



    200 now needs to turn into 250 plus along with a respectable OBP that's how you produce runs from guys with no power and little other help in key positions.

     
  12. You have chosen to ignore posts from hill55. Show hill55's posts

    Re: A Realsitic View at 2015: Part I

    Following the dismal 2012 season I projected a continued decline for the Red Sox because of the August trade of significant talent.


    Of course, the Sox made me look foolish by winning the World Series in 2013.


    I again suspect the Red Sox face serious challenges following this summer's trade of significant talent. The heavy focus on Giancarlo Stanton is perhaps misplaced because the Sox probably are more than one Giancarlo Stanton away from becoming competitive again.


    In the free agent market (and the trade market) the Red Sox will be competing against many teams with new-found wealth from television contracts and revenue sharing. An aversion to expensive long-term contract may preclude the Sox from landing the top free agents (although the Sox struck the jackpot in the 2012-13 offseason without lengthy deals). A healthy farm system that yielded productive players at a high rate in past 10 years may suffer a random regression that sees a higher percentage of prospects flounder. Current struggles of recently elevated prospects may have a wider impact on the trade value of other Sox prospects.


    Let's hope the Red Sox make me look foolish again.

     
  13. You have chosen to ignore posts from craze4sox. Show craze4sox's posts

    Re: A Realsitic View at 2015: Part I

    In response to hill55's comment:

    Current struggles of recently elevated prospects may have a wider impact on the trade value of other Sox prospects.

    Let's hope the Red Sox make my look foolish again.



    I fully agree on all points hill

     

     
  14. You have chosen to ignore posts from ampoule. Show ampoule's posts

    Re: A Realsitic View at 2015: Part I

    Moon and Boom(kinda funny,eh?), nice posts.  Moon, incredible info as usual.

     
  15. You have chosen to ignore posts from soxnewmex. Show soxnewmex's posts

    Re: A Realsitic View at 2015: Part I

    Get Stanton and Lester or Scherzer, for starters.  We need a left side of the infield guy; Xbo, though he wants more than anything to be a shortstop, it's hard to see him as a good one, although he may eventually become a plus bat.  Obviously, unless they got Tulo somehow, they're going to let him have the position.  JBJ, I don't know, I still believe he'll become a decent hitter with a high OBP.  That is what he has been wherever he's played, I just think that is what he is, and with a little more time in the bigs, he'll get to that again.  I like Boom's idea of Betts at 3rd,  Middlebrooks is not going to be a player.  I think catching is covered and covered well with Vazquz Swihart Butler Lava, they have plenty of coaches to school the young guys.  Like Owens future.  But, of course, if a Stanton trade happened, some of  these guys won't even be here.

     
  16. You have chosen to ignore posts from moonslav59. Show moonslav59's posts

    Re: A Realsitic View at 2015: Part I

    In response to hill55's comment:




    The numbers I listed are luxury tax budget numbers or average yearly salary of  the deal each player is under contract for at this moment (including future buyout dollars). He makes $29.7 in salary plus the signing bonus + the $245K buy out brings him to about $30M/4. That means his contract counts as $7.5 for luxury tax purproses.

    Cots....

    Clay Buchholz rhp

    4 years/$29.945M (2012-15), plus 2016-17 club options
    signed extension with Boston 4/11/11
    $1M signing bonus
    12:$3.5M, 13:$5.5M, 14:$7.7M, 15:$12M, 16:$13M club option ($0.245M buyout), 17:$13.5M club option ($0.5M buyout)
    award bonuses, including $50,000 for All-Star selection

     
  17. You have chosen to ignore posts from moonslav59. Show moonslav59's posts

    Re: A Realsitic View at 2015: Part I

    I wish I had time to even remotely approach the level of detail the Moonster has given above. Sometimes I think we should put him on salary guys as he puts in the work without punching the clock! Some quick thoughts:

    Thanks. Some was recycled from another thread of mine, but I enjoy this kind of research.

     

    1) I think they release Breslow. That $100,000 buyout is pretty attractive right now. He would need to really finish strong to keep a spot IMO.

    I agree. I almost assumed he'd be let go, but thought he might be given the option and then traded or be traded this August on a waiver deal.

