I’m still not sure this is the route they SHOULD take, but I put together a boringly realistic plan during the first rebuild and that’s no fun. I also realize it’s probably not realistic to make all of these moves in one offseason, but whatever. Let’s go for it!
Write “tender” or “non-tender” after each player. Feel free to offer explanation afterward if necessary.
- Jose Abreu, $16M – tender
- Avisail Garcia, $8M – non-tender
- Yolmer Sanchez, $4.7M – tender and trade (see below)
- Carlos Rodon, $3.7M – tender
- Matt Davidson, $2.4M – tender. I’m fine with cutting him loose if they have a better way to spend this money, but as it stands I think he’s a fine complement to Palka at DH, can spend some time at 1B and 3B… and eat some innings out of the pen!
- Leury Garcia, $1.9M – tender. As with Davidson, I’m fine with cutting him loose if they have a better way to spend this money, but as it stands I think he’s a solid bench piece.
- Danny Farquhar, $1.4M – non-tender, MiLB deal
Write “pick up” or “decline” after the option.
- Nate Jones, $4.65 million/$1.25M buyout – pick up. I’ve seen some discussion regarding cutting him loose in some of the threads lately, but I think this is a no-brainer. You’re not going to find anyone with his kind of upside for anything close to this price in FA. If he can manage to stay healthy, he’s a nice trade piece or, if they manage to hang in there, they can reap the benefits of his cheap option years.
- James Shields, $16 million/$2M buyout – decline
OTHER IMPENDING FREE AGENTS
- Miguel Gonzalez (made $4.75 million in 2018) – let go
No. 1: AJ Pollock (five years, $75 million). The only real question with him (and it’s a big one) is can he stay healthy? Given his talent and production, I’m willing to bet that he can. He’ll slot in immediately in CF and fill a huge hole there. If he loses a step, he can move to a corner if/when one of Robert or Basabe are ready. I’m not crazy about giving up the draft pick and the bonus pool cash, but at least it’s not a first rounder anymore.
No. 2: Yasmani Grandal (three years, $27 million). If the rumors of him hurting his stock with his lackluster defensive play are true, then I’m all over him. Great pitch framer, gets on base at a solid clip and provides pop from the left side.
No. 3: Josh Donaldson (one year, $18 million with a mutual option and a $2 million buyout). Yes, they should go after Machado. No, I don’t think it’s going to happen. Once they’re out of the mix for Manny, I think Donaldson makes too much sense not to happen. He gets to rehab his value with a big one-year contract in a slugger friendly park with a good training staff. The Sox get someone with big-time offensive upside for a year while they see how fast Madrigal is going to move and they can take a swing at Arenado and/or Rendon next year in FA after hopefully showing they’re ready to win some more games.
No. 4: Nathan Eovaldi (three years, $36 million). As with Pollock, my only real question here is health. I love the velocity and he finally started turning it into more Ks this year. There’s upside and downside here, but he doesn’t really need to do THAT much to justify this contract other than stay somewhat healthy.
Other FA signings: I ran out of money to do much to address the pen, so I’m going to grab a couple of RH arms (i.e. Brach, Holland, Delgado, Hudson) on the cheap. The rotation and lineup were more important in my view.
No. 1: Trade Welington Castillo to New York for Sonny Gray. I feel like this may need more coming from the Sox end to get it done, but I feel like there are the bones of a real deal here. The Sox get a starter with some upside and the Yanks get a veteran catcher to split time with Sanchez and maybe let him DH a little more.
No. 2: Trade Yolmer Sanchez and Alex Call to Milwaukee for Domingo Santana. Again, I feel like I may be a little light on the return going to Milwaukee here, but Santana is coming off a pretty awful season and he’s a bat only corner guy (those guys aren’t exactly in high demand right now). I like the upside with Santana though and while I’d like Yolmer as a utility guy, I think he’s a little out of place on a team with two middle infielders that should be playing everyday.
Roster would look something like this:
LF: Delmonico (Jimenez after two weeks)
DH: Palka / Davidson (platoon)
BN: L. Garcia
RP: Brad Brach
RP: Daniel Hudson
I have payroll coming right at $105 million with some light deferral of salaries into the latter years of these FA deals (i.e. something like 8/9/10 from Grandal). This obviously isn’t a juggernaut roster, but I think this could be a team that contends for a wild card spot if a couple of things (i.e. health, bounce backs) break their way. They’d also have Donaldson and Gray’s salaries coming off the books after 2019 and could use that money to go get a big name like Arenado or Rendon. I’m actually pretty happy with how this came out (other than the pen which they could address at the deadline if they’re still in it), though I’ll admit I might be light on some of the FA deal and/or trade returns. Excited to read everyone else’s plans, thanks as always for putting this together Jim!
Wow, we are very much on the same page.
too many injury prone guys. Pollock and Eovaldi? you’re looking to waste a lot of money.
You’re not wrong, there are definitely injury concerns with a lot of these guys. I guess my thinking is, if they can’t play at the top of the market with Machado and Harper (i.e. the guys who don’t have any warts), then the one place I’d take a risk is on guys who need to stay healthy (especially with the Sox training staff, though they haven’t been as good lately). Rather take a risk on health than talent.
Yasmani’s contract is very low in my opinion. He is gonna get a lot more money
The money in these FA signings seem awfully low. Also not sure the Yankees have much need for Castillo… and they Sox won’t get Gray for him if they do.