In response to jasko2248's comment:
So now I have to respond to the response in boldface or something.
2. Mike Napoli will accept a Qualifying Offer under the realization that it handicaps his negotiating standpoint, especially given his hip condition.
My guess is they bring him back for less than qualifying offer, but 2 years with incentives to kick in a 3rd year.
Either way, he is probably back. 6 months ago, the Sox were willing to go 3 years. So even accepting a QO is a reduced overall tenure at approximately the same annual rate.
3. The Sox will trade Ryan Dempster in ST, assuming there are no injuries to SP. It is unlikely they want 6 SPs with no options, especially with 3 of them in the final years of their deals.
Possible, but they love the leadership he brought to this staff and the innings he gave them. Also a ridiculously expensive bullpen possibility for one year. He's not popular on this board, but he gave the Sox exactly what they were hoping for.
I am against trading SP for depth reasons, as there is no such thing. Dempster did do what they wanted, but if he is bumped from the rotation, the Sox might do with him what he wants – namely get him in a rotation somewhere. I think the Sox will move a SP against my wishes, and it will likely be one of the three final contract year guys (Dempster, Lester, Peavy). As Dempster is the least likely to merit a QO when all is said and done, he becomes the most likely to move. And while Sox fans think of him as worthless, MLB management will not. His short contract might not even neceesitate a payout, but even if it does, it is for one year. The Angels strike me as one team that could be interested.
4. The Sox will exercise Lester’s option. No brainer.
Already did. My guess is an extension gets done fairly quickly after postseason.
Technically, I believe they have not yet, but announced they plan to. Really, I wanted a nice round 15 in the plan and had to include ones like this.
5. Ellsbury will reject a QO and leave via free agency. San Francisco will be his new home. Stop by and visit.
Agreed. There will be as many as 8 teams in hunt. My darkhorse is Texas.
There are a lot of candidates, but with Zito and his contract leaving and the year-in / year out need for offense in SF, they do become the most immediate, obvious fit. Texas is another good choice, although Leonys Martin might be making a case for Ellsbury being more of a luxury.
7. The Sox will not pursue Pence or Choo, especially if either receives a QO, which is likely in both cases. (In Choo’s case, it is definte.)
Agreed...Chances less than 5% on both. Pence less than 1%, but there will be at least 200 "sign Pence" posts between now & the day he signs.
There already is a movement for Pence, but the Sox seem unwilling to pursue players who want long term deals, and they were reluctant to surrender a second round draft pick and corresponding slot money last year. No way will they surrender first round pick / money this year.
8. The Sox will trade Mike Carp for an A-ball prospect with actual potential. Expect Houston and Miami to be involved, although I would expect Oakland to be a player as well. Cincinnati is a longshot party that should be interested.
I completely disagree. Sox LOVE this guy. He is versatile, cheap and has swing made for Fenway. . I think he is here for long time.
I like Carp, too, but he has played himself into a better role, and one the Sox don’t have. He always flew under the radar as a prospect for the Mets, but he might have legitimate potential and a cheap price tag that puts him in a position that his reduced role might be less valuable than the future of the return.
Bear in mind, it is easy to like Carp when he is posting a .900OPS. Like the guy or not, can you foresee a situation where he struggles next year? Possibly to do his limited role? He was available very cheaply for a reason. “Selling high” is not the easiest call to make, but there are times when it is the wisest course of action.
9. The Sox will DFA Dan Butler, Steven Wright, Brandon Snyder, and Alex Wilson and possibly Alex Hassan. Not all will leave the organization, as one or two might be retained as minor league free agents. (For you Butler supporters, it appears as though Butler’s best opportunity – to come to the majors for an injury to the backup catcher and hold the fort on the bench - has been usurped by Ryan Lavarnway.)
Highly doubt Butler and Wright going anywhere, but hate to speculate on prospects. Snyder gone.
Butler (not Billy, discussed below) exists on the 40-man as someone to bring up if the BUC goes down and you don’t want an actual prospect rotting on the bench. This really is a necessary role. However, Lavarnway has taken that role, and Butler now represents nothing more than an occupied 40-man spot that might be coveted this off-season. Wright has simply not shown anything, and will be dropping rapidly on the SP depth charts. Like Butler, he will be in a position where the 40-man spot he occupies is more valuable than he is.
