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  #1  
Old 07-23-2014, 12:55 PM
Moses_Scurry Moses_Scurry is offline
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Default The Road to Contention in 2015

Here we are approaching the deadline where the pieces will start to hopefully be acquired to build a team with potential to contend in 2015. 2014 is almost over, and most people at the beginning of the season called 2014 a "throwaway" season with 2015 being the beginning of our true contending window. So with this being the assumption, now is the time to start building that contender. If they do little to nothing, then we will start calling 2015 a throwaway year with 2016 being the true beginning of the window. Obviously none of us wants this to happen. So what are the biggest needs and how are they prioritized? How will they be addressed? Share your opinions, these are mine.

Catcher: Most critical need in my opinion. They absolutely cannot go into 2015 with Flowers as the #1 guy. My guess is that Nieto goes down once he's fulfilled the Rule V requirements and is groomed to be backup. They will get a catching prospect as a piece in one of their deadline trades, and will sign a Dioner Navarro type as a stopgap. I would love it if they sign Russell Martin, but he might be too expensive.

2015 Bullpen: They need probably 2 guys here in order to contend in 2015. It is the second most critical area of need after catcher. Overpaying for bullpen guys sucks, so I am guessing they will maybe sign 1 guy with a consistent if only slightly above average career (kind of like Lindstrom) that doesn't cost much. The other guy will be a part of the deadline trades that will be a near-MLB-ready reliever.

2015 OF: Eaton, Garcia, ?,?,?. If they want to contend in 2015, they absolutely must find another outfielder. I'm guessing that one of Viciedo or De Aza will be here next year, but it has to be as the 4th or 5th guy. I think they'll sign an OF free agent, but I have no idea who it will be. I could see them getting one of the Cubans to fill this weakness.

2015 Rotation: Sale, Quintana, Rodon/?, Danks/?, Noesi/?. They need a solid starting pitching addition. Rodon might not be ready, Danks might be traded, and who knows what we'll get with Noesi next year. I don't have any faith that Erik Johnson et al are parts of a contending rotation. I also don't see them getting one of the 100+million free agents. I think they'll go the cub route and try to get a mid-level Hammel/Feldman type (Hammel is a real possiblity) and hope Coop can improve him. If they do not address the rotation at all, then we are looking at 2016 as the true window.

2015 IF: Abreu 1b, Ramirez/?, Davidson/Gillaspie 3B, ? 2B
- in my opinion we need an infielder. This is especially true if Alexei gets traded. We have enough internal options with the Semiens and Micah Johnsons to fill the roster, but if we want to be contenders in 2015, we need an upgrade at 2B. This is the lowest priority of the list in my opinion, and they probably could get by with Semian/Johnson at 2B if they keep Alexei and do a good job with the other holes.

2015 DH: Dunn and Konerko will be gone. I will be extremely pissed if they spend a lot of money for a DH. I think they'll have a rotating DH with Gillaspie, Davidson, Viciedo if they keep him, etc. If they sign a free agent IF or OF, he can also be in the rotation. I think Ozzie had the right idea when they went with the Kotsay-Jones rotating DH. Those guys just sucked.

So to sum it up, in my opinion we need upgrades at C, OF, SP, Bullpen, and IF to be contenders in 2015. That feels like a huge wall to climb, but there is good news. I don't think they need to be superstars or super expensive players. We just need average to solid players to replace the awful players we have now.
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  #2  
Old 07-23-2014, 01:00 PM
Domeshot17 Domeshot17 is offline
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Can Connor handle 2b? If so, Davidson and 3rd and Connor at 2nd might be solid.

I am still on the trade Ramirez bandwagon. His value will never be higher.
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Old 07-23-2014, 01:41 PM
amsteel amsteel is offline
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Viciedo and Beckham have had enough PAs to prove their real skill...meaning they can fairly easily be replaced at this point, Beckham's glove not withstanding. Hopefully Semien can sort it out at AAA and play the OF.

There's a bit of a log jam at 3b, what about Conor and Davidson splitting time with Conor DHing?

A sentient traffic cone would be a lateral move at C, just sign any average C and production from that spot will go up.

Get someone with actual 9th inning success that doesn't pitch to contact to close games.

I'm thinking Noesi will be in the rotation at the start of '15. After that I'm guessing they will be a mix of Rodon/Johnson/trash heap pickup as well as an FA signing. I'd say its 50/50 that Danks is around next year.
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Old 07-23-2014, 01:43 PM
hawkjt hawkjt is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Moses_Scurry View Post
Here we are approaching the deadline where the pieces will start to hopefully be acquired to build a team with potential to contend in 2015. 2014 is almost over, and most people at the beginning of the season called 2014 a "throwaway" season with 2015 being the beginning of our true contending window. So with this being the assumption, now is the time to start building that contender. If they do little to nothing, then we will start calling 2015 a throwaway year with 2016 being the true beginning of the window. Obviously none of us wants this to happen. So what are the biggest needs and how are they prioritized? How will they be addressed? Share your opinions, these are mine.

