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Offseason Choose Your Own Adventure - Santana or Machado?

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We’ve lost control of the simulation. It’s gone AWOL.

Baltimore Orioles v Tampa Bay Rays
This week, a surprise entrant sneaks into the simulation.
Photo by Joseph Garnett Jr./Getty Images

It’s been a while, so I’d forgive you for forgetting what’s been going on. Here’s the story stream if you want a refresher.


Alexander Henry’s Office - December 8th, 2:25 PM EST

Henry - “All the same, Director Head...”

Head of Finance - “That’s Mr. Head of Finance, sir.”

Henry - “Right, well, all the same, I think Carlos Santana is probably the missing piece in our puzzle. We already have Stanton in the outfield, and we whiffed on Ohtani, and I just don’t think paying J.D. Martinez a ton is the right move.”

Los Angeles Dodgers v Arizona Diamondbacks
This appears to be the end of the simulation Sox’s plans to get J.D. Martinez. It was a close vote, but the people have spoken, and J.D. Martinez inches closer to signing with the Yankees, as a result of the Sox acquiring Stanton.
Photo by Sarah Sachs/Arizona Diamondbacks/Getty Images

Head of Finance - “Hey, you don’t have to sell it to me, I’m not much of a baseball fan, to be honest. I just do this because I’m good at it, and because you pay me a lot to do it.”

Henry - “... how much do I pay you again?”

Head of Finance - “Anywho, I’ll fax the numbers to your assistant, and you can get in touch with the agents. If you need me for anything further, I’ll be running a mini-audit in advance of tax season, to see what expenditures we can cut.”

The Head of Finance left so quickly, you’d think his house was on fire. It was probably for the best because it turns out he gets paid a lot to do his job. Probably too much. No matter.


Alexander Henry’s Office - December 13th, 4:30 PM EST

In a couple days, Alexander Henry got to work.

Octagon Agent - “Hello, (name that could not be heard because a plane passed overhead) speaking, who am I speaking with?”

Henry - “Ah, (busy cars rushing by), it’s me, Alexander Henry, acting General Manager and owner of the Boston Red Sox. I have interest in your client, Carlos Santana.”

Divisional Round - Cleveland Indians v New York Yankees - Game Four
Carlos Santana has hit two home runs off of Luis Severino in his career. One in the regular season, and one in the 2017 playoffs. They were also the only two hits Santana had off of Severino in 2017.
Photo by Mike Stobe/Getty Images

Octagon Agent - “A lot of people do! But we’ve been sitting on a really good offer from an undisclosed team, and the only reason we’ve been sitting on it, was because we were curious as to whether you were ever going to make an offer. Not that Carlos is particularly interested in Boston, but historically, you guys have been willing to pay top dollar for the best players.”

Henry - “So let’s cut to the chase, what is it going to cost me to get Carlos Santana in a pair of Red Sox?”

Octagon Agent - “To convince Carlos the wait was worth it, I think we’d have to ask for either 3/69, or 4/80. Anything less, and we’d just take the other offer we’ve been sitting on. We were supposed to sign it a month ago, and they’ve been extremely courteous in letting Carlos take his time. Very classy organization.”

Henry - “I’ll have to discuss those terms with my manager, and see what I’d do about Hanley Ramirez. As it stands, we have four outfielders with Stanton in the mix, and Santana would be our first baseman, leaving no apparent spot for him. Can I call you back later tonight?”

Divisional Round - Houston Astros v Boston Red Sox - Game Four
Maybe it’s just coincidence, but the simulation keeps trying to push Hanley Ramirez out of Boston, one way or another. Signing Santana would almost certainly lead to the end of Hanley Ramirez in Boston.
Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images

Octagon Agent - “That’s fine. I’ll get in touch with Carlos, and let him know that we should be able to make our decision tonight. He’s been anxious to have a home, and frankly, we’ll both be glad to know if it’s in Boston, or elsewhere.”

The phone call concluded, and just as Alexander Henry was about to give a call to Alex Cora, to discuss plans, the phone began to ring on its own. Curious, to say the least, he answered it, as is natural for a responsible human being whose job it is to answer phone calls here and there.

Henry - “Alexander Henry, owner and acting General Manager of the Red Sox, speaking. May I ask who is calling?”

??? - “It’s me, one of your semi-predecessors. Dan Duquette.”

Henry - “Well, Mr. Duquette, how can I help you on this cold winter day?”

Duquette - “We’ve begun exploring deals on our superstar third baseman, Manny Machado. Not that we’re eager to move him, but we figure there’s a chance we might just come out ahead if we move him, since there’s not a chance he’s staying in Baltimore beyond 2018.”

Henry - “Sell him to me. Why should I want an expiring free agent, who has every desire to get paid big time in a year? If I give you anything of value, I’ll get one year of value for upwards of six that could kill me. I did just hurt our team’s flexibility with the Stanton trade, after all.”

Duquette - “Well, here’s the thing, there’s a chance Manny will just sign an extension with you guys anyways. The main thing is he wants to get paid. Whether it’s this year or next with an open market, he’s going to. We simply do not have the resources to make his next contract a fiscally responsible thing to do. We do not know what it would take to sign him, since his agent kind of just said no to our offer of 8/240, or whatever our Head of Finance told me we could get away with.”

Boston Red Sox v Baltimore Orioles
This is Manny Machado sliding into second base, and Dustin Pedroia. This is the incident. Pedroia was injured on the play, but that’s not necessarily because Machado tried to injure him. The slide is done multiple times throughout the year by various players.
Photo by Mitchell Layton/Getty Images

Henry - “From what I recall, there was that nasty business last season. Bad blood you know. Seems like he wouldn’t want to come here, and the fans might lash out at him. Not sure that makes sense.”

