FanPost

GoGoSoxFan's Offseason Plan

First a short introduction to SSS readers. I am an APOS (Aging not old!) Sox fan. I became a fan in the 1950's GoGo days. I remember when the Sox were consistent winners with a team built on dominate pitching and gold glove caliber defense at C, SS, 2B, and CF. With all the buzz about run prevention lately I think it's time to BRING BACK THE GOGO! The basic premise here is to improve the defense, add some speed, and make John Danks the 5th starter. I wanted a couple of potential bounce-back players to give Rick Hahn the option of flipping them for prospects at the trade deadline. I also added three switch hitters and a lefty to balance the lineup.

Arbitration-eligible:

Write "tender" or "non-tender" after each of the following names:

Explain the toughest calls: Noesi earned another look, but I suspect he will regress to his previous form and make me regret signing him.

Contract options (pick up or buy out):

Free agents (re-sign or let go?):

  • Matt Lindstrom: let go with a 1 year $1m "show me" offer in his hand.

Free agents

Chase Headley (3b)-- Estimates on his cost range from $9m to $18m so I'll take a high average of $15 and hope Hahn can get him for less. 3 years plus option.

Ryan Doumit (C, 1B, LF, RF, DH)-- 1 year @ $2m w/ option He's versatile (although a butcher in the field at any position), a switch hitter, and a bounce-back/ flip candidate. He's the primary DH. If he can hit anywhere close to his career averages (.264/.324/.432 with 17 HRs) he'd be a bargain. He'd also be a valuable trade deadline chip.

Wil Nieves (C)-- 1 year w/ option @ $1.5m He's till a plus defensive catcher, has career OPS+ of 111 vs. LHP; a complement to Flowers.

Zach Duke(LHRP)-- 2 years @ $2.5m Plan "B"---Joe Thatcher at the same price.

Neal Cotts(LOOGY)-- 1 year @ $1.5m w/ option at $2m The Sox need a LOOGY and I am not familiar with the alternatives, so I chose Cotts.

Emilio Bonifacio(Super sub)-- 2 years @$2.5m--He can play anywhere except C and 1B, with speed out the wazoo. His career splits show him a better RH batter, but he's still not much with the bat. He could be a part of the middle infield mix if Semien or Sanchez struggle. He would also be a possible trade deadline chip if the Sox are sellers.

Stephen Drew(SS)-- (See below for why) 1 year@$5m-- Drew still can play the position and is a prime bounce-back candidate. Offer him the job as primary SS and a chance to rebuild his value. If someone emerges from among the Sox' kids to take the job, flip him at the trade deadline.

James Shields(RHSP)--3 years @ $16m--I may be wrong, but I suspect once Scherzer and Lester sign their mega-deals there might not be as big a market for Shields. While it may make sense to sign 2 mid-level SP's instead, I'd rather see the Sox with 3 top of the rotation starters, a place holder for Rodon, and John Danks as the #5 starter. If It takes a couple of million more per year to get this deal done, I'd do it.

Trades

Ramirez to the Yankees for Brett Gardner and a AAA catching prospect. Gardner gives the Sox a solid LH OF for 4 years at a reasonable price(AAV $12m). He can play CF if/when needed and would be a 18 run improvement over Viciedo defensively (BRef Rdrs/yr).

While I like the Danks to the Cubs for Jackson trade, I see another possibility, with or without Danks included in the deal. Connor Gillaspie to the Cubs for one of their flame throwing RHRP's. I don't follow the Cubs enough to know exactly who is who in their pen, but I do know they have four or five 95+MPH relievers on the roster with another wave at AAA beating on the door. Gillaspie gives the Cubs a cheap LH platoon option until they sort out where all their SS prospects play and they have plenty of potential replacements for the bull pen. I think the Sox need another Nate Jones type reliever badly.

Summary

Line up:

Eaton (L) CF

Headley (S) 3B

Abreu (R) 1B

Doumitt (S) DH

Garcia (R) RF

Gardner (L) LF

Drew (L) SS

Flowers (L) C

Semien (R) 2B

Bench:

Nieves (R) C

Bonifacio (S) IF/OF

Sanchez (S) IF

Danks (L) OF

Starters:

Sale (L)

Shields (R)

Quintana (L)

Noesi (R)/ Rodon (L)

Danks (L) (or EJax (R))

Bullpen:

Petricka (R)

Putnam (R)

Guerra (R)

Duke (L)

Cotts (L)

ExCubs flamethrower (R)

Webb (R) or Surkamp (L)

This team is short on power but vastly improved defensively. By BRef's Rdrs/yr Headley is 28 runs better than Gillaspie/Semien at third, Gardner 18 better than Viciedo, Drew 14 better than Alexei and Shields a 37 RA improvement over Carroll/Rienzo in 33 more innings pitched. A full year of Semien vs Beckham gives a net loss of 13 runs, but Nieves more than offsets that at a 27 run improvement over Nieto in an equal amount of playing time (about 295 innings).That's a total of 111 runs in run prevention or just under 7/10 run per game, plus whatever the bullpen additions can add. Last season the Sox scored 660 runs while allowing 758. A reduction of 111 runs allowed gives them a plus run differential without the certain increase in runs scored from having Headley batting in place of Beckham in the order.

The middle infield is a work in progress, but the corners and CF are set for 4 years. Drew fills a hole until someone emerges or is acquired for a long term solution. If that doesn't happen this year we sign another glove first SS for next year. If everything worked to perfection (not likely, but possible) this team could at least contend for a wild card. If they are out of contention early Doumitt, Drew, Bonifacio and possibly a reliever or two become trade bait.

The total payroll equals $99.817m which leaves room to up the ante on Shields if necessary and/or take on salary at the trade deadline if the Sox are buyers.

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