Catcher: Most critical need in my opinion. They absolutely cannot go into 2015 with Flowers as the #1 guy. My guess is that Nieto goes down once he's fulfilled the Rule V requirements and is groomed to be backup. They will get a catching prospect as a piece in one of their deadline trades, and will sign a Dioner Navarro type as a stopgap. I would love it if they sign Russell Martin, but he might be too expensive.

2015 Bullpen: They need probably 2 guys here in order to contend in 2015. It is the second most critical area of need after catcher. Overpaying for bullpen guys sucks, so I am guessing they will maybe sign 1 guy with a consistent if only slightly above average career (kind of like Lindstrom) that doesn't cost much. The other guy will be a part of the deadline trades that will be a near-MLB-ready reliever.

2015 OF: Eaton, Garcia, ?,?,?. If they want to contend in 2015, they absolutely must find another outfielder. I'm guessing that one of Viciedo or De Aza will be here next year, but it has to be as the 4th or 5th guy. I think they'll sign an OF free agent, but I have no idea who it will be. I could see them getting one of the Cubans to fill this weakness.

2015 Rotation: Sale, Quintana, Rodon/?, Danks/?, Noesi/?. They need a solid starting pitching addition. Rodon might not be ready, Danks might be traded, and who knows what we'll get with Noesi next year. I don't have any faith that Erik Johnson et al are parts of a contending rotation. I also don't see them getting one of the 100+million free agents. I think they'll go the cub route and try to get a mid-level Hammel/Feldman type (Hammel is a real possiblity) and hope Coop can improve him. If they do not address the rotation at all, then we are looking at 2016 as the true window.

2015 IF: Abreu 1b, Ramirez/?, Davidson/Gillaspie 3B, ? 2B
- in my opinion we need an infielder. This is especially true if Alexei gets traded. We have enough internal options with the Semiens and Micah Johnsons to fill the roster, but if we want to be contenders in 2015, we need an upgrade at 2B. This is the lowest priority of the list in my opinion, and they probably could get by with Semian/Johnson at 2B if they keep Alexei and do a good job with the other holes.

2015 DH: Dunn and Konerko will be gone. I will be extremely pissed if they spend a lot of money for a DH. I think they'll have a rotating DH with Gillaspie, Davidson, Viciedo if they keep him, etc. If they sign a free agent IF or OF, he can also be in the rotation. I think Ozzie had the right idea when they went with the Kotsay-Jones rotating DH. Those guys just sucked.

So to sum it up, in my opinion we need upgrades at C, OF, SP, Bullpen, and IF to be contenders in 2015. That feels like a huge wall to climb, but there is good news. I don't think they need to be superstars or super expensive players. We just need average to solid players to replace the awful players we have now.

Not much to disagree with here. I do not see it as such a steep climb tho, with the extra cash to seek out some help.

I think the emergence of Noesi is huge...he can be a solid 5th starter.
As you say, guys like Hammel are out there every year...fix'em coop!

Bullpens are funny...and not like a clown. Year to year, no way to predict who will be good, but I like Putnam, Petricka, Belli( if not traded), Webb( if he matures a bit), and maybe Surkamp....not that far away.

I agree with another outfielder needed. Garcia has to come thru, and Eaton is solid(if healthy).
DeAza always seems to start bad, then gather steam thru out the summer...decent backup.

Catcher is a big issue. Need to acquire someone talented from the Yanks or someone else to bolster that position.
I like Nieto as a good backup switch-hitter, but not ready to carry the load.
Flowers needs to finish this season strong if he wants to return as a starter.

If Garcia, Rodon, and Micah Johnson can come thru next season....contenders!
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  #5  
Old 07-23-2014, 02:04 PM
kittle42 kittle42 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hawkjt View Post
I think the emergence of Noesi is huge...he can be a solid 5th starter.
I don't get the notion that Noesi is any good. He had strung together some good starts a few months ago, but that's the best one could say about him.

He's a 5th starter on a really bad team.
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  #6  
Old 07-23-2014, 02:10 PM
amsteel amsteel is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kittle42 View Post
I don't get the notion that Noesi is any good. He had strung together some good starts a few months ago, but that's the best one could say about him.

He's a 5th starter on a really bad team.
He Danks and Carroll have been pretty much interchangeable this year. If Noesi can get the HR/FB and rate down he'd easily be the best of the three.
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Old 07-23-2014, 02:11 PM
DeadMoney DeadMoney is offline
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My priorities: bullpen, bullpen, catcher, bullpen, starting pitcher, bullpen, starting pitcher, bullpen, another OF.

