There are so many weaknesses where to start? There are no solutions in the farm system. There is little to trade. Almost nobody on a 101 loss team should be safe. Let’s get better pitchers, better defense, solve the long term 2B and RF problem, buy time for the catching prospects and the kids in A/A+ ball, get faster and get on base better.
- Dylan Cease: Tender $8.8M
- Andrew Vaughn: Tender $3.7M
- Michael Kopech: Tender $3.6M
- Touki Toussaint: Tender $1.7M
- Trayce Thompson: Non-tender $1.7M
- Garrett Crochet: Tender $900K
- Clint Frazier: Non tender $900K
- Matt Foster: Non-tender $740K
- Tim Anderson: Pick up $14M ($1M buyout)
- Liam Hendriks: Decline, thanks and best wishes $15M ($15M buyout, paid $1.5M annually over next 10 years)
- Mike Clevinger: Exercises $12M mutual option ($4 million buyout)
OTHER IMPENDING FREE AGENTS
- Yasmani Grandal (Made $18.25M in 2023) Go
- Elvis Andrus ($3M) Retain AAV $4.5M
- Bryan Shaw ($720K) Retain 1 yr. estimated AAV $1M
- José Ureña ($720K) Go
Jordan Montgomery 4 years; AAV $18.4M LH #1 starter
Kyle Gibson 2 years; AAV $8.6M RH starter
Alex Wood 2 years; AAV $5.9M LH starter
Dylan Floro 2 years; AAV $3M relief
Matt Moore 2 years; AAV $ 3.4M relief
Travis Jankowski 2 years; $2M 4th outfielder
Justin Turner 2 years; $8.7M DH /backup 1B
Trade Dylan Cease to Reds for 2B India, SS de la Cruz and C Stephenson. Reds need starters and have a surplus of infielders. India plays 2B, de la Cruz to backup SS and Stephenson is #1 catcher. De la Cruz adds a lot of speed. With Andrus, TA, India, de la Cruz Sox now have middle infield depth without relying on Sosa, Gonzalez, Remillard, etc. except as injury backups.
Trade Eloy Jimenez to the Angels for SP Chase Silseth. The Angels will need a DH. Silseth is a young starter with upside and is making MLB minimum. Call this a salary dump with the Sox getting better production at DH for less money with Turner.
Trade Clevinger and Crochet to the Rockies for RF Nolan Jones. The Rockies need pitching and have a lot of OF options. The Sox get a young talent (3.7WAR in 2023) with a lot of upside at MLB minimum salary and five years of control, and a LH bat.
Trade Colson Montgomery to Boston for SP Nick Pivetta and C Reese McGuire. Boston has Trevor Story who is underperforming at SS and could move to 2B. Boston has no strong SS options so they may be interested in #11 prospect Montgomery to fill the gap in 2025 or earlier. A #11 should get a back- end starter and a back- up catcher. With de la Cruz our Sox don’t need Montgomery. Sox are selling high before Montgomery gets exposed in AAA.
The 26-man: Starters: Montgomery, Gibson, Pivetta, Silseth, Wood, Toussaint. Relief: Bummer, Floro, Moore, Kopech (too soon to give up on him), Santos, Patiño (talent to take a chance; Bannister can fix him?), Shaw. Catchers: Stephenson, McGuire. (Korey Lee and Perez AAA depth). Infielders: Moncada (too expensive to trade and so let’s hope for the 2023 late season Yoan in 2024), Anderson, India, Andrus, Vaughn, de la Cruz,. OFs: Robert, Jr., Benintendi, Jones, Jankowski. DH: Turner.
Net 10 players have to address to the 40-man, but that shouldn’t be a problem. DFA/release/non tender: Sheets, Frazier, Thompson, Haseley, Grandal, Ureña, Foster, Cronin, Ramsey, Ramirez.
Total annual value of this 26-man payroll plus Leury’s dead money salary, Liam’s payoff, Cot’s injured list amount and “40 man in minors” per Cot’s is $171.9M.
Projected WAR is 30.1 v. 2023’s 20.8. This roster has better speed, defense, will walk more and hit for more power than the 2023 team. Projected WAR is roughly equivalent to 2023 84-78 Miami Marlins. This could put the Sox in contention for the AL Central title in 2024, increases young controllable depth with better proven talent than anyone in the AAA/AA Sox farm system and doesn’t hamstring the Sox with long term contracts. J. Montgomery is only 30 years old, and a southpaw. (Snell would be an alternative to Montgomery but he is represented by Boras.)
The roster is also a good mix of young and veterans, and many of the latter have been on championship teams.