I’ll keep it short and sweet. I went about down the middle between $130 and $150 Mill for a payroll of $141.25 which I feel is realistic. The team is built to win now and fans or no fans this past season, the team pocketed a good amount of cash the last 5 years. More TV money is coming. I really feel $140 mill is a realistic number.
- Nomar Mazara: $5.6M | $5.9M | $5.7M Non-tender
- Carlos Rodón: $4.5M | $4.5M | $4.5M Non-tender
- Lucas Giolito: $2.5M | $5.3M | $2.5M Tender ($5.3M)
- Reynaldo López: $1.7M | $2.2M | Non-Tender
- Evan Marshall: $1.3M | $1.9M | $1.4M Tender ($1.9M)
- Adam Engel: $1M | $1.4M | $1M Tender ($1.4M)
- Jace Fry: $800K | $1M | $800K Tender ($1M)
- Yolmer Sánchez: Non-Tender
- Edwin Encarnación: $12M Decline
- Gio González: $7M ($500K buyout) Buyout ($500K)
- Leury García: $3.5M ($250K buyout) Buyout ($500K)
OTHER IMPENDING FREE AGENTS
- Alex Colomé (Made $10,532,500 in 2020) Let go
- James McCann (Made $5.4M in 2020) Let go
- Jarrod Dyson (Made $2M in 2020) Let go
- Manager: Alex Cora. I would prefer Hinch, but Cora would be my #2 pick. He becomes my #1 pick though due to how he would help facilitate a trade that will come up later.
- Pitching coach: Anyone that is on the cutting edge of technology that can give Sox pitchers an edge they have yet to have.
No. 1: Marcus Stroman (one year, $20 million, team option for additional year, $20 million). Give him a prove it deal in what is expected to be a depressed market. Should be a solid upgrade and give the Sox depth so Crochet and Kopech can take their time and ease in to whatever roll the team wants them to take.
No. 2: Erik Kratz (one year, $1 million). A solid backup. Wish I could go with Yermin in this role, but not realistic.
No. 1: Trade Dylan Cease, Zach Collins, Jonathan Stiever, and James Beard to Boston for Chris Sale and Alex Verdugo. Wild and aggressive but could be realistic. Not a giant package (still big) for talent like Sale and Verdugo, but justified if picking up entire contract left on Sale. Verdugo, in theory, is a very young RF that bats lefty and should shore that up for years to come. Alex Cora should be a conduit to repair bridges burned with the Sox and Sale, being they won a World Series together. Also, its a risk with Sale coming off TJ, but with Giolito, Keuchel, Stroman, Dunning and maybe Crochet and/or Kopech to eat up some innings until Sale is (hopefully) 100%, should be able to buy him the time he needs. Its a risky proposition, but this team can afford it. If it worked out, by June/July this team could role with Gio/Sale/Stroman/Keuchel and Dunning or Kopech.
Much of the offseason money goes to starting pitching. The weakness of the team in 2020 should become a strength. A healthy Sale, Stroman pitching like Stroman, Dunning taking a step and hopefully Crochet or Kopech stepping up, it could be the best staff in the AL. Risk reward. I think this team has the depth to go for broke.
The bullpen loses Colome and is pretty much replaced in house by Bummer. Role with Foster/Fry/Heuer/Marshall again. Add Crochet and Kopech as swing guys who can keep their IP in check and possibily become huge difference makers in the pen.
The starting lineup is replacing Mazara with Verdugo and Encarnacion with Vaughn, should both be uprgrades (possibly massive upgrades). Got the lefties with Moncada/Yas/Verdugo. The righty sluggers who have been here–/Abreu/Eloy/Robert. And what should be 3 professional righty hitters that can give pro at bats against lefties and righties–Madigral/Anderson/Vaughn. A more balanced version of the powerful 2020 lineup.
The biggest weakness of the team will be the bench where I went cheap. Engel is there. Mendick gonna be the swiss army knife. Kratz a veteran back up catcher. Finally, give Rutherford a shot on the major league roster.
It’s costly but not $150 mill. If it pans out, this team is a built-to-win World Series competitor with most of the pieces in place for at least the next few years. Maybe with a deep playoff run or 2, the Sox should still have room to extend Gio and keep on going.