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The division seems fairly meh on paper, so even as it stands, Boston has a decent shot at winning it. Toronto is in the way, but they really need another good starter. The Price signing is good in the sense that the division is winnable with Price at the top. Still, they need quite a rebound from last year, but the big issue

was the cluster of weak starters.

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The division seems fairly meh on paper, so even as it stands, Boston has a decent shot at winning it. Toronto is in the way, but they really need another good starter. The Price signing is good in the sense that the division is winnable with Price at the top. Still, they need quite a rebound from last year, but the big issue

was the cluster of weak starters.

Price will get 30 plus starts. Who is going to win the other games? Those other guys can't get anyone out.

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The division seems fairly meh on paper, so even as it stands, Boston has a decent shot at winning it. Toronto is in the way, but they really need another good starter. The Price signing is good in the sense that the division is winnable with Price at the top. Still, they need quite a rebound from last year, but the big issue

was the cluster of weak starters.

Price will get 30 plus starts. Who is going to win the other games? Those other guys can't get anyone out.

Not necessarily true. Yeah it's not the most dominant 1-5 rotation we've seen, but behind Price is Eduardo. I expect him to be a nice #2-3 pitcher next year. Miley profiles as their inning eater number 5 guy. Porcello looked great over his final eight starts; hopefully he figured it out. Buchholz when healthy easily pitches at a #3 pitcher level. And Joe Kelly finished off the year well.

A rotation of Price, E.Rod, Porcello, Buchholz/Kelly, Miley with Porcello and Kelly continuing where they left off would be a pretty good rotation. Or at least that's what I keep telling myself.

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Joe Kelly is trash.

EROD is over rated IMO,but will settle in as a back end guy 3-5.

IMO they have a nice 3-4-5 in Porcello, ERod, Miley. They need a #2. They might be able to get by with Owens in the rotation to start the year then add a SP at the deadline if needed.

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The division seems fairly meh on paper, so even as it stands, Boston has a decent shot at winning it. Toronto is in the way, but they really need another good starter. The Price signing is good in the sense that the division is winnable with Price at the top. Still, they need quite a rebound from last year, but the big issue

was the cluster of weak starters.

Price will get 30 plus starts. Who is going to win the other games? Those other guys can't get anyone out.

Not necessarily true. Yeah it's not the most dominant 1-5 rotation we've seen, but behind Price is Eduardo. I expect him to be a nice #2-3 pitcher next year. Miley profiles as their inning eater number 5 guy. Porcello looked great over his final eight starts; hopefully he figured it out. Buchholz when healthy easily pitches at a #3 pitcher level. And Joe Kelly finished off the year well.

A rotation of Price, E.Rod, Porcello, Buchholz/Kelly, Miley with Porcello and Kelly continuing where they left off would be a pretty good rotation. Or at least that's what I keep telling myself.

You also have to consider the bullpen upgrade. Having one of the top closers in the game could do a lot, especially in the offensive strong AL East

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Joe Kelly is trash.

EROD is over rated IMO,but will settle in as a back end guy 3-5.

IMO they have a nice 3-4-5 in Porcello, ERod, Miley. They need a #2. They might be able to get by with Owens in the rotation to start the year then add a SP at the deadline if needed.

Kelly wasn't trash in September. He was excellent. He started pitching instead of throwing. Maybe a few demotions to the minors last season got him to finally realize he had to take that next step and learn to pitch and just not throw. And he is teh one that several teams are trying to trade for right now. A lot of teams know what he can become. Hopefully the Sox hang on to him because last September I no longer saw just "potential." I saw some great pitching.

I also admit I like him for a completley weird reason too. Because of his quirky humor. When he was talking Cy Young last spring it was a joke that people outside of this area never got and thought he was serious. The joke was meant as self-depreciation for all the hype people have been giving him over the years and it was downright funny to see anyone take that comment seriously. Yeah he knows he has raw stuff but he isn't cocky in the clubhouse over it. They did a "know your teammates" last spring trivia game on the spring training coverage and anytime there was something funny or odd ball or silly any player asked would immediately guess it was Kelly and start laughing. Baseball should be fun first and foremost to me so I like those types of guys on a team. I always have and always will.

Also E-Rod back end guy? I don't remotely think so. I can see Porcello collapsing again and Kelly still having some ups and downs as he grows but no way short of injuries does E-Rod settle into the back of the rotation eventually.