Duquette - “Look, you are new to this. I’m not going to tell you how to run your team. But money talks in this business, no matter who you are. You don’t have to look far to find the last player to come to Boston despite seemingly hating it. David Price’s rivalry with the Sox was potentially just as bad, and likely to result in tragedy, but two years later, and I’d argue the worst that’s happened is a spat with a broadcaster, one which was tragically overblown by your ridiculous media.”

Henry - “That’s fair. If I can brush aside those concerns, what type of package are you looking for? I’m not sure we even have the pieces.”

Duquette - “Well, for starters, I was interested in Eduardo Rodriguez before you shipped him off to Miami, but we also like Xander Bogaerts and Rafael Devers. We’d want at least one of those two, with the remainder of the package being contingent on who you chose. We think we can get more value out of Xander since his free agency isn’t until the end of the 2019 season. Think there’s a decent chance we can extend him, and even if we can’t, we still have a qualifying offer or a trade of him, similar to what we’re doing with Machado now.”

Henry - “I’ll humor you at least, what prospects left in our system interest you, as potential additions to the package?”

Duquette - “Well, if you choose to move Xander, we’re likely looking at Jay Groome and/or Michael Chavis for starters. Can’t afford to lose there. For other lesser pieces, we like Tanner Houck, Mike Shawaryn, Jalen Beeks, and Lorenzo Cedrola.”

Divisional Round - Houston Astros v Boston Red Sox - Game Four
If the Machado trade happens, in the simulation, it will almost certainly include Xander Bogaerts. While there is certainly an upgrade from Xander to Machado, it’s the extra pieces, and the lack of control, that make the deal contentious. Not to mention, fan appeal.
Photo by Elsa/Getty Images

Henry - “I’ll get back to you soon. Just before you called, I was about to call my manager, and one of my players to discuss a potential move. Now I have to discuss two potential moves with them, it appears.”

Duquette - “Very well. We’re not likely to move him for a while, so take your time. Hope to hear back soon.”

Henry hung up the phone. This time, he’d successfully get a call out to his manager, Alex Cora, for sure. After dinner.


Alexander Henry’s Office - December 13th, 7:30 PM EST

Henry did get the phone call in to Alex Cora, and to his credit, Alex Cora was quick in responding.

Cora - “Hey, how can I help you, boss?”

Henry - “Well, I’ve got two different moves on my plate, and I was hoping you could give me insight as to what you want me to do, since it is the club you are going to be managing.”

Cora - “Alright, lay it on me.”

Henry - “Well, the first move is a potential sign of Carlos Santana. I called his agent, turns out they’d do a deal for 3/69, or 4/80. We could financially do either move, but we’d be over the Luxury Tax, and we’d likely have to take it easy on spending in the massive 2018/19 offseason, as well as potentially the 2019/20 offseason.”

Cora - “Give me a second to fill out a lineup card...”

A few minutes pass, and an exasperated Cora can be heard sighing in the background.

Cora - “Santana fits, and I can make a lineup I like, but there’s just one small problem. And I’m sure you already know what it is.”

Henry - “Hanley.”

Cora - “Yeah. As it stands, I’ve got the killer B outfield, and the entire infield sorted, but there’s an obvious problem with DH. We just traded for Stanton, so we’re obviously playing him. That leaves Hanley Ramirez without a position, and without a role for the 2018 season.”

Giancarlo Stanton Introduced as New York Yankee
In a sad, alternate universe, Giancarlo Stanton got traded to the Yankees instead of the Red Sox. I can’t imagine that kind of world. Would make me too sad.

Henry - “Yeah, I came up with that problem too, but it doesn’t make sense to just eat his contract. At the same time, however, I haven’t been able to find a taker for his contract either. I can stomach the financial responsibility, but it just seems like a waste to let go of Hanley for nothing.”

Cora - “Well, what was the other move? It’s possible that changes things.”

Henry - “Are you sitting down right now?”

Cora - “Yeah, why?”

Henry - “Just hold on to something. Anything. Don’t fall over. Manny Machado.”

Cora - “Get out.”

Henry - “I’m dead serious. Dan Duquette called, offering his superstar up. He wants one of Xander or Devers, and a couple prospects on top of it. I told him I’d get back to him. I know how much you like both Xander and Devers, so I wanted to see if you’d be on board.”

Cora - “Truthfully, I don’t just like Xander, I love him. I think we can get way more out of him than we did last season, and I plan on working with him, getting him to elevate the ball like he did back in 2016. But it is hard to say no to an MVP caliber guy like Manny, too. I can work with either one. You do what you think is best. With Manny, it’s worth noting, Hanley can still have a role at first base and DH, giving rests to both Mitch Moreland and Giancarlo Stanton.”

Henry - “Thanks, Alex, now I know what I want to do.”

Alexander Henry did not in fact, know what he wanted to do.

Poll

What do you think Alexander Henry should do?

This poll is closed

  • 16%
    Agree to 3/69 or 4/80 for Santana, contract will be voted on next time.
    (44 votes)
  • 34%
    Continue negotiations with Baltimore for Manny Machado, say no to Carlos Santana
    (89 votes)
  • 48%
    Shoot down both options, and say you are set for the time being, waiting to see if the market gets better in the next month.
    (127 votes)
260 votes total Vote Now

Poll ends January 9th, 2018, at 11 PM EST.