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The question re Moncada’s health made me wonder about whether there have been any health updates on Jimmy Lambert and Zack Burdi?
Lambert’s supposed to be throwing and ready for spring. Burdi was fine, just ineffective.
Brandon Belt would be a nice fit. I believe he can play 1B and LF
During the off season plan project I looked for a lot of ways to get mini yaz and belt from san fran to help with the sox rf/dh and left hand hitting problem. He is definitely a name to keep in mind around the deadline as he is in the last year of his contract and on the wrong side of 30 for the giants to think he is a future piece. His 2020 numbers may have been a bit flukey though so it will be good to see how he hits to start 2021.
I seem to be the only one that thinks Yermin Mercedes is Hahn’s plan A for DH / emergency catcher. I don’t think Hahn is signing a DH this year.
I find it hard to believe that’s plan A. Sox have to realize a primary weakness on their roster is lack of left hand hitting.
Mercedes was the exact type of guy in the years 2017-19 you would of liked to see get some at bats for, but its gonna be hard to justify him being an important piece on a contender in 2021.
I would not be in the least surprised if the Sox started the year with Mercedes/Collins at DH for the first month or so, until they can bring up Vaughn without losing a full year of control. Then, if neither Mercedes nor Vaughn are performing well by June/July, they will use the vaunted “payroll flexibility” they have due to signing Eaton and Lynn rather than a high-priced free agent to make an in-season move for a DH.
If a DH in the NL is agreed on for this year relatively soon and the demand/price for DHs goes up, this will probably be what happens. But if not, I expect the Sox to sign a free agent DH on a short term contract, probably one that they can get an a 1-year deal.
I’m still holding out hope for a 1 year deal for Joc Pederson. There’s no reason we couldn’t rotate outfielders in and out of DH based on who the opponent is each day.
A Pederson or Adam Duvall type makes a lot of sense as Eaton and Eloy have a habit of getting hurt. Given the present options at AAA, building some depth of playable outfielders is important.
I worry about Bummer’s health the most, followed by Crochet and Lambert. Bummer missed 3/4 of season and was rushed back for playoffs. Crochet was ramped up too fast so he could pitch in playoffs. Lambert was overused coming off Tommy John because he was really effective, Sox should have done more to protect him. Sox saying they’ll be ready for spring doesn’t make me feel better.
I don’t think I’d call Lambert overused. He got hurt in his second inning of the season, three days after his first one.
My bad, I thought Jimmy pitched more
On adding a bat… how about Justin Turner? Per a recent report, the Dodgers won’t go above 2 years and he wants 4—maybe 3 gets it done?
He’s right-handed but doesn’t have pronounced splits. In the last three years, he’s been about as good as Brantley against RHP in wRC+ (Turner’s 154, 128,142 vs. Brantley’s 159, 146,138) and *much* better against LHP (111, 142, 179 vs. 76, 103, 85). He also plays an able 3B and could provide insurance for Madrigal (Moncada to 2B) in a pinch.
Brantley may still be the better fit, but if Turner is cheaper I might prefer him—as long as there is a mask clause in the contact.
Turner was my DH in my off season plan. I think he will fit nicely.
Turner is closer in age to Encarnacion than to Brantley. I don’t see the Sox taking on the risk of a 3-4 year contract for a player’s late-30s years, despite his strong numbers recently. Especially since he’s likely to be a DH-only player in years 3/4 (and primarily DH even in years 1-2), and the Sox don’t want to block Vaughn/Abreu in the short-term or limit their ability to move Jimenez to DH (or use Vaughn as a DH if he is no good defensively at 1B) in a couple of years.
They are much more likely to sign a lesser bat on a 1-year deal than Turner on a 3/4-year deal — and not only because the first option will be cheaper.
I do think 4 years is too many. And I, too, doubt the Sox actually dish out the cash to sign him (though signing aging power hitter isn’t exactly out of character, either).
But I still hear a lot of Sox fans clamoring for Brantley. I suspect he’ll cost more than Turner (though likely similar in years) but he simply hasn’t been as good: offensively or defensively. I think many have assumed Turner isn’t as good of a fit as Brantley because he’s a 3B and RH, but I don’t think those are good enough reasons to prefer Brantley.
I don’t fully get all the clamoring for Brantley. He’s a nice player but isn’t special even among the current free agents.
I definitely want the Sox to go after a player of Brantley-like quality or better but I’m not married to Brantley specifically.