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1. Mookie Betts, RF

2. Dustin Pedroia, 2B

3. Xander Bogaerts, SS

4. David Ortiz, DH

5. Hanley Ramirez, 1B

6. Pablo Sandoval, 3B

7. Rusney Castillo, LF

8. Blake Swihart, C

9. Jackie Bradley Jr., CF

Bench: Hanigan, Holt, Shaw, Young

SP1. David Price

SP2. Clay Buchholz

SP3. Rick Porcello
SP4. Eduardo Rodriguez
SP5. Wade Miley
RP. Craig Kimbrel
RP. Koji Uehara
RP. Junichi Tazawa
RP. Robbie Ross
RP. Steven Wright
RP. Joe Kelly
RP. Tommy Layne
so many things could go wrong with this team lol.
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BBT, no way EROD becomes a bank end guy sort of injury? ?? Oh man, you're still drinking Larry's kool-aid after he's gone, huh? Lol

If so I'm in good company along with 99% of baseball.

Oh please dude, that's so far from the truth. He is talented, yes. He has a shot to be a 1 or 2, but to call it a lock baring injury is just so far from the truth. He was 55-60 FV prospect depending the source, make him out to be the next coming.

He is no lock to be a 1 or 2.

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BBT, no way EROD becomes a bank end guy sort of injury? ?? Oh man, you're still drinking Larry's kool-aid after he's gone, huh? Lol

If so I'm in good company along with 99% of baseball.

Oh please dude, that's so far from the truth. He is talented, yes. He has a shot to be a 1 or 2, but to call it a lock baring injury is just so far from the truth. He was 55-60 FV prospect depending the source, make him out to be the next coming.

He is no lock to be a 1 or 2.

Well you made him a lock for the tail end of the rotationin in your post above? (Quote from above: "EROD is over rated IMO,but will settle in as a back end guy 3-5.")

Changing your tune from a definite end of rotation guy to having a shot at being a 1 or 2 now. Glad to see you coming round. :-)

Otherwise you just predicted he will end up as a 1, 2, 3, 4, or 5. Way to narrow it down, hah.

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BBT, no way EROD becomes a bank end guy sort of injury? ?? Oh man, you're still drinking Larry's kool-aid after he's gone, huh? Lol

If so I'm in good company along with 99% of baseball.

Oh please dude, that's so far from the truth. He is talented, yes. He has a shot to be a 1 or 2, but to call it a lock baring injury is just so far from the truth. He was 55-60 FV prospect depending the source, make him out to be the next coming.

He is no lock to be a 1 or 2.

Well you made him a lock for the tail end of the rotationin in your post above? (Quote from above: "EROD is over rated IMO,but will settle in as a back end guy 3-5.")

Changing your tune from a definite end of rotation guy to having a shot at being a 1 or 2 now. Glad to see you coming round. :-)

Otherwise you just predicted he will end up as a 1, 2, 3, 4, or 5. Way to narrow it down, hah.

Just because my opinion is he will settle into a back end rotation spot, doesn't mean I am ignorant to his potential. I never said he is a lock of back end with no shot of anything else. ...
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Looking back at it, Stevie did clearly state that in his opinion E-Rod would settle in as a back of the rotation guy.

I liked what I saw out of E-Rod last year, I think he has some potential and could be pretty good but I could see him being just a guy too. For fantasy, the ballpark and division scare me for a young pitcher.

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Some stuff from the David Price PR news conference today which, it being rabid baseball Boston, was carried live on all the local stations, not just the sports stations.

- Price was asked about his problem with the month of October. And this was the first question basically so welcome to Boston baseball, David. He replied he had no idea why the playoffs were so bad for him but felt that his luck had to turn and joked that maybe he had saved his best Ocotber games for the Red Sox. (Bet he had been practicing that line for some time for his eventual signing news conference).

- PR junk like him saying he wanted to stay in the AL forever because it if more of a challenge and he is all about a challenge. And he was more comfortable in the AL East then anywhere else. And he wanted to be on a team with history that could compete and that was Boston. Which meant no mention that he woke up the day of the deal thinking he would be a Cardinal where he could have used the same lines about history and being able to compete.

- He will be wear #24 which was last worn by Manny and is still thought of as Dwight Evan's number as well.

- When asked what was the biggest positive about coming to Boston he said he loved it was a young club with a top farm system. The GM under Dombronski mentioned that at the first meeting with Price he did want to know first thing the names of the other 24 guys they were projecting in 2016 as well as the entire 40 man roster so could be some truth there.

- Interesting tidbit on what can be important to a pitcher. When asked about why he thought he had a great (1.95) ERA coming into Fenway as a visitor he cited the feeling he had on the mound. He said he didn't know if it was the backdrop or what but he always felt the plate was closer for him at Fenway so it was always his favorite mound. He really seemed to think that was a big deal for him. You never know what flips your switches.

