Just kidding…. I actually am a fan of our best players.
So anyways, this is probably one of the least exciting years to do the off-season project, which is odd because we have the most exciting team since I’ve been doing it. I go fairly big with a trade to try to balance things out that may be unpopular but generally stick to the core.
- Lucas Giolito: $7.9M- Extension 5 years 98 (10, 15, 20, 20, 23)
- Reynaldo López; $2.8M tender
- Evan Marshall: $2.3M non-tender
- Adam Engel: $2.2M tender
- Brian Goodwin: $1.7M non-tender
- Jimmy Cordero: $1.2M non–tender
- Jace Fry: $1M non-tender offer minor league deal.
I’ve heard rumblings Giolito can get done and may not be as scary as one thinks. So if you can buy out three years and pay less then what we offered Wheeler I think it’s a steal. I’ll try to bring Fry back into the organization because lefty relievers are hard to find. Other decisions seem obvious.
- Craig Kimbrel: $16M ($1M buyout)- Buyout
- César Hernández: $6M- Decline
I *know* the Sox are going to pick up Kimbrel’s option and apparently make him instant trade bait. However I’m the one controlling this ship. I don’t understand what great surplus value a guy has at 15 million who hasn’t had a full solid season since 2018. Maybe I underestimate his trade value but it just seems like a guy to bad contract swap and the Sox want to save face. Give me the reigns and I’ll just avoid the headache and keep the 15 million, Jerry is poor you know.
Cesar is reasonable for some team but that was an ugly couple months. Let him do it elsewhere.
OTHER IMPENDING FREE AGENTS
- Leury García (Made $3.5M in 2021) Let Go
- Carlos Rodón ($3M)- Offer QO and Rodon accepts
- Billy Hamilton ($1M) bring back minor league deal
- Ryan Tepera ($950K) 2 years 11 million player option for third year at 6mil.
We are going to go down the path here that Carlos Rodon accepts the QO. I think it’s 50/50 but the way his season ended if he wants the big money I think he takes the 18mil and goes out and tries to show he can do it for a full year. Certainly don’t mind him back at the offer tag with what he showed in 2021 either. A long way from non-tendering him last year. Tepera is a must re-sign for me, he really stabilized this pen and his metrics show he is completely legit. I will pay a bit more if needed.
We aren’t doing anything interesting. Some minor league deals for back of rotation depth, middle infield help that may not make the team. Pick some of the unexciting names from that pile. Michael Conforto would be the one realistic high ticket name the Sox might chase but with my upcoming trade and my thought that he just accepts the QO that point is moot.
No. 1: Andrew Vaughn and Zack Collins to the Rays for Joey Wendle (4.0mil in 2022 w/ 2 year control), Austin Meadows (4.3 mil in 2022 w/ three year team control) and Brent Honeywell.
Alright, so here is where I’m sure I get blasted and the worst thing you can do is trade with the Rays. That said, we haven’t had our shot for them to burn us yet so here goes. Vaughn may have a very bright future but I just feel we are too right handed and full of corner guy types. I also think of him still as more of a first baseman despite his apparent versatility.
This gets us two years of Wendle, a left handed versatile underrated 3 WAR + player to play second or elsewhere if need arises. He mashes RHP and struggles some against LHP but that’s actually better then being balanced in my opinion. We need to get that vs RHP lineup more potent. If he struggles enough vs LHP someone like Romy can cover the light side platoon.
Austin Meadows has some warts but we know what he can do. He’s a left handed power bat with patience to fill RF that you are getting for three years of his prime. Similar story, that he mashes RHP and has some struggles with LHP. If he needs to sit back LHP, that’s what Adam Engel is for. Dude is 27 and look what he did in 2019, I can’t help myself.
Then there is Honeywell who I am hoping the Sox can build back after his injuries. He looked pretty good in AAA but never really got another shot last year and at the least he can be another fire baller in the pen.
I think we fill two holes and balance the lineup while getting control on both players. Why do the Rays do this? Well duh, they love cost control and you are giving the a potential star bat pre-arb that can play several places. They also don’t *need* Wendle with Lowe around.
Win/win I hope.
No. 2: Jake Burger to the Mariners for Tom Murphy
Burger is going somewhere so I send him to the soon to be Seager-less Mariners to see if they will give him a full shot. In return we get a couple years of a solid defense catcher with pop in Murphy. I love Grandal, but I do think his value is getting to the point where we need a backup we can really trust to get him off his feet more. Grandal is too important to the lineup. Murphy is playable in larger doses and allows Grandal to play DH/1b occasionally.
RF: Meadows (sometimes Engel v. LHP)
DH: Sheets v RHP (Grandal/Abreu/Jimenez rotation v LHP)
Bench: Engel, Hamilton, Romy Gonzalez, Murphy.
Adam Engel is important to how this is constructed. We need him to be able to at least play almost every game vs. left handed pitchers to make this truly work. I know he can hit both sides now, but he also can’t seem to stay on the field to count on as a starter so alas this is his role. Murphy plays more then Collins did and Grandal moves around some. Romy can spell everyone and has power and speed so I’m hoping he’s the new Leury but less annoying. If he truly looks over matched again, we may go to a more true utility infielder in Yolbert Sanchez. These are easy problems to solve if they become them.
- Lucas Giolito
- Lance Lynn
- Carlos Rodon
- Dylan Cease
- Michael Kopech with a short leash
Long man/6th starter: Keuchel
I would love to get rid of Keuchel but I couldn’t think of any realistic bad contract swap. I’m putting Kopech in the rotation but we know he only has so many innings and we need him for October so Dallas can perhaps spell him/be a sixth starter for a while if he can get his act together. Otherwise Reylo could do the same and we can just cut Dallas if he truly is washed. I’ve decided Crochet truly is a relief pitcher at this point but perhaps he can grow into a Josh Hader type for a ceiling? I just don’t see how he only threw 130 innings in three years in college, went straight to a MLB pen, and ever gets stretched out from here.
Salary: $167 million approx.
Balanced the lineup with some lefties and a little versatility and let’s bet on the core. We can reevaluate in July. This team really didn’t have many holes to begin with. It’s a good feeling.
Sorry for the weird spacing… WordPress wasn’t my friend I guess.