My plan is boring. It mostly involves biding time for minor leaguers to develop. Check back with me in a year for discussion of what to do with the ultra-exciting free agent class.
- Jose Abreu, $17.9M tender
- Avisail Garcia, $6.7M tender
- Yolmer Sanchez, $2.1M tender
- Carlos Rodon, $2.0M tender
- Danny Farquhar, $1.5M tender
- Zach Putnam, $1.4M tender
- Leury Garcia, $1.2M tender
- Jake Petricka, $1.1M nontender
- Al Alburquerque, $1.1M nontender
The tender decisions are all pretty easy. Nontendering Petricka and Albuquerque is about clearing roster spaces to protect minor leaguers during the Rule 5 draft, and Petricka’s cascade of injuries inspires pessimism that he will ever be dependable again. I would also cut Saladino and Davidson.
Impending free agents (re-sign, let go or qualifying offer)
- Geovany Soto: Made $2 million in 2017 and is unable to stay healthy so let go
- Mike Pelfrey: Made $8 million in 2017 let go let go for the love of all that is good I do not mind losing in a rebuild year but watching Pelfrey pitch makes me wish I was drinking grain alcohol to kill previous memories of Pelfrey pitching.
- No. 1: Hector Santiago (one year, $3M).
- No. 2: Zach Duke (one years, $5M).
- No. 3: Miguel Gonzalez (one year, $3M).
- No. 4: Anthony Swarzak (one year, $2.5M).
Explanations: All four free agent pitchers can offer possible innings while Rodon is out, before the Sox want to promote Kopech, and if Jones and Putnam cannot perform early in the season. Duke and Gonzalez are building value off of injuries; Santiago had a bad couple of years and his market is such that the pay cut is realistic. Swarzak could well get more from another team, but if there is not bidding war it is worth seeing if he would come back. If any of these guys perform adequately, they are fodder for midseason trades.
You could substitute a bunch of other pitchers for these guys. Hell, invite the just-cut Petricka and Albuquerque to spring training as NRIs. Have an NRI festival to see what short-term innings patches can get the Sox to July.
No. 1: Nothing. Really.
If St. Louis wants to give up Carson Kelly for Avi, sure we talk, but the next round of trades of any consequence have to wait for Nate Jones and Zach Putnam to be healthy and productive. Talk to me in July if they are ambulatory.