(Don't let Rabbit know about that one. Don't think there is a sabermetrics stat for feel good mounds as of yet).

- Dombronski pretty much said that he wanted to target Price all in from the very beginning of his coming to the Boston front office. That his first real discussion with the ownership about future moves for the club was focused first and foremost on Price. He cited not only his talent but getting to know him as a person in Detroit. The whole character thing mentioned that he pushed hard with to John Henry et al.

- John Henry tried to wiggle his way out of his famous comment about not wanting a pitcher long term over age 30. Said he was quoting an article he had read was all. Yeah sure. Well he did fork over the money in the end though he could have gotten Mr Yips Guy a lot cheaper two years ago with a real offer back then. But hey if he wants to pay more now, Price is more than okay with me.

My biggest takeaway is that I learned that Fenway Park sports a feel good mound. Who says you can't learn something new every day, haha.

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My biggest takeaway is that I learned that Fenway Park sports a feel good mound. Who says you can't learn something new every day, haha.

This is either the genius or stupid, I can't tell. Could the mound really be that different?

My biggest takeaway is that he had a 1.95 ERA at Fenway. Didn't know that.

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My biggest takeaway is that I learned that Fenway Park sports a feel good mound. Who says you can't learn something new every day, haha.

This is either the genius or stupid, I can't tell. Could the mound really be that different?

My biggest takeaway is that he had a 1.95 ERA at Fenway. Didn't know that.

Well I learned the 1.95 ERA a few days back on a local sports show so I had a 48 hour heads up on that, hah. But yeah Price seemed to think his eyes -- because of the background or whatever -- somehow convinced his brain that he is closer to the plate at Fenway thus giving him a more comfortable feeling.

I did hear on a sports talk show that Price is a guy that needed to feel comfortable big time. I thought that was weird cause I was equating comfort with nice feather pillows and soft sofas or something. Not mounds. But he does have a strong need to feel comfortable where he pitches apparently.

And at the news conference when mentioning the AL East in particular for it's "comfort level" he mentioned how weird he had felt at first going to Detroit where he had spent less time pitching in the past since it hadn't been in the Rays' division. Even cited having to get used to different hotels in the AL Central.

He then went on to contrast that with how "comfortable" he felt driving around Boston and he had his favorite places to shop and eat in Boston etc. This guy actually could be serious about the AL East comfort factor and the mound comfort factor etc. In fact at one point it seemed like he was going to wax on forever about the comfort level in Boston until Dombronski signaled another reporter to jump in and ask another question, hah.

(Pitchers be a whacky lot).

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My biggest takeaway is that I learned that Fenway Park sports a feel good mound. Who says you can't learn something new every day, haha.

This is either the genius or stupid, I can't tell. Could the mound really be that different?

My biggest takeaway is that he had a 1.95 ERA at Fenway. Didn't know that.

Back when I pitched there were definitely mounds that felt further away than 60 and others that felt closer. Then there were mounds that seemed to have a steeper decline and I felt I could get more drive off of. But I didn't think that applied at the MLB level, too.

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My biggest takeaway is that I learned that Fenway Park sports a feel good mound. Who says you can't learn something new every day, haha.

This is either the genius or stupid, I can't tell. Could the mound really be that different?

My biggest takeaway is that he had a 1.95 ERA at Fenway. Didn't know that.

Back when I pitched there were definitely mounds that felt further away than 60 and others that felt closer. Then there were mounds that seemed to have a steeper decline and I felt I could get more drive off of. But I didn't think that applied at the MLB level, too.

Interesting to know. I guess different backgrounds and colors and contrast and stuff can feed visual info to your brain differently. Price didn't say anything about the decline angle, just the feeling he was closer to home plate.

Oh yeah since this is the team thread Dombronski made some clear statements about the direction he wants to take the Red Sox. He said he had set three goals going into the off season.

1. A #1 starting pitcher. He also mentioned that a true ace on a team can have a ripple down effect on the other pitchers and part of the character thing with Price was that he had noticed he always been out helping the other Detroit pitchers on the side as well when they were both there.

2. He wanted a strong closer to take pressure off an aging Koji who had broken down near the end of last season.

3. He wanted a vet fourth outfielder to mix in with the three young outfielders they have already.

He's done that already with Price, Kimbrel and Chris Young. So reporters asked if he still would be making any more moves now.

He replied that anything could be possible but he made it clear one of the reasons he wanted to go all in with Price as a FA was he did NOT want to have to do the trade route to get an ace because he did not want to mess up the core young players on the team or the great farm system they have built up in Boston.