    2) I think there is virtually no chance they trade Napoli or Victorino. Just not going to happen. Victorino is major damaged goods right now and the Sox just don't sell low ever. And I don't think anyone wants Napoli for $16 mil. He is a good fit for us. I think they would be more likely to move Craig, but my guess is they keep both. I think they keep every animal they can in the lineup. Craig is a potential wolverine and Napoli is a potential grizzly bear. They both help the lineup score runs. Our number 1 problem for sure this year. In some ways they have already solved that problem.

    Selling low when a player has just one year of team control is not as bad as selling players like Middy, Doubront and Nava (had we dealt him earlier this year). You are right about Vic. We're stuck with him. I do think there might be interest in Napoli at just $16M and no long term commitments. We could also chip in a million or two, if needed. 

    I like Napoli a lot, and I'm okay with having Naps at 1B, Craig in LF, Cespedes in CF or RF and acquiring a big bopper to take Vics open slot, but I also have a lot of faith that one out of Betts, Holt, Nava, and maybe even Vic at some point next year can do well in the OF next year. That would allow Craig to play an easier and safer position, 1B. I'm not for handing Napoli away. He's a plus to this team. I don't trade him, unless we get something good. If you are right, and nobody wants him, then I'm fibe with keeping him around for his last year.

    3) One way or the other Mr. Betts is going to be in the lineup. My guess is CF, but it absolutely could be 3rd or SS. I don't see why not other than he has not played either slot much. I prefer him as an infielder and it appears his arm is better than people think.

    I hope it's not SS or 3B, unless it is to accommodate a big slugger like Stanton. I don't want to sacrifice defense at SS or 3B just so we can keep Craig in LF and/or Betts in CF.

    I'd be fine with Craig in LF, Betts/Holt in CF and Cespedes in RF, if we acquired a guy like Tulo at SS. Taking a defensive hit with Bogey/Holt  at 3B would not be so bad in this scenario.

    4) They probably use a good chunk of that money Moon is talking about for a top starting pitcher but I for one would just go with what they have. I know it is a heck of a roll of the dice but my guess is some of these guys start becoming decent starters. A rotation of:

    * Kelly

    * Buchholz

    * DelaRosa

    * Webster

    * Ranaudo

    Workman moves to the pen as an important setup guy, competing with Tazawa possibly for that role. Starter depth is Wright, Owens, Johnson, Escobar, Barnes.

            (Don't forget this kid Eduardo Rodriguez too.)

    I see Kelly as a solid #3 and Buch as a sketchy #5. That leaves de la Rosa, Ranaudo, Webster and others to fight for the #4 slot and/or to oust Buch from the 5 slot. 

    I think we need to get a front line SP'er this winter- maybe Scherzer or Shields (or Lester if still possible) or two solid low #1 or high #2 types starters. I could see us going cheap here though- like Masterson.

    I'm pretty sure the Sox sign at least one starting pitcher, and I'm sure they want a proven ace, but it is going to be expensive and unless it's one of the top guys I wouldn't be a bit surprised if they don't pan out any better than what we have already. Lester and Scherzer probably are $150-$180 mil guys next winter. I'm not thrilled with the James Shields option. There are others and we probably sign one of them but I would squeeze that penny 5 times before spending it on a starter over 30.

    Maybe we trade for a SP and spend on bats.

    5) I'm doing a hail mary right now for our good friend JBJ but I'm penciling Betts into his slot already.

    I'm thinking we may see Cespedes/Betts in CF and Cespedes/Holt in RF. Cespedes usually plays about 130 games, so that would leave about 120 games for JBJ in the OF and 70 for Holt. Holt could then get 50+ Games at LF, 3B, SS, 2B and 1B.

    This would squeeze Nava out of a job, unless Craig continues getting hurt.

    6) I'm doing a triple back flip hail mary for Mr. Middlebrooks to work out at 3rd. It would help this team so much if he did.

    I'm counting on zilch from Middy, but I am not for trading him. He still can surprise me/us.

    7) I hope they find a way to extend Cespedes to a Napoli type deal this winter. I think he's going to be worth it. And Right handed power is so valuable to have. He's our RF for the next 4 years hopefully, and our LF for 2 more years after that. If they want to spend some of that cash he is option A to me. A solid value pick who should do very well in Fenway.

