Red Sox CEO says keeping both JD Martinez and Mookie Betts will be ‘difficult’
The Boston Red Sox are aiming to cut payroll for the 2020 season, and it seems increasingly likely it will lead to the departure of a big name.
Red Sox president and CEO Sam Kennedy said Monday that it was possible that the team could keep both Mookie Betts and J.D. Martinez for 2020, but conceded that it would be “difficult” to do so given their contract status.
Sam Kennedy: "There is a way" where Betts and Martinez will both be on the team next year. "But it will be difficult given the nature of the contracts."
— Chris Cotillo (@ChrisCotillo) September 30, 2019
In other words, it’s more likely than not that one or the other will be playing somewhere else on Opening Day 2020. The team has openly stated that they want to cut payroll to get below the luxury tax threshold, and that means trades are coming. Martinez has an opt-out clause in his contract that he’s hinted at exercising, which would alleviate some pressure on Boston’s payroll. However, Betts will make north of $20 million and is entering the final season of team control. Contract negotiations have so far yielded no deal, and as long as that’s the case, there’s a growing chance that the team could opt to trade him and replenish their farm system while clearing even more space on the payroll. Whatever happens, it’s pretty clear that the top of the organization is embracing a new, cheaper philosophy.