Mediocre plan for mediocre team


Lets be honest. There isn’t a whole lot to work with here. The team isn’t good enough to trade many minor league guys for major leaguers. There aren’t many good major leaguers that anyone wants and the free agents aren’t even all that great to get excited about. But here we go.


  • Dylan Cease: $8.8M- Tender
  • Andrew Vaughn: $3.7M-Tender
  • Michael Kopech: $3.6M-Tender
  • Touki Toussaint: $1.7M- Non-tender
  • Trayce Thompson: $1.7M- Non-tender
  • Garrett Crochet: $900K- Tender
  • Clint Frazier: $900K- Non-tender
  • Matt Foster: $740K- Non tender


Write “pick up” or “decline” or “rework” after the option.

  • Tim Anderson: $14M ($1M buyout) Decline
  • Liam Hendriks: $15M ($15M buyout, paid $1.5M annually over next 10 years) Decline


Write “exercised” or “takes buyout.”

  • Mike Clevinger: $12M mutual option ($4 million buyout) Exercised- He was the Sox best pitcher last year. I believe he’s already weathered the majority of the storm here. Nobody traded for him at the deadline which may be an eyeopener. I think he will accept the contract.


Try to retain, extend qualifying offer, or let go?

  • Yasmani Grandal (Made $18.25M in 2023)- Gone
  • Elvis Andrus ($3M)- Retain 1/3
  • Bryan Shaw ($720K)- Retain 1/1
  • José Ureña ($720K)- Gone


Elvis Andrus 1/3 – He did well enough last year to get another contract if he wants it. None of the young guys played better than Andrus did and he can also play shortstop if need be.

Bryan Shaw: 1/1 – He pitched everyday so he needs to come back because who the hell is going to take those innings. He did well enough for a million and if he stinks then it won’t cost much.

Amed Rosario: 2/16– Rosario played pretty well for the Guardians before being dealt to the Dodgers. He’s a passable major league shortstop that will bridge the gap to Montgomery and move to second base next season. He has a bit of power and steals some bases.

Eric Lauer: 1/5 – Lauer held down a spot in the Brewers rotation in 2021 and 2022 going 18-12 with a 3.47 ERA. This year was different though as he struggled mightily. He was sent to the minors and the rough year continued down there and he was outrighted off of their roster. He elected free agency. If you listen to Brian Bannister it seems like he likes working with guys that have sort of lost their way. So here is a cheap option for him to work with.

Jack Flaherty- 1/12 (Mutual 12 year option next year or 4 million buyout)- Giving Flaherty the Clevinger deal to see if Ethan Katz can do something with his former player. Flaherty needs help harnassing his control. Maybe Katz and Bannister can bring back his former results.


No. 1: Trade Yoán Moncada to the Royals for Salvador Perez and Mason Barnett– Pretty much a bad contract swap. Moncada goes to the Royals where they have nobody at third base and one of their top prospects is a third baseman in double A. So they spend a little more this year to save a little next year. I don’t want Pedro Grifol, you don’t want Pedro Grifol, but he’s here. As long as he’s here they may as well get his best student. Perez comes in and takes the spot of Grandal. He’s not what he once was but he can still hit some homers and the Sox don’t have anyone close to the majors that is better. Barnett comes in to even out the contract disparity.

No. 2: Trade Dylan Cease to the Orioles for Anthony Santander, Coby Mayo and Hudson Haskin – The Orioles have so many top position player prospects and not a lot of places to put them. Mayo is the big get here. He’s one of their top prospects that is a third baseman and hits a ton. The Orioles have Gunnar Henderson and Jackson Holliday coming quickly, which makes Mayo expendable. Santander is a free agent at the end of the year and the Orioles have already called up two top prospects. Haskin is a little farther down the prospect line for the Orioles but he will be one of the top ones for the Sox. The Orioles need a top of rotation guy and Cease can fit right in there.

No. 3: Trade Bryan Ramos to the Blue Jays for Alek Manoah – Manoah was one of the best starters in baseball in 2022. 2023 was a disaster for Manoah and the Blue Jays. Manoah didn’t appreciate being yo-yo’d up and down. Ramos continued to develop in 2023. He gives the Blue Jays a future third baseman with Matt Chapman likely to move on.


At the end of the day, the Sox gained some much needed power in the lineup, filled their rotation with guys that Bannister can get his hands on. Added a couple guys to their minor league system and won’t do any worse than they did last year.


  1. Benintendi LF
  2. Robert CF
  3. Santander RF
  4. Jimenez DH
  5. Vaughn 1B
  6. Perez C
  7. Mayo 3B
  8. Rosario SS
  9. Andrus 2B

Bench- Lee or Carlos Perez, Remilard or Romy, Sheets or Colas, Sosa or Rodriguez

Starting Pitchers:

  1. Mike Clevinger
  2. Jack Flaherty
  3. Alek Manoah
  4. Michael Kopech
  5. Eric Lauer


  1. Santos
  2. Crochet
  3. Bummer
  4. Shaw
  5. Banks
  6. For the last three spots battle it out with the relievers on the 40 man. I don’t want them spending anything on relief pitching this year. Lets see what the live arms that they have can do.

The final tab is somewhere around 180 million. My original plan had them tendering Toussaint and not paying Flaherty but I figured what the hell make Jerry spend some extra money. I’m putting stock in Brian Bannister in this plan with a starting rotation that has four guys coming off of down years. If he could move them back the other way it could be a cheap and quick way to rebuild that group. The offense should hit somewhere close to 200 bombs without squinting too much. Grifol gets his guy to help the culture. The bullpen has some big arms that need to find their role in the majors. This is their chance. Overall, we won’t win 80 games but hopefully it can be a year where they improve from last year and sort things out for the future.

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I like Rosario but is he a better shortstop than Andrus?
Kudos on finding someone to take Moncada. I didn’t think that was possible. Of course, we’d be stuck with Perez if Getz wakes up and fires Grifol after the miserable year we all expect in 2024.


I like Cease to the Orioles. You went for different things than I did on that trade in my plan, but I like what you did with Mayo (and connecting it with dealing our starting 3B and best 3B prospect). Manoah was a nice idea for Ramos.


I love Cease to the O’s as well. I wonder if they sent Cease and Kopech, if they might be able to pry one more decent prospect. Kopech is an interesting buy low gamble for a team like the O’s. It would not surprise me if Kopech would do better in a different uniform, the vibe on the Sox could not be any worse.

I’d almost even take Salvador Perez if it allowed them to send Yoan packing a year sooner. More likely they will trade a decent prospect for Perez, and Sox fans will be scratching their heads, while Getz scratches his…. But an extra year of Perez for 20M? Even to get rid of Yoan I’d say no to that.

As Cirensica

I like some of the things in your plan like that Cease trade. Dislike some other like the Salvy trade. The starting pitching is very weak.


I also think Baltimore is a good trade partner for Cease. I would, however, only be seeking younger controllable guys. Santander is a fine player, and unquestionably an upgrade for the Sox, but as you yourself mentioned, he is in the last year of his deal and 29 years old. He is projected to make over $12M this season, well more than what Cease will. I think the whole point of dealing him should be to get young cheap controllable guys. Also, I would keep Ramos and try and address the rotation with the loaded FA class. Ramos is one of the few guys i’m not touching. And especially not for a guy that had negative value in his third big league season as a SP. Manoah is trending in the wrong direction.


I like the Moncada trade, I also am swapping him for Salvy. It’s an easy deal.


I like some of these moves quite a bit. The Cease trade is intriguing, Manoah trade, and Rosario signing. Lauer was also an interesting idea though I really don’t love that rotation or bullpen.