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Boston Red Sox Roster Projection…Pt II…

…continuing on.  Skipping the bullpen for now because I don’t want to be sick to my stomach.  Actually, it works better on the word count for each column related to the roster projection, but I prefer to ignore that fact here.  The bullpen is truly wretched.  And should (WILL?!) make many fans sick this upcoming season.

Catcher:

Unquestioned starter:  Christian Vazquez

Bench:  Kevin Plawecki

DL:  None

Actual prospects that may contribute this season:  None

Additional flotsam possibly seeing major league time this season:  Jonathan Lucroy

Comments:  Speaking of players unlikely to duplicate their 2019 performance…here comes Vasky!!  10 homers in parts of 4 major league seasons prior to last, then he hits 23.  .246 career batting average, then .276 in 2019.  Etc.

Actually, I like Vazquez and certainly wanted him playing over Sandy Leon last season at all costs.  Just don’t expect any kind of repeat in 2020.

Plawecki. Leon, Lucroy…what’s the difference?  I guess if Vazquez is going to catch 85-90% of the games, there is none.

Infield:

Unquestioned starters:  Xander Bogaerts (SS), Rafael Devers (3B)

Questioned starters:  Mitch Moreland (1B), Jose Peraza (2B)

Bench:  Michael Chavis (1B/2B/3B), Tzu-Wei Lin (2B/SS/3B/OF), Jonathan Arauz (2B/SS/3B)

DL:  Dustin Pedroia (2B)

Actual prospects that may contribute this season:  Bobby Dalbec (#3, 3B/1B), C.J. Chatham (#13, SS/2B)

Additional flotsam possibly seeing major league time this season:  Marco Hernandez, Yairo Munoz

Comments:  Devers had a breakout season last year at age 22.  54 doubles, 32 dingers, 201 hits, led the MAJORS in total bases and perhaps more surprisingly, had a .311 batting average (.254 in his first two years).  Wow.  Is that an early peak, or can we expect more big things going forward?

I think we would all be happy with simply a duplicate season.  Devers has always been regarded as a great talent.  But to even expect a duplicate season may still be a stretch.

That being said, let’s also see where his head is at, seeing that the Sox brass decided to reward him for last season by renewing his contract for less than 700k.  No one asked the Sox to give him a fat long term extension.  But to lowball him like that cannot be good.  Just ask Mookie Betts how he liked it when the team did it to him.

I’d say Bogaerts had a breakout season as well.  But he seemed to be trending that way after his very good 2018.

No question though that he took another giant leap forward.  Then he actually signed a pretty team friendly long term extension himself.  Surprising, but maybe that was pretty good foresight if he wants to settle here, what with the state of the organization…and the world…these days.

Even if they come back to Earth a bit, I don’t think we will have to worry too much about X and Raffy.  Though the additional burden of trying to carry this team could pull them down a bit.  Make no mistake, these guys will be expected to be the big producers.  What about J.D. helping ease some of that burden, you ask?  More on that later.

There seems to be some feel good stories about Peraza coming out now.  I am not sure I care.  As long as he can play a little defense, I should be good with anyone at that position.  Well, except Pedroia, who still doesn’t know when it is time to retire.  My feelings on Pedey are well known.  So let’s move on…

Moreland was re-signed…and…I am actually ok with it.  I can’t believe I just wrote this either.  But for 2.5 mil and a 3 mil club option, really not a bad deal.  Especially now, with the shortened season likely.  He’s useful against right handed pitching, plays good defense, seems to be a good team/clubhouse guy and all that.

We don’t know what to expect from Chavis over a full season yet.  Chavis is probably going to spend some time at second and perhaps third base as well.  Dalbec is not likely ready this year, if ever.  We are at least a couple of years away from Triston Casas (#2 Sox prospect).  One more year of Mitch ain’t gonna kill anyone.

Lin makes the team because he is out of options and Arauz because he was a Rule V pick who needs to stay on the roster for the full season or be offered back to the club he was claimed from for half of the purchase price.  You really don’t need both, so the expanded rosters at the start of the season, plus some injuries should give the team enough time to decide on which one to keep.  Lin has been dabbling in the outfield the past year or so, so this may make him even more useful at the beginning of the season.

Hernandez has gotten some major league time and there is actually something about him I like.  No idea why.  But he was designated for assignment over the winter himself.  No team in the majors appeared to like him as much as I did, so he will be toiling in Pawtucket for the time being.  As will Munoz, a late spring signee after being dumped by the Cards.  Can’t blame the Cards for dumping him actually.  Yairo apparently felt that he wasn’t going to make the team (the first week of March he felt this) and just decided to fly back home to the Dominican Republic…without notifying anyone in the St. Louis organization.  That’s a pretty solid way for a fungible reserve to get released, I would say.

I’d say that based on the circumstances, we will not see any of #1 prospect and the supposed jewel of the Mookie trade, Jeter Downs, this season.  I am not sure we would have seen him anyway if this was a normal season.

And if you were hoping that Chad de la Guerra or Jantzen Witte were finally going to make it to the bigs, I’d say you’re bound to be disappointed as well.  Sorry for this news.

Next:  The conclusion…

Mookie!

FINALLY.  Mookie Betts has been traded.  Officially.

Leave it to Red Sox ownership.  Ask for two players they know are already injured in the initial Mookie Betts/David Price deal.  Then when they find out they are REALLY injured (one of them anyway), proceed to hold up all the teams involved in the deal by demanding more compensation.  And yes, I blame ownership and not Chief Baseball Officer Chaim Bloom.  The owners were the impetus for the deal, no two ways about it.

