The prompt for our last Fan Post Friday was a doozy. Rather than ask you to tell us about your favorite player or to highlight something good about the team, we asked you to do something nobody ever asks anybody to do. Make your favorite baseball team worse.
And boy, did you ever. We’ll go over the final roster at the end, but let’s take a look at each trade.
The Trade: Mookie Betts, David Price, Nathan Eovaldi, and Dustin Pedroia for Patrick Sandoval, Kean Wong, and Brandon Marsh
The appeal of this trade appears to be the cutting of a good chunk of the salary on the Red Sox. Between the four players headed out, the Red Sox cut around 87 million dollars in salary and take on very little in return. Additionally, the Red Sox add Brandon Marsh, a prospect I think most people underrate and one who is fairly close to the majors who could end up as a fairly good outfielder relatively soon.
This trade was rated as a bad one by all three of our mystery evaluators (who can come out and say they were the evaluators if they wish), presumably because this makes the team terrible for 2020 and doesn’t really bring in anything that even closely resembles an improvement anywhere. Marsh is an intriguing piece and also the best prospect they will be able to conceivably move because they are not moving Adell for anything, but he’s still nothing special.
He spent last year at Double-A, so odds are he’ll be in Triple-A in 2020 with an outside chance to compete for the job out of spring training. Kean Wong will probably go to AAA as well, unless he slots in behind Peraza at second base. As much as Patrick Sandoval was terrible in 2019, he slots into our rotation because we just traded two of our SP in one move.
We won’t look at what the Cardinals get because it just doesn’t matter. They are irrelevant to us. In this deal, we give up David Price and pay 32 million dollars of Price’s remaining contract (so around a third) and get back Dexter Fowler, a player who is with the Red Sox for two years at a cost of $33 million. So the Red Sox actually take money back, they just lower the average annual value of their commitment and shave a year off the Price deal essentially.
Plus, Fowler fills a need in the outfield. Fowler is done being an above-average player at this point of his career. He was a below average starter last year by fWAR. But given the savings on Price, maybe it’s worth it for some people.
Two of our three evaluators deemed this trade terrible, so it passes through.
The Trade: Mariners get Chris Sale. Red Sox get Dee Gordon. I think that explains everything.
This one was my favorite, and according to two of the evaluators, theirs as well, because this trade was so ludicrously bad that it serves as the best reminder to the rest of Red Sox Nation to “calm down”, because there is no way the offseason would be able to be worse than this.
On paper, I can see how the trade would make sense. The Red Sox absolve themselves of Sale’s entire contract if they believe Sale is broken and that the extension was a mistake. There are definitely people out there who believe this, and it isn’t my place to tell them they are wrong. Until Sale proves his health, he is going to be a question mark going forward.
Coming back is Dee Gordon, who is just awful. He hasn’t been a league average hitter since 2015. He has led the league in caught stealings three of the last five years. He strikes out over three times as much as he walks. The cherry on top is his defense has gotten worse in the past couple of years, so there’s not even that value to lean on. The thing about Dee Gordon that is appealing is his contract. He has one year left on the deal worth just under $14 million. There’s also a vesting option that nobody in their right mind would allow to vest. After that, it’s just freed up money from Sale, which can be put to potentially better use.
Every evaluator thought it was terrible, and two of them outright told me it was the most terrible. So in this respect, harmony wins the exercise. Gordon becomes our backup second baseman most likely, because if he starts, the vesting option triggers and then we’re in trouble.
The Trade: Chris Sale, David Price, and Michael Chavis to the Angels, and Andrew Benintendi, Rafael Devers, and Bryan Mata to the Tigers. David Fletcher, Patrick Sandoval, Miguel Cabrera, Jeimer Candelario, Tyler Alexander, and Jacoby Jones to the Red Sox. Brandon Marsh to the Tigers.
I don’t know where to begin unpacking this, to be entirely honest. In addition to moving Sale and Price, we also give up two of our better young talents, and then Mata and Chavis on top of it. Our main additions for the 2020 season are Miguel Cabrera who is far past his prime, and has a terrible contract remaining, and Jeimer Candelario who is very overrated at most everything.
But the money!
All three of our evaluators thought this trade was awful.
C - Christian Vazquez / Kevin Plawecki
1B - Miguel Cabrera / Nick Longhi
2B - Jose Peraza / Dee Gordon
3B - Jeimer Candelario / Nick Longhi
SS - Xander Bogaerts / Dee Gordon
LF - David Fletcher / Jacoby Jones
CF - Jackie Bradley Jr / Jacoby Jones
RF - Dexter Fowler / Jacoby Jones
DH - J.D. Martinez
SP - Eduardo Rodriguez, Martin Perez, Tyler Alexander, Patrick Sandoval, Darwinzon Hernandez
RP - Brandon Workman, Matt Barnes, Ryan Brasier, Marcus Walden, Heath Hembree, Josh Taylor, Travis Lakins
Top Prospects - Triston Casas, Kean Wong, Jay Groome, Gilberto Jimenez, Bobby Dalbec (No Marsh because traded to the Tigers).
I’m too depressed looking at this roster to calculate payroll or WAR, so if anyone wants to, go right ahead for internet karma.
I’d consider this mission accomplished. This team is awful. Thank you for playing!