    Like I said, unless we extend Cespedes or trade him, the Lester deal stinks.

    8) I'm counting on nothing from Marrero except as a sub. If he continues to develop great but I'm not buying it. I don't think he is going to hit any better than JBJ. If you look at his history why should he?

    If he's as good as Iggy on D, it may not matter.

    9) I'm counting on Owens, Johnson and Barnes basically to emerge by year end as decent starters at the mlb level ( year end 2015 ). At least one of those guys is probably ready by then and another a good reliever.

    I like Escobar & Rodrigues better than Johnson and Barnes right now.

    10) Hembree and Escobar are both real solid relievers by mid season 2015. With a FA signing ( Miller ? ) and Workman, Mujica and probably Koji getting resigned I think our pen would be fine. Mujica has actually been good for the past 3 months and real good for the past 2.

    Hembree could be a stud. He may even end up as a solid closer sooner than we think.

    11) They probably sign a FA catcher but I would just go with Vasquez and Lavarnway. I no absolutely no one will agree with me on that but Swihart is probably ready by mid year and he can already provide decent injury depth. They probably do sign a Ross type, although maybe not Ross. Russell Martin? They have the cash but they would want to do a short term deal if they signed him but why not 2 years? Someone will get hurt and he with Vasquez and Swihart probably would get plenty of PT. Unfortunately my guess is that Martin gets more than they will offer him.

    No to Martin. I'd go with Butler over Lava, but agree that Swihart could/should be ready by mid season.

    *** It is a risky approach but the chances of us turning this around next year are pretty small even with quite a few FA signings but I haven't studied it much at all. I'd try to use some of that cash to extend Cespedes and try to bring Lester back. Maybe do a trade for a CF or 3rd baseman. Denard Span would be decent in CF and I don't think the Nationals keep him. I wouldn't be at all surprised if the Sox go after him. He is the other side of 30 but he is a potential value pick who won't get a QO. And they have the cash. And he could play RF or CF. I Don't see the Dodgers or the Yanks going after him that much. Considering JBJ's situation why not just slot Betts at 3rd and pay Denard Span some of that cash.

    What's your thoughts on Pablo Sandoval at 3B or going huge for HanRam?

    What about trading for Tulo, instead of Stanton or the like?

    The Sox want to win in 2015. My bet is they go after Hanley, Lester, Span, maybe a starting pitcher like Liriano. They might even bring back Ross. He would be dirt cheap.

    This is not what I want, but if I had to guess who we go after, it would be: Shields, Masterson, Uehara, Miller, Sandoval and Ross.

     

     

    Sox4ever

     
  18. You have chosen to ignore posts from hill55. Show hill55's posts

    Re: A Realsitic View at 2015: Part I

    In response to moonslav59's comment:
    The numbers I listed are luxury tax budget numbers or average yearly salary of  the deal each player is under contract for at this moment (including future buyout dollars). He makes $29.7 in salary plus the signing bonus + the $245K buy out brings him to about $30M/4. That means his contract counts as $7.5 for luxury tax purproses.

    Thanks for the clarification.

     
  19. You have chosen to ignore posts from RedsoxProspects. Show RedsoxProspects's posts

    Re: A Realsitic View at 2015: Part I

    Butler is a nice story but no way he is on the 25 man for anything more than short term injury back up and I doubt even that. I see that it is near universal that Lavarnway is not in the plans but to me he is still better than Butler. In almost 300 AAA plate appearances this year he put up a .645 OPS as a 27 year old career minor league guy.

    And I stiil like Johnson and Barnes at least as much as any prospects we traded for at the deadline. Both those guys are hugely underated. I hope they don't trade either. I bet both have real solid yeats in 2015.

     

     
  20. You have chosen to ignore posts from RedsoxProspects. Show RedsoxProspects's posts

    Re: A Realsitic View at 2015: Part I

    To me the big questions are 3rd, CF and starting pitcher, and we have at least some decent options in each slot.

    I at first thought Betts didn't have the arm for 3rd but after seeing him in person several times and studying the situation a little I think he has a good enough arm for 3rd but he would struggle some leatrnig the position quickly, especially charging in on balls etc...but i'd prefer him at 3rd than any of our other options and I bet he becomes real solid there over time.

