2014 Sox Preview: Who's Not Back

I threw out some predictions yesterday. Next? How about who isn’t back? Cool? That’s probably the best place to start.

If you bothered to follow the ‘13 Sox, then you know that Jake Peavy, Matt Thornton and Alex Rios were all moved in season. Since they were moved before the end of last season so there’s no need to talk about those three.

There are a number of guys who were on the Sox last year and aren't starting the year with the major league team, and thus I’m not going to focus on these players (e.g. Héctor Giménez is in the Sox system but he's not on the major league team, however, since he might see some time on the Sox at some point, no need to write “A Requiem for Héctor Giménez”. Sorry.)

Position Players

DeWayne Wise
Wise only saw 30 games and 66 plate appearances with the Sox last year. However, he managed to put up 0.1 WAR which made him the 8th best position player on the team in 2013. That’s hilariously sad and pathetic.
Will the Sox miss him? No. Wise has had a nice Sox career going back to 2008, but he’s a dime a dozen player.


Addison Reed
Reed was the Sox closer last year and was okay at it. His 3.79 ERA pretty much matched his xFIP. He stuck guys out and while he probably walked a few more guys than you’d like, he didn’t have a huge control problem. Reed’s young and still under club control for four more years, but the Sox we’re able to move him for a young, possibly above average third baseman who is under club control for six years. In what was probably Hahn’s best deal of the winter, moving a reliever in Reed and his soon to be more and more expensive contract (starting next year) for Matt Davidson was a bit of a no brainer.

Reed does have a bit of a flyball problem, and he was lucky with his HR/FB rate last year (6.8%) and BABIP (.260). The Sox seem to have sold high on Reed.
Will the Sox miss him? Not as much as you might think. Reed’s a decent reliever, but the Sox have proven year after year to be able to turn hard throwing young arms into decent relievers (Nate Jones, Dan Webb). Sure the bullpen took a bit of a hit by moving Reed, but it’s much easier to replace the value that Reed brought to the club than a 2 or 3 WAR third baseman.

Hector Santiago
Santiago ended up starting 23 games and giving the Sox 150 okay innings. He misses bats and there are some things to like since he’s only 26. But Santiago has control problems. He walked 4.35 batters per 9 innings. That’s not good. And the only reason why Santiago is still being given a shot in the majors is because he misses so many bats. Is there upside? Yes. If Santiago cuts his walk rate in half over the next two years, pumps that ground ball rate a few points while still striking out 8 or 9 guys per 9 innings, we’re talking about a borderline All-Star. But that’s a big if, and when you can grab a young centerfielder who gets on base you make the move.
Will the Sox miss him? Probably not, but depends on who you think is replacing him. Sure, Santiago gave the Sox 150 innings last year and decent value. But Erik Johnson should be able to replace Santiago’s innings and value, in fact, I think Johnson will be an upgrade over Santiago this year. Now if you always had Johnson penciled into the rotation with Santiago at the end of ‘13, then the Sox might miss him a little since Andre Rienzo has been a poor man’s Santiago thus far in his very early major league career and Felipe Paulino might not have anything left.

Gavin Floyd
Sadly, Floyd blew out his arm early in the 2013 season and the Sox were never able to replace his innings with anyone nearly as good. Gavin gave the Sox five solid years as a starter (with three of them very good). Floyd signed with the Braves this winter. Here is to Floyd bouncing back and pitching for another five or six years.
Will the Sox miss him? Nah. The Sox effectively moved on back in May when Floyd went down. So while it might have been nice to bring him back on a incentive based, one year deal, the Sox are better off figuring out what Danks is at this point, if Johnson is a someone who can hold down a spot in the rotation over the next half decade or more, and if Rienzo can figure out his walk issues, not to mention if there are any other cheap arms out there who can hold down a spot in the rotation (aka Felipe Paulino).

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