Actually, come to think of it, former GM Dave Dombrowski would have taken the injured players, even if they were more seriously injured than previously thought.  Then have the chance to back out, but say, “nah, we are good!”  Drew Pomeranz deal anyone?

It’s absolutely mind boggling how this ownership group, you know, the ones that oversaw a team that ended an 86 year World Series drought, then proceeded to win three more titles under their stewardship as well, can be so despised.  How’s that for a run-on sentence?!  The answer is:  cry poor mouth when you have more money than you know what to do with.

Listen, when one runs a business, you don’t want your costs spiraling out of control.  In this particular case, it’s paying an incredible amount of luxury tax.

But the Red Sox have the money.  They print their own money for Chrissakes.  Oh, and they charge an arm and TWO legs for EVERYTHING that revolves around the local nine.  Please buy a brick everyone!!

I cringe when I think of primary owner John Henry once calling the Sox a “small market team”.  Sigh…

The Sox could have gotten under the luxury tax by trading the useless Jackie Bradley Jr. and assorted other flotsam and jetsam.

But they chose their best player, and when all are healthy, their second best pitcher.  While eating half of that pitchers’ remaining salary.

For some fans, that is hard to swallow.

Me?

I actually don’t mind the deal.  Despite the fact that I too, feel like this ownership group is a bunch of arseclowns.  And that includes the spirit of Larry Lucchino, who was around for the early days.

I’ve said it before and I will say it again:  I was never trying to run Mookie Betts out of town.

All I know is that if I worked for the Sox and I felt that I could not re-sign Mookie before he hit free agency, I would explore all deals for him.  I do not want to lose him for a mere compensatory pick in return.

Betts was hell bent on getting to free agency.  And that is every bit his right to do so.  He presumably would be looking for the biggest contract.  Again, his right.  Only a handful of teams could pay him big dollars.  But there would be teams willing to do that, that much is for sure.

My feeling is that if Mookie got to free agency, he would not be coming back.  Even if the Sox ended up opening the vault, in the end, he would have been offended that they did not do so right from the get-go.  No doubt in my mind.  He would have felt disrespected.  That’s just what happens with athletes.

He was going.  And the Sox needed to get something in return.

As an aside, I am not giving out 12 year, 420 mil contracts to ANYONE, unless his name is “Mike Trout”.  And even then it’s a lot of commitment.  If I am in charge, no matter how much dough I have at my disposal, those deals are a little too long and risky for me.  In any sport.  Sorry.  But if I am running the business no way I do that.  Then again, no way I pay JBJ 11 mil this year either.  So, there’s that.

Could they have traded Betts at the deadline and gotten a bigger haul?  In my mind that was unlikely.  Not for a mere two months of service time.  Not to mention that if the Sox are in contention (which they should be EVERY YEAR), trading your best player at that time might not be received kindly by Red Sox Nation.

Poor Bloom.  He came into this sorry situation.  Once again ownership didn’t help by publicly announcing their desire (mandate?) to get under the luxury tax limit.  Tying Blooms’ hands a bit.  Then again, he didn’t have to take the job I guess.

But now he has to find a manager too.  Well, I guess he didn’t really have to look hard if they are just going to announce bench coach Ron Roenicke as the hire soon.  Nevermind…

The rest of the players involved?

I would have eaten 95.9 of Prices’ 96 mil remaining on his contract to get him the hell out of town.

Sorry.

This guy is a loser.  Good riddance.

Yeah, he won a couple of games in the 2018 World Series and should have been MVP.  Good for him.  The rest of his tenure other than the last two weeks of the 2018 playoffs (no one remembers he sucked early in those playoffs) was less than stellar.  Especially for 31 mil per.

Sure he had a great record in Boston.  And started out nice last season.  But the overall body of work was less than impressive…of course when you factor in what you would expect for 217 mil overall.

And the attitude?  Ugh.  Yeah, his teammates loved him.  But was that a good thing?  He got them all to gang up on former Sox pitcher and now broadcaster Dennis Eckersley.  All because Eck said he took too long in between pitches.  Or mildly criticized Eduardo Rodriguez in one of E-Rods’ starts.  Or so says Price anyway.

Please.  The subtraction of Price has me overjoyed.  I don’t care if I have to look at Ryan Weber and Hector Velasquez every five days.  I already have to look at Martin Perez every five days now.  Can Weber/Velasquez be worse?  Brian Johnson sure could be, so hopefully, he stays buried in Pawtucket.

The return?  Jury is out.

Alex Verdugo supposedly has talent.  We will see.  Just hope he doesn’t beat up a homeless guy outside Fenway after he goes 0-5 one night.  Ok, that was harsh.  But there is supposedly some “off field” stuff with him.  So we will see how all that goes.  Oh, and a back injury at 23 years old can’t be promising.

The other two guys I know zero about.  Jeter Downs may have some promise, but who knows?  This Wong dude can catch and play infield.  Nice.  But let’s see that in the majors.  By 2025 I would say.

And the “one that slipped away”?  Brusdar Graterol?

I don’t know much about him either.  Except he throws gas.  And is apparently on his way to 400 lbs.

The Twins had no problem dealing him, so maybe I shouldn’t be so worried about what he MIGHT do.

Until he goes 21-2, 2.34, 322 Ks in 2022 I guess…

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