Monday, November 30, 2015

Free Agency and Godfather Offers

I was having a discussion after the Kimbrel trade about the Red Sox and their prospects. I was realizing that even after the trade, the Sox still had a glut of prospects. They also have an outfield all in their twenties, as well as a two catchers and a shortstop that are just babies. Pedroia’s untradeable contract has him around for a while, along with the guys on the corners. 

What good are prospects with all the long term star power? There won’t be a spot for any of them any time soon. 

Why not start making some Godfather offers. Sure Oakland again says they won’t trade their young star. And there’s no particular reason for Chicago to trade Chris Sale. But, there’s a price for everyone. If the Sox suggested “A catcher and any 5 minor league prospects” would that be enough? Whatever number would be enough, just offer it. I’ll take my chances with a starting line-up under 30 and Chris Sale added to whatever rotation the Sox start the season with.

But, then it hit me. Things aren’t like they used to be. Even though Betts and Bogaerts just turned 23, it’s not like they’re penciled into the Sox line-up for the next 15-20 years. I think many people assume that the Sox will be unwilling to give Xander the free agent money he’ll command…much like they didn’t with Ellsbury. So, even with a young core, we’re not looking at 15 years of being set up the middle. It’s only four years until Bogaerts is gone. Five for Mookie. Which means a couple things. It does present a sense of urgency. What are the odds you’ll come up with a duo that talented any time soon? Doesn’t that mean you need to try a little harder to win now? Doesn’t it make it even more reasonable to clear out the farm and go for in in 2016-19? I would think so.

But, it would also make cleaning out the farm a bit more difficult. The only reason Chicago would trade Sale (just for conversation’s sake) is if they felt they couldn’t catch Kansas City in the years he has left of being an ace. That it would be better to forgo his best years, and have the prospects ready to go when the Royals come back to the pack. But, by then the catcher prospect they might have gotten will also be ready to leave via free agency. And they’d only have a few years left of someone even as young as Moncada. That’s not going to get them to make a trade.

So, is that whole type of trade dead? Unless it’s an Adrian Gonzalez type deal where you agree to sign the guy to a long-term, below market contract? Are the only prospect deals available anymore the ones like the Kimbrel trade? A couple of them for an extra part. Are the offer choices for Felix Hernandez or Johan Santana reserved for Red Sox lore? After all, these days that trade would only get you Hernandez for a couple years.

What’s the point of prospects anymore?

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