Monday, December 18, 2017

It's time we start worrying about Boston's impending counter-move

The most pleasurable element of the Giancarlo Stanton trade was reading the whiny comments of Redsock fans, pissing themselves in fan forums. For the last two years, like a running gag on Seinfeld, the Boston bros had assumed Stanton would turn up at Fenway, acquired for the liquefied remains of Pumpsie Green and, of course, the immortal Blake Swihart. Hearing their Roy Moore-level indignation about the Yankees "buying pennants"... ah, music to the ears, no? Like 1999, all over.

But lately, they've recovered - at least in skin-peeling, self-entitled bluster. Their new thing is to publicly demand not just one but two free agent signings - JD Martinez and Eric Hosmer. Adding both sluggers would counter the Yankee move, restore home run power to a trickle-charged lineup, and in their minds insure the 2018 World Series. And here's the reality: If the Redsocks did pull off such a move, along with fielding a hell of a team next season, their owner would be out-owning our boy. And maybe we should worry... at least a bit... over what will happen when Boston comes to bat.

Let's face it: They will do something. Mitch Moreland and Chris Young are leaving as free agents. Together, they earned $11.5 million last year, about half of what it would take for a season of Hosmer. It's hard to imagine them not chasing one of the two. And what if Boston's owner, John W. Henry, simply no longer cares about money?

Remember February of 2015, when to our disbelief, he outbid Shallow Hal for Yoan Moncada? Boston paid him $31.5 million - nearly four-times the previous record for an amateur free agent, which had been $8.3 million - and then shoveled out another $31.5 million in MLB luxury taxes, because they were far over their international allotment. They later converted Moncada into Chris Sale, which is why they walked away with the AL East last season. What if they have an owner who - at age 68 with an estimated worth of $2.2 billion - recognizes correctly that he has more money than time on this planet, and who hasn't fallen in love with the jingle of Bitcoins in his pocket? Such an entity once owned the Yankees. 

Is it reasonable for Boston to sign both Martinez and Hosmer? The Redsockian payroll currently stands at the luxury tax threshold, $197 million, according to Cots Baseball Contracts. If they sign Dopey Dildox for a dollar, it means they must cut a 50 cent welfare check to Derek Jeter's Marlins. And meanwhile, Mookie Betts - whom they paid a measly $950,000 last year - is eligible for arbitration. (Good luck with that, Mr. Henry!) It's practically a done deal that Boston will soar over the tax threshold... but what if the man at the top simply doesn't give a shit?

As we all know, the Yankees are running a massive financial austerity scam, based on a wink-wink promise to their fan base that, come next winter, they will chase either Bryce Harper or Manny Machado. Either could cost $40 million a year, and, of course, the Yankee front office will bemoan such outrageous price tags - and receive the support of assembled Gammonites. But Boston seems willing to sit out that 2018 auction. What if John Henry simply realizes that the new Republican tax bill will negate whatever he'll eventually pay MLB? Could Boston figure that, instead of trying to pay Bryce Harper $40 million next season, they sign two sluggers for $40 million now? If so, Boston would replace the Dodgers as baseball's biggest spenders. But maybe the owner doesn't care and here's the icing on Boston's cake: 

Such a move might trigger a foolish Yankee response. We might tear apart our farm system - even trade Glyber Torres - to pry loose Machado one year earlier. Last weekend, talks seemed over Machado seemed to cool. Make no mistake: We're not out of the woods, yet. Boston hasn't come to bat. There's still plenty of time for a disastrous Yankee trade.


Alphonso said...

But he can't do it during the Xmas season. Peace on earth and all....

We, for example, would not find such Bostonian moves consistent with the spirit of peace....

But, like Hadrian, they will assault the wall...

We must be ready.

Anonymous said...







HoraceClarke66 said...

Homer makes more sense for them.

I'm more worried about Boston improving its pitching, simply through Price bouncing back.

Parson Tom said...

Sox sign Moreland for two years, which seems to eliminate Hosmer. Good first step.

Joe of AZ said...

If that move is indicative of Boston's off season. We have NOTHING to worry about


HoraceClarke66 said...

I'm giddy. A 32-year-old first baseman who has never hit more than 23 HRs or over .278? Yeah, go with that, Boston!

J.D. Martinez would then be a good DH for them, but doesn't he want to play OF? Very weird.

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