He said frankly if he had had to trade for a #1 SP instead of signing FA Price, one or more of the young players might have had to go. He was very frank about that. That other teams wanted current young players more than prospects. He didn't mention names but indicated more than one of their core young players would have been lost to get an ace in a trade. I took from that that it would have taken upwards of two of Betts, Bogaerts, Swihart and Bradley and he made it clear he did NOT want to trade away those players but wanted to make them the core of the Red Sox moving forward.

That was why when they weighed the risks of a 7 year contract to a 30 year old they weighed it against what they would lose if they had to make a trade for their #1 instead.

He also said he did not want to thin out the farm system either but wants some of those guys up as core players too.

Now he did have to trade four of them for Kimbrel but the top two were blocked by Bogaerts or Betts/Bradley. But still there was some worry expressed on the talk showes etc after that trade that he might go hog wild and trade away the farm system but after this news conference he seems to be on the same page as the fans who seem all in on the young guys being the future.

Dombronski pretty much mentioned all this at the top of the press conference too making it his feature statement.

When asked about starting pitching now he said it was obvious the Red Sox now had more starters than positions for them but that depth is always good. Also that since the Price announcement he had had "numerous teams" call him about Boston's pitching surplus. And he didn't rule out a deal regards same.

I read that as Buchholz and possible Miley and his favorabe contract might be up for grabs if he can get back a good return. Possibly Owens but Owens could be sent back down to Pawtucket as "depth" unlike the other two.

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  • 2 weeks later...

1. Mookie Betts, RF

2. Dustin Pedroia, 2B

3. Xander Bogaerts, SS

4. David Ortiz, DH

5. Hanley Ramirez, 1B

6. Pablo Sandoval, 3B

7. Rusney Castillo, LF

8. Blake Swihart, C

9. Jackie Bradley Jr., CF

Bench: Hanigan, Holt, Shaw, Young

I'm curious to see where Vasquez fits in as well. His bat is meh, but his defense can't be ignored and Swihart has not solidified himself despite his second half (had something like a .391 BABIP).

I would much rather see Vasquez on the roster than Hanigan. Also, while Swihart has more potential long term, both his offense and defense may not be MLB ready yet, whereas Vasquez's defense was MLB ready before TJ surgery. Either way, both have more long term value than Hanigan.

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1. Mookie Betts, RF

2. Dustin Pedroia, 2B

3. Xander Bogaerts, SS

4. David Ortiz, DH

5. Hanley Ramirez, 1B

6. Pablo Sandoval, 3B

7. Rusney Castillo, LF

8. Blake Swihart, C

9. Jackie Bradley Jr., CF

Bench: Hanigan, Holt, Shaw, Young

I'm curious to see where Vasquez fits in as well. His bat is meh, but his defense can't be ignored and Swihart has not solidified himself despite his second half (had something like a .391 BABIP).

I would much rather see Vasquez on the roster than Hanigan. Also, while Swihart has more potential long term, both his offense and defense may not be MLB ready yet, whereas Vasquez's defense was MLB ready before TJ surgery. Either way, both have more long term value than Hanigan.

I think Swihart's bat is totally ready. He just was scrambling on his catching skills last year since he was called up at least a year early because of Vasquez's injury. He was told to forget hitting and just concentrate on catching last season. And despite that his bat looks more than ready. In 2016 you should see the true beginnings of a Lucroy at his best type hitter.

He is also acceptable at catcher as he slowly improves though he is never going to be near Vasquez territory. But since Yadier Molina himself nicknamed Vasquez "Little Yadi", who is. It's a trade off and Swihart's bat will trump Vasquez's defense for most I think.

So everyone is saying trade Vasquez. Me I'd like an outside the box platoon of two young players under team control at catcher for years to come. As Swihart's bat improves he could get some extra time at say1B (Hanley "healthy", haha) or (2017 onward) at DH a game or two a week. So both could get plenty of work while saving their legs at the same time. Use them situationally in a game as well. Baseball is rarely creative, alas. But I so want to see the Boston "catcher" be a joint hybrid Lucroy/Molina.

Anyway Vasquez won't be back at the start of the season. At least one to two months into the season last I heard. Then there will be the rust and rehab stint in the minors. So even if the Sox were going to be creative with these two guys it wouldn't be until maybe June at the earliest. So they had to keep Hanigan (one year left on his contract) and even back-up Sandy Leone (AAA, on one year contract as well) to start the season. But the one year contracts say neither will be around next year and at least one may be traded by mid-season.

But my fear is Vasquez going instead as a prospect package. At least I think Swihart is untouchable, just wish Vasquez was as well. I want Hybrid Super-Catcher Guy, damn it!

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