The Sox are in the gutter looking up because JR, Kenny and Rick failed to take advantage of the rebuild. When premium stud free agents became available, the Sox chose to add secondary players or rookies rather than studs. Teams like Texas, which lost 102 games two years ago, chose a different route adding Seager and Semien to the young core while we stood tall with Elvis Andrus, Oscar Colas and Lenyn Sosa. The Sox record of trying to get by while shopping in the bargain bin has not worked out.
The exercise we are taking here is not what we think the sox will do (that will be bubkus). Instead, we suggest what they SHOULD do. It’s time to go with STUDs, FULDs and DUDS. Let me explain.
- Dylan Cease: $8.8M—Tender
- Andrew Vaughn: $3.7M—Tender
- Michael Kopech: $3.6M—-Tender
- Touki Toussaint: $1.7M—-Tender
- Trayce Thompson: $1.7M—Rework minor league deal
- Garrett Crochet: $900K—Tender
- Clint Frazier: $900K—Rework Minor League Deal
- Matt Foster: $740K—-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) UPDATE: Sox bought it out for 4 million. Decision goes away although we could consider him if others don’t sign.
OTHER IMPENDING FREE AGENTS
Try to retain, extend qualifying offer, or let go?
- Yasmani Grandal (Made $18.25M in 2023) Let go
- Elvis Andrus ($3M) Let Go
- Bryan Shaw ($720K) Retain $750,000
- José Ureña ($720K) Retain $720,000
No. 1: Cody Bellinger (Five years, $112,574.420 First year 18 million/Opt out after 3). Bellinger would be considered a STUD, joining Robert as the only Studs. You win championships with Studs (See Texas with Seager and Semien or Philadelphia with Harper)
No. 2: Yoshinobu Yamamoto (8 years $218m /First year 24 million/Opt out after 4 years) Yamamoto is also a Stud joining Cease in that rotation. Just Baseball predicted this contract without the opt out. Personally, it seems high but if we have to open up the wallet and let the moths fly out, so be it.
No. 3: Trevor Bauer (2 years at 24 million/First year 8 million with mutual option) Bauer is a STUD giving the Sox three CY Young type pitchers.
No. 4: Yariel Rodriguez (4 Years 32 Million). Rodriguez is a Cuban pitcher who posted a sub 2 era in the NPB this year. He’s 26 or 27 and did I mention he’s Cuban.
No. 5: Sign Former Upper Level Dude (FULD) Scott Kingery (1 year 1 million). What went wrong after he signed a crazy contract in his first year? I don’t know but he can fill in at second, short and the outfield.
No. 6: Sign FULD Miguel Andujar, FULD Zach Plesac. Andujar was a hitting machine in NY and Plesac was a pitching stud in Cleveland. What went wrong with these two FULDs? We’re going to turn them around. Kyle Lewis, another former top prospect, may be removed from the 40 man in Arizona. He could compete with Thompson for 26th man.
No. 7: Sign Jordan Montgomery 6 years 110 Spotrac. He’s our lefty starter. If he wants an opt out after 2 years, we’ll put it in.
Propose trades that you think sound reasonable for both sides, and the rationale behind them. A good example of a bad idea:
No. 1: Trade Davis Martin to Brewers for Brice Turang, who is a former upper level dude (FULD). If necessary, we can throw in a middle infielder not named Montgomery. Turang was a top prospect for the Brewers at short but his move to second didn’t work out at the plate. Even though he only batted .218, he stole 26 bases and was a solid fielder at second. He’d move back to his natural position at short. I’m looking at the number of errors Montgomery makes each year in the minors (20 or so) and I think, he may not be a shortstop. Turang only made six errors last year at second and none at short.
No. 2: Trade Foster for Joey Bart, who is another former upper level dude (FULD) who now is relegated behind two catchers and he’s out of options. The guy was the number 2 pick and he can catch although his hitting has been going in the wrong direction. Perhaps he catches fire. At least he can catch better than Zavala or Grandal. Those two had gloves made of stone. Lee needs more minor league work with the bat.
No. 3: is a steal from another plan. Trade Bummer for Sam Huff and Justin Foscue. Huff and Foscue are out of options. Both are FULDs. Bummer can benefit from the sterling defense of Texas.
Bench: Kingery (IF/OF), Andujar (3B/LF/1b) Thompson (OF), Bart (C). A rule five guy could replace Thompson also.
Rotation: Yamamoto, Bauer, Cease, Montgomery
5th Pitcher tryouts and bullpen: Touki, Kopech, Plesac, Lambert, Urena,
Bullpen: Santos, Rodriguez, Shaw, Leasure, Banks, Scholtens
The payroll comes in just shy of 180 million with the buyouts. It is 184 million if we count Leury but I don’t count him.
You win with STUDS and this team will have studs. Will the Sox do it? Of course not, the team will continue to overpay for mediocre players. Bill Veeck said it a long time ago and it is true. Veeck said it is the high price for the superstars that worries him, it is the high price of mediocrity. Let’s not shop for mediocrity when studs are everywhere.