This is my third year doing an offseason plan. I’ve generally taken issue with what I’ve seen in my first two years as boring plans which I’ll summarize as
2015: What if we got nostalgic and resigned a bunch of guys who were here 7 years ago?
2016: Lets guess the Chris Sale to Boston return
I expect the majority of plans this year to include Tyler Chatwood because he was mentioned on the podcast once.
I’ve generally gone against the norm for these plans 1) because its more fun and 2) no one ever told me this was a serious exercise.
This year, Jim included a mission statement for what he hoped to accomplish with these plans:
"The point of this project is to survey the community and consider as many realistic players and angles as possible before the Sox start making the moves that count."
So no more 8-player 3-team Billy Hamilton trades and no more signing every closer available on the market and building a bullpen hellscape.
You get a real one from me, but I’m not signing Tyler Chatwood.
Armchair’s Offseason Plan
Arbitration-eligible (with projected salaries from MLBTR):
- Jose Abreu, $17.9M
- Avisail Garcia, $6.7M
- Yolmer Sanchez, $2.1M
- Carlos Rodon, $2.0M
- Danny Farquhar, $1.5M
- Zach Putnam, $1.4M - non-tender
- Leury Garcia, $1.2M
- Jake Petricka, $1.1M - non-tender
- Al Alburquerque, $1.1M - non-tender
This is a preference move for me. I will spend more on the open market, and I understand relievers are volatile and any real spending could blow up quickly. However, Putnam and Petricka are perpetually injured, have 0 trade value, and very limited upside. Alburquerque has a 70 grade name and 40 grade performance. I will keep Farquhar because I’m not confident in Nate Jones being healthy for opening day, and I trust him more than the 3 guys I cut.
Impending free agents (re-sign, let go or qualifying offer)
No. 1: Bud Norris (two years, $11M).
Someone will need to save games. The only reason you keep Minaya as closer is because you view him as passable and feel you can flip him for actual upside (see Sergio Santos). I do not view him as passable in a closer role, so I’ll make a small commitment to someone who is.
No. 2: Miles Mikolas (two years, $22M).
No. 3: Jaime Garcia (one year, $12.5M).
Even with the 2 rooks having good showings last year and a pathway for Carson Fulmer and Michael Kopech into the rotation, we need innings. Reunions with Miguel Gonzalez and Hector Santiago are also possible (and probably much cheaper), but I usually pick intrigue and feel these 2 have more to offer as either flip candidates or innings eaters in surprise years.
No. 4: Jake McGee (three years, $25.5M).
No. 5: Jesse Chavez (one year, $5M).
No. 6: Drew Hutchison (one year, minor league deal).
No. 7: Wily Peralta (one year, minor league deal).
I’m not seeing anything in the farm system that resembles a good left handed reliever. I don’t think McGee takes below market rate, and I’ll roll the dice that he won’t lose the volatility game. Jesse Chavez can eat innings in long relief in case the rotation gives up a ton of bombs (they might) and Hutchison & Peralta are low-risk possible high-reward plays if they can be fixed. If not, cut bait.
Ok, my trade might be a little ridiculous, but the framework has been discussed a little bit here and in other outlets. I’m admittedly a novice when it comes to how surplus value works, so feel free to rip this one if you’re good at math (or just hate the trade).
No. 1: Trade Nicky Delmonico and Gregory Infante to the Braves for Matt Kemp, Kevin Maitan, Joey Wentz, and Drew Waters.
This is the site I’m using to calculate prospect value, which is admittedly out of date: http://www.thepointofpittsburgh.com/mlb-prospect-surplus-values-2016-updated-edition/
My pegged value is based on a thinking that Maitan’s stock is falling while Wentz is rising. I have Maitan dropping from a top 40 prospect to a top 70 and I have Wentz rising from a top 100 prospect to a top 75, giving them roughly 40 million in surplus value (whoever has better knowledge of the math, feel free to correct me). I have Kemp as a sunk asset and Delmonico and Infante providing the surplus value to balance this deal out. I would rather trade Davidson than Delmonico, but I think the Braves would outright reject that deal (and honestly, probably this one – but its more justifiable)
Starting Pitching: $37.6M – I’m treating all team control salaries as $545K and including Jake Peavy’s cap hold and Rodon’s salary here.
SP1 – James Shields (bombs away) - $10M
SP2 – Jaime Garcia - $12.5M
SP3 – Miles Mikolas - $11M
SP4 – Lucas Giolito - minimum
SP5 – Reynaldo Lopez - minimum
I’m not counting on Rodon being healthy for a while. I wouldn’t be surprised if they shut him down the whole year. The back end will hopefully make strides, and Kopech will hopefully be ready for a promotion by the time any of the top 2-3 can be flipped.
Relief Pitching: $26.1M – I’m including Nate Jones’ salary here.
CP – Bud Norris - $5.5M
SU – Juan Minaya - minimum
SU – Jake McGee - $8.5M
LOOGY – Aaron Bummer - minimum
MRP – Danny Farquhar - $1.5M
MRP - ___________ - minimum
Swingman – Jesse Chavez - $5M
I’m also not counting on Nate Jones being healthy for a while. I would be surprised if they shut him down the whole year, but I’m leaving this spot open. Sox have a lot of fringe relievers (I’m counting Carson Fulmer here), and I’ve added Wily Peralta and Drew Hutchison. Additionally, if the Sox see a pitcher they like in Rule 5, they could claim this spot. My fingers crossed candidate via Rule 5 would be current Yankees RHP prospect J.P. Feyreisen and his triple digit fastball. The Yankees have a 40-man crunch and several worthy candidates; he’s one of them, but on the off-chance he’s available, why not?
Position Players: $53.25M
C – Omar Narvaez - minimum
C – Kevan Smith - minimum
1B – Jose Abreu - $17.9M
2B – Yoan Moncada - minimum
SS – Tim Anderson - $1M
3B – Yolmer Sanchez - $2.1M
DH – Matt Davidson - minimum
UTIL – Ryan Cordell - minimum
UTIL – Alen Hanson - minimum
OF – Matt Kemp - $21.5M
OF – Leury Garcia - $1.2M
OF – Avisail Garcia - $6.7M
OF – Adam Engel - minimum
I’m undecided on the utility spots. I’m low on Saladino because of his back and 0 homers. I like Sally’s glove, but I like the upside of Cordell more. Then again, this team looks horrible defensively, so Saladino might win out. If he does, he needs to grow the stache again. Engel showed enough defensive prowess to play 4OF while Tilson knocks off the rust in Charlotte and tries not to die.
TOTAL PAYROLL: ~$116,900,000. I’m $6,900,000 over budget, but I think you take Kemp’s full salary in order to get the prospects and I don’t think you get Jake McGee below market rate, even if it is ultimately an overpay. But hey, if you want to give Jace Fry/Brian Clark/Chris Beck a roster spot, be my guest. It can also get down to 110 if you flip Shields and/or Garcia at the deadline