10. The Sox will add the following to the 40-man roster: Brentz, Cecchini, Ranaudo, Almanzar, and Luis Diaz, among others. Bubble options include Aaron Kurcz, Derrik Gibson, Keury de la Cruz and Keith Couch. Couch and Kurcz would be added moreso for depth in 2014 than for potential beyond.
Not worth time guessing, but nice work. Very possible.
I blame the Magic 8 ball in particular for these calls, but they are all reasonable. Gibson is the real questionable one, but everyone always has that one questionable one. I know some might add Couch and/or Kurcz are equally questionable, but I explained their inclusion in the original post.
11. The Sox will lose Chris Hernandez and possibly one of Couch, Jeremy Hazelbaker, Kurcz or Alex Wilson in the Rule V Draft.
Wayyyy too many variables for me, but see above.
This, like number 10, falls into the category of “things I got overly specific on, and as realistic as they are, will still wow me if I am right.” But I can more than see the appeal of every player mentioned, except maybe Hazelbaker. I think most organizations already have a guy like that.
I put LHSP/LHRP Chris Hernandez as all but gone in the Rule V draft. He could pitch in MLB already, is left-handed, and will find a niche somewhere this season with some low budget team that has a lot of roles to fill. I would actually be surprised if he was not taken (assuming he is not on the 40-man, against my predictions.)
12. The primary free agents the Sox will pursue this offseason will be Carlos Beltran and Edward Mujica. They will sign others to minor league deals, but no one worth mentioning.
Zero chance on Beltran unless you trade Ortiz or Victorino, which isn't happening. Too many reasons to list, but I'm sure you get it, Notin.
Ah, you assume too much.
The Sox will sign a FA. We can probably agree Mujica does make sense, as it looks like his role has already been taken by Rosenthal (and Motte returns) so he will be available, fills a need in either set up or closer, and is certainly worth a look. As for Beltran, there are other possibilities, such as Bradley not starting in Boston right away, which is possible. How often do contending teams use 2 rookies in the starting lineup, especially on opening day? Also, Gomes and/or Nava may not be part of 2014. We’ve all seen these “how do they fit everyone in” scenarios before – think Mueller, Millar, Hillenbrand , Giambi, Ortiz in 2003 – and yet somehow everything works out one way or another.
But make no mistake, the Sox WILL pursue an outside free agent, whether they need one or not. There is a certain PR aspect to spending money, whether the improvement is real or perceived.
14. If the Sox do pursue a first baseman via trade, their primary target will be Billy Butler. The Royals will not only want the moon in exchange, but insist the Sox have it plated in gold first.
The Sox would shatter record for triple ays with Butler/Ortiz hitting back to back. Don't see it at all.
What is the record for hitting into Triple Plays? I want to say the Angels and Rangers (Or Orioles? Not sure.), who I believe hit into 3 apiece in 1979. (The Red Sox and A’s turned 3 apiece that year, also a record. How many remember that awesome one in Texas started by Jack Brohamer’s diving catch in mid-right field?) I know the Sox already hold the single game record for hitting into triple plays, with 2, against the Twins in 1990.
Anyway, the overall criticism is kind of silly, since neither Ortiz nor Butler have ever hit into a TP, and KC won’t give him up unless maybe they can get Lester or possibly Doubront. (Doubtful they settle for Felix, even with the extra years of control.) Butler is this year’s Alex Gordon. He will get his mention in stories on mlbtr that ultimately end with status quo.
And really, once Napoli is extended, this becomes a non-issue anyway.
15. Steven Drew will not receive a QO and depart via free agency. St. Louis is a good guess, as is either New York team.
Agreed...Boegarts is your starting SS next year. Despite your reluctance to embrace Middlebrooks, he will be in the middle of the line-up next year with a healthy wrist & a healthy attitude.
While I have very little faith in Middlebrooks, I have accepted he is the 3B of the immediate future. I never cheer against him. I do not have a derogatory nickname for him. And I never clamor on board with posts pointing out his failures whenever he has one. I just hope he improves, and would like him to do so rapidly. Nevertheless, I do not think he is very good overall, and would have preferred him dealt over Iglesias, which I have stated repeatedly.
But yeah. Bogaerts will be the SS. They did not trade Iglesias in order to move Bogaerts to 3B. Occam’s Razor and all that.