Red Sox free agent moves for FanSided’s faux GM simulation
By Sean Penney
Players I didn’t sign
I didn’t place a bid on any other free agents. Had I come up short with my offer for any of the three players I signed, I may have pivoted to an alternative on the free agent market.
Andrew Miller (3-years, $30 million), David Robertson (3-years, $33 million), and Zach Britton (3-years, $36 million) would have been viable backup plans for Kimbrel. You could make a case that the Site Experts who signed those three relievers got better values than I did, yet Kimbrel is clearly the best of those available options and comes with fewer concerns.
This free agent market is short on starting pitchers, another factor that led me to raise my bid to keep Eovaldi. The Philadelphia Phillies gave Patrick Corbin a massive 5-year, $150 million deal in this simulation and there was no way I was going to pay $30 million to another starter when Sale is bound to demand a salary in that range next year. I couldn’t stomach paying up to top the offers for Dallas Keuchel (5-years, $110 million) or J.A. Happ (2-years, $38 million) either. If I struck out with Eovaldi, my backup plan was to settle for an internal option to fill out the rotation.
The Kansas City Royals got a potential bargain with a 1-year, $5 million deal for Drew Pomeranz. The lefty desperately needs a change of scenery so I had no interest in bidding on him despite the clear upside of signing a pitcher of his caliber for short money.
I would have liked to have kept Joe Kelly but the San Francisco Giants offered three-years, $24 million for him. I couldn’t afford to pay that much after re-signing Kimbrel and there were other viable closer options in that same price range I preferred if I needed an alternative.
Ian Kinsler ended up going unsigned by the end of the simulation and in retrospect I should have considered scooping up the Gold Glove second baseman on a cheap one-year deal as insurance for Dustin Pedroia. I suspect the Red Sox would only bring Kinsler back if he’s still on the market deep into the winter when they’ll have a better idea about Pedroia’s status. It’s not realistic to expect Kinsler would want to stay if there is no clear role available here.
The simulation was a bit more exciting for the teams who got into wild bidding wars for Harper (12-years, $485 million) and Machado (10-years, $355). Those are both massive overpays that I wouldn’t entertain even if the Red Sox had a clear need for either superstar. But we’re talking about fake roster moves with imaginary payrolls, so why not aim high?
I kept my game plan simple, emulating what I believe the Red Sox will try to do this offseason. In the end, my roster looks strikingly like the one that won the World Series this year. I would call that a successful offseason.