Upnorthsox’s plan A

PREAMBLE

Another crap year with lots to do. My main focus is increasing HR potential in the here and now while looking beyond 2023, add LHH, and if possible improve defense and pitching.

ARBITRATION-ELIGIBLE PLAYERS

Lucas Giolito: $10.8M -Tender
Dylan Cease: $5.3M – Tender
Reynaldo López; $3.3M – Tender
Adam Engel: $2.3M – Non-Tender
Michael Kopech: $2.2M – Tender
Kyle Crick: $1.5M – Non-Tender
José Ruiz: $1M – Tender
Danny Mendick: $1M – Non-Tender. Offer ML contract with $1.25 Mil for making team.

CLUB OPTIONS
Tim Anderson: $12.5M ($1M buyout) – Pickup
Josh Harrison: $5.625M ($1.5M buyout – Decline

PLAYER OPTIONS

AJ Pollock: $13M ($5 million buyout) — EXERCISED

OTHER IMPENDING FREE AGENTS

José Abreu (Made $18M in 2021) – Let Go
Johnny Cueto ($4.2M) – Let Go
Vince Velasquez ($3M) – Let Go
Elvis Andrus ($14.25M) – Let Go

MANAGER

Don’t have any preference but wouldn’t be upset with Kevin Long or Carlos Beltran.

TRADES

⦁ Oakland – Sean Murphy for Andrew Vaughn, Sean Burke.
Murphy is going to be a hot trade commodity, Vaughn puts us in the game but Oakland will want near ready pitching too. I could sub Crochet for Burke if that got it done. Oakland gets a better hitter with 1 more year of control and pitching help. Sox get similar HR potential with much needed up the middle D. Bottom line, if it doesn’t happen I’m ok with that but its my first focus.

⦁ LA Dodgers – Michael Busch, Ryan Pepiot for Tim Anderson, Jose Ruiz.
Now is the time to trade TA but for an AS SS with a very cap friendly contract I need to get at least a two for one. Ruiz is just ballast. LA saves $20+ Mil on an AS SS so they can then use it to persue DeGrom while giving up someone who’s blocked and the other is replacable. Sox get LH 20 HR potential for 2B or someone who can move over to 1st with 2B range. Pepiot is 6th man in 23 and moves into the 5 man after.

⦁ Detroit – Austin Meadows for Kendall Graverman, Romy Gonzalez, Seby Zavala.
30 HR potenial with a LH bat who plays RF. I could sub Sosa for Romy but would prefer not to. For Detroit, Meadows is part of Avila’s failures and a chance to unload for their new closer and a part of a solution to their C problem, if they can get a 2B too they win. For Sox it’s a 30 HR potential yr and a needed LH power bat while waiting on Colas and Gomez.

⦁ Cleveland – Zack Plesac for Davis Martin, Yoelquis Cespedes, Tommy Sommer, and Jarred Kelly.
Plesac locks down the 5th spot with a chance of making this a special rotation. For Cleveland it’s about trading them when they start to get expensive, he’s also had health issues. The Sox get potential at a still affordable price but there’s certainly risk. Some may think this is too much for him, some too little, I think it’s about right to get it done.

⦁ St Louis – Moises Gomez, Gordon Graceffo, Paul DeJong, and Matthew Liberatore for Liam Hendricks, Matt Foster, Garret Crochet, Yasmani Grandal, Wilfred Veras, and $9,000,000.

This is all about the potential of Moises Gomez, if this yr was a fluke then ouch, but if this yr was the beginning then oh baby. The rest is about moving contracts and getting another depth arm. St Louis get 4 players off the major league roster including one of the best closers in the game. For the Sox, the fluke factor is a huge risk but in the end we were looking to shed the Hendricks and Grandal contracts so that could be a net win by itself. If DeJong could find it again it could be big, otherwise move down or move out.

FREE AGENTS

⦁ Trea Turner – SS – 8 yr/$260 Mil opt out after 2

Hard to say how the market will turn out but the opt out after 2 could be a selling point to Turner and JR.

⦁ Omar Narvaez – C – 1yr/$5 Mil could include option yr.

Some like Zunino, I like Narvaez. Plus he cheaper and would be fine being the backup.

⦁ Aristides Aquino – OF – 1yr/$1.75 Mil – Possible non-tender.

Might be the best OF of the non-tenders who can play all 3 spots with some pop, just got to get him over the .200 mark. To be honest, when you look at the FA and possible non-tender market there just isn’t a lot out there in that range.

⦁ Michael Fulmer – RP – 1yr/$5 mil could include option yr.

This is really just a placeholder. What I want to do is spend $8-12 mil on bringing in 3-5 pitchers to compete for spots. Kind of like what I want to do last yr. The problem is that if you try to figure your BP out in October you end up spending $42 mil on 2 pitchers…like last yr.

⦁ (If no Trea Turner) – Jose Iglesias – 1yr/$6.5 mil with $7.5 opt/2nd yr. Something to bridge the gap to Montgomery in case reality steps in. Always have a plan B.

SUMMARY

So lots of risk but lots of HR potential too. If we can realize that HR potential we lead the majors, if we get only 80% it we are still where Philly and Houston were this yr. The question is is could we hit for avg, but hey F the avg. The pitching looks solid with a chance for more. We get the top dog in FA and trade and fit it all in budget. I think the Sheets/Burger platoon at 1B will do fine and mid-year callups of Colas and/or Gomez could ignite the 2nd half. Maybe the best part is that $80 mil of this roster comes off the books in ’24 but all the replacements are in house.

Player Position Salary Bats HR Potential

Austin Meadows RF $ 5,000,000.00 LH 30
Luis Robert CF $ 9,500,000.00 RH 30
AJ Pollock LF $ 13,000,000.00 RH 15
Aristedes Aquino OF $ 1,750,000.00 RH 10
Oscar Colas OF $ 710,000.00 LH 5
Eloy Jimenez DH/OF $ 10,333,333.00 RH 30
Yoan Moncada 3B $ 17,800,000.00 SH 20
Sean Murphy C $ 5,500,000.00 RH 20
Michael Busch 2B/1B $ 710,000.00 LH 15
Paul DeJong SS $ 9,150,000.00 RH 10
Trea Turner SS $ 32,000,000.00 RH 20
Lenyn Sosa SS/2B $ 710,000.00 RH 8
Gavin Sheets 1B/DH $ 750,000.00 LH 15
Jake Burger 1B/3B $ 750,000.00 RH 12
Leury Garcia UT $ 5,500,000.00 SH 5
Omar Narvaez C $ 5,000,000.00 LH 5
$ 118,163,333.00 250

Starters

Lucas Giolito SP $ 10,800,000.00 RHP
Lance Lynn SP $ 18,500,000.00 RHP
Dylan Cease SP $ 5,300,000.00 RHP
Michael Kopech SP $ 2,200,000.00 RHP
Zack Plezac SP $ 4,500,000.00 RHP
Ryan Pepiot SP $ 710,000.00 RHP

Relievers

Joe Kelly RP $ 9,000,000.00 RHP
Reynaldo Lopez RP $ 3,300,000.00 RHP
Aaron Bummer RP $ 3,750,000.00 LHP
Jake Diekman RP $ 3,500,000.00 LHP
Tanner Banks RP $ 710,000.00 LHP
Jimmy Lambert RP $ 710,000.00 RHP
Michael Fulmer RP $ 5,000,000.00 RHP
$ 67,980,000.00

$ 186,143,333.00

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