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The Flyby - Replacing Chris Sale

I delayed this Flyby intentionally, because the world is a crazy place and it’s only getting crazier.

Boston Red Sox Spring Training Workout Photo by Billie Weiss/Boston Red Sox/Getty Images

A week ago, I tasked you all to come up with a replacement for Chris Sale in the rotation. No, seriously. That was only a week ago.

You’d be forgiven for thinking that it was much longer, but the world has been a very strange place in the past week, and it’s only going to continue to get stranger. We won’t dive into everything, but over the past few days alone, baseball’s regular season has been delayed at least two weeks, and that’s a very optimistic projection.

As such, this is a tricky topic to tackle, especially this week, since we’re not sure when we’ll be watching baseball again, let alone what the team will look like when that happens. But again, we’re just going to keep going ahead, because what’s the other option?

Who Replaces Chris Sale - Bosoxsince89

What they said - There are multiple options. The first option is to trade for a starter, such as Cal Quantrill, Ross Stripling, and Antonio Senzatela. The second option is to sign a FA, like Matt Harvey or Aaron Sanchez. The third option is to go internal, and some good options are Brian Johnson, Tanner Houck, and Darwinzon Hernandez. What Bosox would do is do the Wil Myers+Cal Quantrill+ trade that’s been discussed a lot to begin with.

I can’t really argue with the idea. If our goal is to improve the rotation, a trade with the Padres makes the most sense. If the goal is to add depth to our farm, and buy prospects, the trade with the Padres makes the most sense. If the goal is to gain a bounce back candidate, a trade with the Padres makes the most sense.

From just about every angle, the potential Padres deal is the one that makes the most sense, and that’s also partially why I’m convinced our reported involvement in the past has been overblown. It feels like such a perfect fit, like such a gift, that the fact we’re not taking it gives me the feeling it really isn’t as available a package as was reported.

If it is real, and the package was Myers+Quantrill+Morejon (or whatever prospect the Padres send over in Morejon’s place) like I originally expected, then the Red Sox improve in three avenues of their roster. They would gain Wil Myers — a strong bounce back candidate — who probably becomes the backup OF and potentially a backup first baseman as well. They would gain Cal Quantrill, an underrated starting pitcher with a lot of control, something that would be heavily valued in Boston. They would gain Adrian Morejon, who while I’m admit I’m not that high on, adds some potential depth to the Red Sox ‘pen, and brings a fairly high ceiling with him that could have him eventually settling in to a high leverage role down the line.

Unfortunately, I feel like the reality is, that type of package only really existed with Mookie Betts on the table, and there’s a very good reason on why we passed on that and went with the Dodgers superior offer, or a third team offering a star talent. Please prove me wrong, Bloom.

Who Replaces Chris Sale? - jorodman

What they said - There was a lot of optimism to be a contender in 2020. Before the Mookie Betts/David Price trade, this poster felt the team was a World Series contender. But with the trade, and the injury to Sale... that optimism is beginning to fade. The clearest options are either the internal guys (Darwinzon Hernandez, Chris Mazza, Brian Johnson, etc), and a few low key free agents like Clay Buchholz and Aaron Sanchez. Basically, give everybody an open tryout, and a chance.

First, a hearty welcome to jorodman, who made their first submission to FanPost Friday! We hope you stick around a bit, and participate next time too!

I think the optimism was not misplaced, either. Before the trade, in a world where everything was semi-normal, the Red Sox definitely had a claim to being one of the top eight teams in baseball, and that’s generally all it takes. A pre-season favorite (Yankees, Astros, etc) are only that, a pre-season favorite. When the games get played, interesting things happen.

On a team with Mookie Betts and David Price, you are looking at basically a carbon copy of the team that won 108 games, just as much as you are looking at a carbon copy of the team that won 84 games. The Red Sox were both teams. Their true talent probably resides somewhere in the middle, and 96 wins is certainly enough to be considered a contender.

My own optimism completely vanished once the Dodgers trade was finalized. Not because losing Mookie is catastrophic (without him, but replacing him with Verdugo, I think a 96 win team can probably expect to become closer to a 92 win team, but that’s still workable), but because the Red Sox traded one of the few pitchers who could effectively start, even if the value to move said pitcher was a good one.

Worse, the Red Sox didn’t even really attempt to replace Price in the rotation. Then Sale got hurt. And once Sale got hurt, you were looking at replacing two of the best three pitchers we’ve had over the past two years. You were looking at replacing them with basically nothing. We saw all the intriguing free agents sign elsewhere, to where if we want to dip into that market, our best options are Clay Buchholz and Aaron Sanchez. They did sign Collin McHugh, but he can’t be relied on until he’s healthy. That turns a potential low 90 win team... into maybe something more resembling the 84 win team if everything breaks right.

That said, while the optimism is down, there’s always a chance, so I was still excited for the season.

Unfortunately, baseball season is being delayed, so it’s hard to have a lot of optimism about anything.

The silver lining I have chosen to find in this, is that it gives Chris Sale more time to rest, and hopefully get back to a good level of performance and health. Provided he doesn’t need Tommy John Surgery (which is still a possibility), Sale could actually be healthy relatively early into the season (though there’s still a chance he won’t be effective, given the lack of prep time).

So you could say I’m picking Chris Sale to be the Chris Sale replacement. How’s that for optimism?