Here we go, story stream! I choose you!
This is all a fictional story, and the longer this goes, the more fictional and absurd it’s probably going to get. There is no stopping this runaway train.
Outside J.D. Martinez’s House - November 2nd, 10:15 PM EST
Cora - “Not really, although I certainly feel like I’m about to. What’s the plan, sir?”
Henry - “We’re going to take the Stanton offer. I might be making a big mistake, but I think it will work out. Our rotation is set, even if we trade away Eduardo Rodriguez, to be frank. He wasn’t a big part of my 2018 plans, because I figured he’d be battling injuries long enough that someone else would arise, anyways, likely a depth signing. What hurts most is taking on the entire salary. He has 10 years guaranteed left at a total of 285 million. There’s a 25 million dollar club option for one more year at the end of it, that at least seems to lower the average annual value a tad. All told, it’s about twice the amount of money for Martinez, but also spread over twice the years.”
Cora - “So what you’re saying is that you believe Stanton to be more likely to produce for 10 or 11 years than you believe J.D. Martinez is for 5 or 6.”
Henry - “Either that, or fatigue is getting to me, and I just wanted to make a move. Here’s hoping it’s the former.”
Cora - “Excellent, so how do you want to break the news to Scott Boras and J.D. Martinez? It’s kind of awkward to go in there and say you’ve landed another player, and no longer have interest.”
Henry - “See, I was thinking, we’re not going to do that. The Stanton news is undoubtedly already breaking on Twitter, even though we’ve yet to even call Giancarlo ourselves to see if he’d waive his no trade clause, but there’s no reason to say ‘never’ on J.D. either.”
Cora - “Sir, we frankly do not have the money as constructed.”
Henry - “The key term there is ‘as constructed’. I’m the new owner, right? I have lots of money, right? I want to win a World Series, right?”
Cora - “Correct on all accounts, sir, or at least I hope so.”
Henry - “Well, my thinking is, I’m willing to potentially absorb a contract to get under the cap hold that specific non-performers have on us. If we free up money via a Rick Porcello or Hanley Ramirez dump, among other things, we can certainly fit J.D. Martinez while only going slightly above the Luxury Tax. With our first year status, the penalties won’t be too huge if we don’t go too crazy.”
Cora - “You are a madman. But I can’t wait to see what you come up with. As it is, I’m plenty happy, and think we’ve got a good shot of winning a World Series.”
Henry - “That said, we don’t need to go the J.D. route, either. We can wait and see if the market collapses on him, or we can go a totally different direction. There are a handful of other players I’m really interested in, and we could get them via the same way we’d hypothetically fit J.D.”
Suddenly, the door opens.
Martinez - “Are you two gentlemen alright? It’s quite cold out, and you guys have been standing out there for over 20 minutes now.”
Henry - “Thank you, J.D., we’re fine. We were just about to go back in.”
He turns to Alex Cora, and whispers really low.
Henry - “Just let me handle this, ok?”
Inside J.D. Martinez’s House - November 2nd, 10:25 PM EST
Henry - “Sorry for the interruption, gentlemen, that was an important call.”
Boras - “I agree. I just saw on the twittersphere that you have agreed to terms on a Giancarlo Stanton trade. However, he, like all rational human beings, is asleep right now, and couldn’t be reached right away. I’m sure his agent is buzzing trying to get ahold of him.”
Henry - “Yeah, it was a case of us getting exactly what we needed, and getting it at a price we thought was fair.”
Boras - “I thought our offer was pretty fair, but I understand. I don’t see our price dropping right now. We’re holding pat at 6/165.”
Henry - “I’m sorry, gentlemen, but at present, we can’t agree to those terms. We’re already above the Luxury Tax threshold, if this trade goes through, and agreeing to anything would lead to us being above the harsh penalty area. We simply cannot afford to be that crazy, yet.”
Boras - “Well, I do hope you will keep in touch with us, because I do believe Boston to be the best fit for J.D.”
Henry - “We will. I wish you well, J.D., and hope you get the contract you and your agent are looking for.”
Martinez - “Thank you, Mr. Henry. I’m a little peeved that I wasn’t the top priority like I thought I was, but it’s no bones. You got a superb talent in Giancarlo Stanton, if he waives his no trade clause. I’d love to hit next to him in the order sometime, if the stars ever align.”