     
  21. You have chosen to ignore posts from moonslav59. Show moonslav59's posts

    Re: A Realsitic View at 2015: Part I

    I again suspect the Red Sox face serious challenges following this summer's trade of significant talent. The heavy focus on Giancarlo Stanton is perhaps misplaced because the Sox probably are more than one Giancarlo Stanton away from becoming competitive again.

    I'm not saying Sox management is going to make several big splashes this winter, but they could if they wanted.

    They could trade 4-5 prospects for Stanton, extend him and still have enough to pay a top line SP'er, Uehara and a couple of decent role players. We could also trade some of our blocked players for higher need areas.

    To me, that's enough to be highly competitive next year.

    I'm not saying it's going to happen. It might take a change in philosophy to open up the books for a 30+ year old pitcher, but we have the resources, financial and young players, to make it happen.

    Replacing Lester and Lackey will not be easy, but with the additions of Cespedes, Craig and Kelly plus the $70M or so we can spend this winter, I think we may be just one big Stantonesque trade away from going for our 4th ring in 12 years.

    Sox4ever

     
  22. You have chosen to ignore posts from moonslav59. Show moonslav59's posts

    Re: A Realsitic View at 2015: Part I

    In response to RedsoxProspects' comment:

    Butler is a nice story but no way he is on the 25 man for anything more than short term injury back up and I doubt even that. I see that it is near universal that Lavarnway is not in the plans but to me he is still better than Butler. In almost 300 AAA plate appearances this year he put up a .645 OPS as a 27 year old career minor league guy.

    And I stiil like Johnson and Barnes at least as much as any prospects we traded for at the deadline. Both those guys are hugely underated. I hope they don't trade either. I bet both have real solid yeats in 2015.

     

    I think Butler is much better than Lava on defense, so that is why I see him as our #2 next year over Lava, assuming no additions at catcher.

    I do not think lightly of Barnes and Johnson. It's more of how highly I feel about Escobar and Rodriguez. I think soxprospects.com under-rated them and Hembree as well. Hembree is going to shock some people.

     

     
  23. You have chosen to ignore posts from moonslav59. Show moonslav59's posts

    Re: A Realsitic View at 2015: Part I

    In response to RedsoxProspects' comment:

    To me the big questions are 3rd, CF and starting pitcher, and we have at least some decent options in each slot.

    I at first thought Betts didn't have the arm for 3rd but after seeing him in person several times and studying the situation a little I think he has a good enough arm for 3rd but he would struggle some leatrnig the position quickly, especially charging in on balls etc...but i'd prefer him at 3rd than any of our other options and I bet he becomes real solid there over time.



    You may be right, and maybe we didn't try Betts at 3B, because we already had Middy & Cecchini (as well as Devers, Holt & Bogey) there.

    I'm just thinking I'm getting tired of weak defensive 3Bmen and jerking people around, because they can't field the positions they are currently at.

    We need some players that can hit lefties and righties and play D. There's not enough roster spots on a 25 man roster to have 5 positions platooned or with late inning defensive replacements needed.

    We need to decide who to keep and make a couple 3 for one deals to improve the overall quality of our full timers.

     
  24. You have chosen to ignore posts from emp9. Show emp9's posts

    Re: A Realsitic View at 2015: Part I

    W/ Ces & Stanton at the corners, JBJ batting .250 w/ his kind of defense in CF.... Shhmah Forget about it. That'd be bananas. 

    "Don't you worry about blank, let me worry about blank"

    or

    "Blank?.. blank?! But you're not seeing the big picture!"

     
  25. You have chosen to ignore posts from moonslav59. Show moonslav59's posts

    Re: A Realsitic View at 2015: Part I

    W/ Ces & Stanton at the corners, JBJ batting .250 w/ his kind of defense in CF.... Shhmah Forget about it. That'd be bananas.

    And, having a few of Craig, Nava, Betts, Holt & Vic- I'm assuming 1-2 will be gone or playing IF next year- if JBj struggles again, we'll have it covered. JBJ could become our late inning defensive guy.

    Sox4ever

     
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