The Boston Red Sox are working towards salvaging their budget for the future and that may lead to some fan favorites heading to new locations.
We’ve all heard the rumblings and have seen the rumor mill churning out the possibility of the Red Sox shipping off players in order to hit their budgetary needs. As much as I hate the thought of gutting a proven winning squad it seems like it may be the only way to achieve the task sent down by the owners. With that said, it’s not just the fans that are hearing of the possible moves, the players are just as locked into the news cycle.
Xander Bogaerts recently spoke about the rumors that some of his teammates may be playing for other squads in 2020. He addressed the elephant in the room while attending the recent Winter Meetings and he didn’t shy away from the topic of the possible trades.
"“Obviously, you want the whole team to be back but it’s getting to the point where you have to make tough decisions,” Bogaerts said. “I’m happy I’m not the one that has to make them because if it was up to me, I’d try to keep everyone.”"
The players in question are Jackie Bradley Jr. and Mookie Betts, a former ALCS MVP and AL MVP respectively. Both outfielders have not only spent considerable time with Bogey but are also testaments that the farm system can develop great talent. Each has had their moment to shine in the spotlight but with both becoming free-agents after next season, they’re easy trade pieces.
I fully agree with Bogaerts in the fact that despite the payroll being high and the results low for 2020, I wouldn’t want to part with any member of this roster. Yeah, 2019 was a complete disaster from Opening Day to the final out against Baltimore, but this is the same team that raised a Commissioner’s Trophy in 2018.
Chaim Bloom was brought in as Dave Dombrowski’s successor for the main reason that he’s the antithesis of Dombro. Bloom has spent his career in the Tampa Bay organization and has built a stellar career around drafting, cultivating a farm system, and buying cheap.
These are things that the Red Sox haven’t done well as of late and he’s here to fix that. Unfortunately for Red Sox Nation and those that suit up in the uniform every day, that may mean some familiar faces are heading elsewhere.
"“You can’t play together for 20-25 years. It’s just going to be a sad moment if anyone leaves,” Bogaerts said. “They have their own lives, they know what choices are good for them in the future. Obviously the relationships you build with these guys, especially guys like Jackie and Mookie — those are the main guys there’s a lot of talk around — those are guys I came up knowing a lot about."
I can’t begin to imagine not only what it’s like for the players that constantly read their names in the rumors and may not be in the loop. It has to be just as hard for those that are close to the players in those rumors and have to watch their teammates and friends go through the wringer with even less say in the matter.
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JBJ has been a popular trade name in recent years and now with Mookie joining him on the rumor block, Bogey is seeing two of his longtime comrades going through that very scenario. Despite the numerous lows, this team saw this past season it never felt like they ever gave up, it felt more like they couldn’t find that next gear to overcome the droughts.
Betts has made it clear that he wants to test the free-agent market and an extension isn’t in the cards. There’s always the chance that the Red Sox make the right offer next winter and Mookie signs on the dotted line.
Getting below that $208M CBT line and resetting the penalty marker is the key to writing that check. If Boston is able to get the penalties for their spending to reset then they can make Mookie and offer he can’t refuse.
As much as we romanticize the beautiful sport that is baseball, it’s still a business. Xander chose what was best for him and his family when he signed his six-year/$120M extension before last season and he expressed that feeling in regard to Betts.
"“He’s one of the best players in the game. It would be sad to see him leave. Hopefully, they can find a way to work things out. Mookie’s a grown man now. He knows what decisions are in his best interest.”"
The Red Sox are in a serious transition from how things have been done by the organization to a new chapter in their history. A team that was once known for spending no matter the price in order to get the pieces they want, is no more. Shopping on a budget can be stressful and can lead to getting substandard quality, but seeing the money remain in the bank account can feel pretty good.
Xander Bogaerts will likely spend his remaining playing days in a Red Sox uniform but he may not be side-by-side with his longtime teammates. It’s going to be a long winter in Boston and as Fenway Park gets blanket with snow, I’m sure Chaim Bloom is hard at work. He has the task of pleasing his bosses while also keeping the fans happy, not an easy task. Having Xander in the lineup for the foreseeable future should make that job easier for the new CBO.