Several weeks pass. Giancarlo Stanton did end up waiving his no trade clause in this universe, because he wanted to win, and the only other serious offer for him came from St. Louis, a place that did not exist on any coast line. He had hoped the Dodgers, Giants, or Padres were going to be in on him, because he had preferred to be closer to home on the west coast, but Boston was far from a bad landing spot for him.
Alexander Henry had been working the phones, trying to gauge interest in either Hanley Ramirez or Rick Porcello, as moving those contracts would seem to be crucial in improving the roster further. There had been internal discussions about just outright releasing one of the two, as they had done with Pablo Sandoval. It’s not that these players weren’t performing, but that they needed a change of pace.
With so many decisions yet looming, Alexander Henry turned to Susan one day, to get a different perspective.
Alexander Henry’s Office - November 22nd, 11:00 AM EST
Susan - “Sir, why on earth are we working today? Tomorrow is Thanksgiving.”
Henry - “Because, I’ve lost control of my life.”
Susan - “Sir, cut it out, you know you are being melodramatic.”
Henry - “Right. Well, we got the big bat we needed, but I’m finding it harder than I thought to just get rid of excess salary. We have a lot of different ways we could go, but none of them are working out in my head. Hanley Ramirez is a legitimate bat when he’s healthy, his 2016 season is totally repeatable. I don’t want to lose him if he’s going to be able to do that. He can also theoretically play first base next year.
Susan - “That’s true. As things stand, you have a full outfield, and likely have Giancarlo Stanton playing DH most of the time. So you need a place to put Hanley Ramirez, so it’s either at first, or getting rid of him.”
Henry - “There’s also Rick Porcello. It’s tough to justify now that we’ve moved Eduardo Rodriguez, but he didn’t perform all that well either, and he represents another 20 million we could cut. And he’s probably more appealing as a trade candidate due to being able to pitch a lot of innings.”
Susan - “However, like you said, with no Rodriguez, losing more depth just doesn’t make a whole lot of sense, unless you pick up a depth guy who can replace him. It’s not even that Pretty Ricky pitched poorly last season. He just didn’t pitch to Cy Young form like he did in 2016.”
Henry - “Yeah, right now we’ve got Chris Sale, Drew Pomeranz, David Price, Rick Porcello, and Steven Wright in our prospective rotation. I like that rotation a lot. But Pomeranz is a free agent at the end of the season, and I’m not sure I like our internal options a lot yet. We might end up shoehorning ourselves into going after pitching in the 2018-19 free agent period, when I’d like to have flexibility to make the best moves possible.”
Susan - “You know, you wouldn’t be here having this discussion with me if you’d skipped out on both Martinez and Stanton, and chased a Carlos Santana, right?”
Henry - “Yeah, but I don’t know if he solved our biggest issue at the time. He’s a phenomenal talent, and would be a great guy to have right in front of Stanton, since he gets on base so easily. I’m really hoping we can acquire him, still. I’ve kept in contact with his agents, and asked them to give us a bit of time to solve things on our end. I figure that market has taken enough shape without us, though.”
Susan - “Well, sir, I am not going to console you. You made your bed, now you have to sleep in it. With that said, I think you are taking things too seriously, and need to relax. The fan support is through the roof, and that’s going to end up leading to a ton of sell out crowds. You are going to make enough money back that you’ll ultimately end up ahead, regardless of what you do at this point.”
Henry - “Thanks, Susan. Please, go home, be with your family. It is Thanksgiving tomorrow, after all.”
Susan - “I will. Enjoy your Thanksgiving.”
Susan makes to leave, and is out the door, when she says one last thing.
Susan - “For what it’s worth, since it is almost Thanksgiving, I’ll give you my two cents. Don’t do anything too crazy. As it stands, the team is a championship contender. It’s all well and good to go for broke, but keep in mind you have a lot of young stars that are about to hit big pay days. It would suck to lose them in the pursuit of a World Series ring.”
What will you do?
This poll is closed
Call up Agent Boras, and see if J.D. Martinez’s price has dropped
Get involved with trying to get rid of either Hanley Ramirez or Rick Porcello (or another player! Name them in the comments below).
Go home and enjoy Thanksgiving with your family.
This poll will end on November 24th, 2017, at 10:00 PM EST. It’s a long period, because I will be away from my computer for the next week. So why not give you all that time to make your decision?
Happy early Thanksgiving, everyone. Hope it’s great for all of you.