Reason: This just makes me mad on so many different levels.

I really think we'd be right in it THIS YEAR with a little bit of a better bullpen (and quite possibly some better decision making when it comes to the bullpen/pitchers; although you can't make chicken salad out of chicken ****).

If the starting pitchers are found from within, fine. Catcher and bullpen are the big needs though. We can probably get by from using guys within our system pretty much everywhere else with the exception of maybe signing another OF (Semien/Johnson/Sanchez at 2B; 3B Gillaspie/Davidson; OF after Eaton/Garcia of Viciedo/EnFuegoDeAza/signing; etc).
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Old 07-23-2014, 02:12 PM
MISoxfan MISoxfan is offline
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C Warm Body
1B Abreu
2B One of our prospects
3B Davidson, or Gillaspie if Davidson doesn't bounce back
SS Ramirez/FA or someone acquired via trade
DH/3B/1B Gillaspie
LF FA
CF Eaton
RF Garcia

I have no idea what to do about catcher. I don't know enough about everyone's farm system to know if there are any realistic deals to acquire one, but free agency is weak next year. We can maybe overpay Russell Martin, Geovany Soto, or Kurt Suzuki?

We can also try and grab Nelson Cruz, but he might be pretty expensive as well. It's not a great year for FA outfielders, either.

As for SP, Shields, Scherzer, and Lester are going to get huge contracts. If we can get one big bat for LF and one stopgap at catcher then go nuts here, if not then maybe be more cautious.

I think we can go with prospects at 2B/3B provided we get a big enough bat at left. If they hit well we will do well, if they don't it's not like we are going to do any better by trying to sign 4 FA.
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  #9  
Old 07-23-2014, 02:12 PM
kittle42 kittle42 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by amsteel View Post
He Danks and Carroll have been pretty much interchangeable this year. If Noesi can get the HR/FB and rate down he'd easily be the best of the three.
Agreed, but still not saying much. You can't afford to have more than one of those guys on a MLB roster if you are looking to win.
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Old 07-23-2014, 02:21 PM
KRS1 KRS1 is offline
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Noesi is actually one holdover I would like to move to our pen. Good stuff for a long guy with the ability to spot start.
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Old 07-23-2014, 02:21 PM
Tragg Tragg is offline
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I don't see the Sox as competitive in 2015. Way too thin in pitching.
Anyway, my road would be something like trade Alexei for a few good prospects. The Sox also have a couple of guys in the minors hitting the hell out of the ball who still may be able to hit major league pitching, but don't really have a position (Ravelo, maybe Phegley)...use 'em or move 'em.

C - Flowers (or some relatively cheap vet). Sox actually have a couple of decent prospects at C with Nieto and Kevan Smith.
1B - Abreu
2B - Beckham or Johnson
SS - Sanchez, Semien
3B - Gillaspie or maybe Davidson
DH - Gillaspie/Davidson, one of those AAA hitters
RF - A Garcia
CF - Eaton
LF - Wouldn't mind seeing a platoon situation. Can Gillaspie play left?
SP - Just don't know beyond Sale and Quintana. Rodon will probably be there at some point.
RP - Need to bring in a couple of arms. Jones returning may help (unless he lost it). Don't trade real resources for a "closer".
I see 2016 as the real opportunity.

Last edited by Tragg; 07-23-2014 at 02:27 PM.
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Old 07-23-2014, 02:57 PM
kufram kufram is offline
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With the recent Sox history at 3rd I really don't know what Gillaspie has to do to convince some people that he's earned that position full time.
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Old 07-23-2014, 03:13 PM
thomas35forever thomas35forever is offline
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Quote:
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With the recent Sox history at 3rd I really don't know what Gillaspie has to do to convince some people that he's earned that position full time.
What is hit for power and not contact, Alex?
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Old 07-23-2014, 03:19 PM
kittle42 kittle42 is offline
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What is hit for power and not contact, Alex?
I don't mind the power/contact thing, myself. Gillaspie, if he can actually continue to hit .300 and not closer to .250, is a good player to have if he can hit further down in the lineup and you have another masher in the middle in front of or behind Abreu.
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  #15  
Old 07-23-2014, 03:28 PM
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XplodingScorbord XplodingScorbord is offline
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Let's also not forget that the definition of "in contention" is different now with expanded Wild Card. We're technically in contention right now. Don't have to improve too terribly much from where we are now to be in serious contention next year, and this team has significant flaws. Heck, say what you will about C, 2B, LF, etc., if we had just an average bullpen right now we'd be in decent contention this year.
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