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Wednesday, April 8, 2020

Articles tagged: Boston Red Sox

Mookie Betts trade talks between Red Sox, Dodgers reportedly heating up

Mookie Betts

The Boston Red Sox are still engaged in trade talks surrounding star outfielder Mookie Betts, and the Los Angeles Dodgers appear to have emerged as the most likely suitor.

Talks between the Red Sox and Dodgers have moved beyond the preliminary stage, according to Andy McCullough of The Athletic. The Dodgers have the money and prospects that would be needed to acquire Betts, and LA president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman has been openly looking to add another star player this offseason. The Dodgers missed out on both Gerrit Cole and Anthony Rendon, and McCullough notes that they do not believe the Colorado Rockies could be persuaded to trade star third baseman Nolan Arenado to a division rival.

If they wanted to, the Dodgers could also offer to take on David Price and the $96 million the left-hander is owed over the next three seasons. LA is hesitant to part with top prospects Gavin Lux and Dustin May, so absorbing Price’s salary could be one way to get a deal done. However, McCullough cited two rival executives who value Price at $15 million per season, meaning he is considered to be grossly overpaid.

The Dodgers have not won a World Series in more than three decades, and they have come painfully close in recent years. Betts would give their lineup a major boost and could finally help them get over the hump. For what it’s worth, ESPN’s Buster Olney seems to think it is very likely that Betts will wind up in LA.

The Red Sox have a new president of baseball operations in Chaim Bloom, and they appear to be determined to restock their farm system. Betts has also reportedly asked for an enormous contract and is set to become a free agent next winter, so Boston may want to get as much in return for him as possible. If the Red Sox decide they can’t wait any longer, the Dodgers sound like their best trade partner.

Report: Red Sox engaged in talks with two teams regarding Mookie Betts trade

Mookie Betts

With spring training right around the corner, the Boston Red Sox appear to be intensifying trade talks surrounding star outfielder Mookie Betts.

According to Alex Speier of the Boston Globe, the Red Sox are weighing offers from both the San Diego Padres and Los Angeles Dodgers that include combinations of MLB players and prospects. There is no evidence that a deal is on the verge of happening, nor is there any guarantee that Betts gets dealt before the season.

The Dodgers in particular have a lot of flexibility, as they could take on a contract like David Price’s to help the Red Sox. That’s reportedly exactly what Boston would like to do. The Dodgers are also big fans of Betts and are likely to launch a strong pursuit of him if he hits free agency after the 2020 season.

The Padres, meanwhile, are motivated to add a superstar, but Boston might have to take on a different contract to make that deal work.

Betts is a former AL MVP who hit .295 with 29 home runs last season. He’s a free agent after this upcoming season, and the Red Sox are eager to get under the luxury tax threshold and stay there, making him a logical trade candidate based on that goal.

JD Martinez believes Red Sox will be exonerated by MLB investigation

JD Martinez

While the baseball world digests MLB’s penalties against the Houston Astros, others have one eye on what might happen to another contending franchise.

The Boston Red Sox have been accused of using a video replay room to illegally relay signs to hitters during the 2018 season, in which they won the World Series. The league’s investigation is ongoing, and there is no timetable for its conclusion.

One Red Sox star, outfielder J.D. Martinez, said Saturday that he is very confident that the league will find nothing and the team will be exonerated.

There’s not a lot Martinez can say as the investigation is ongoing, but it’s a pretty bold pronunciation. Manager Alex Cora has already lost his job over the scandal, though that had as much to do with what he did with the Houston Astros as it does the investigation into Boston. Still, the Red Sox risk being found to be repeat offenders after their use of an Apple Watch in 2017, which would likely bring significant penalties. We’ll have to wait and see, but this quote runs the risk of aging terribly.

Report: Bruce Bochy not interested in Astros, Red Sox jobs

Bruce Bochy

The Houston Astros and Boston Red Sox are scrambling to find new managers in the wake of the sign stealing scandal that erupted across Major League Baseball recently, and both teams need to look further than three-time World Series champion Bruce Bochy.

Bochy does not plan to pursue any managerial openings this offseason, Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic reports.

Bochy had been mentioned in connection with both the Astros and Red Sox jobs, as the two teams have talented rosters and could use an experienced manager to step in during a time of turmoil. Both AJ Hinch and Alex Cora were fired after MLB released the results of its investigation into Houston’s sign stealing scheme earlier this week.

Bochy stepped down after last season following 13 years as the manager of the San Francisco Giants. He was said to be intrigued by the Astros job and would have a chance to contend for titles immediately with Houston, which is a rare opportunity for an incoming manager. However, indications all along have been that Bochy has no plans to manage in 2020. Perhaps he will change his mind after taking a season off.

The Houston Astros are confirmed cheaters and deserve an asterisk. Send that message by wearing our Houston Asterisks T-shirt! You can buy it here:

Report: Red Sox could pursue unemployed veteran managers

Red Sox logo

Somewhat secondary behind the numerous stories about Alex Cora’s fate as Boston Red Sox manager is that the organization now must hire his replacement.

According to Rob Bradford of WEEI, that replacement is somewhat likely to be an unemployed manager with previous experience. Any efforts to poach someone from the Tampa Bay Rays are unlikely, according to him.

Chaim Bloom moved from the Rays last October to become Boston’s chief baseball officer. That led to speculation that the Red Sox could target Rays bench coach Matt Quatraro, a frequent managerial candidate with ties to Bloom, but that appears unlikely at this stage of the offseason.

Experienced managers like Dusty Baker and Buck Showalter are out there if the Red Sox go in that direction, though the Red Sox haven’t been linked to anyone specific yet. They could even try to convince Bruce Bochy to cut short his retirement. Whatever the case, an experiened hand may be the best replacement for Cora, who probably won’t be managing anyone for quite a while once MLB hands down its punishment.

CC Sabathia feels ‘cheated’ out of World Series titles by Astros, Red Sox

CC Sabathia

Two of the last three World Series champions have been linked to a major sign stealing scandal that has erupted within Major League Baseball, and CC Sabathia can’t help but feel personally impacted by the acts.

Sabathia’s New York Yankees lost to the Houston Astros in the 2017 ALCS and the Boston Red Sox in the ALDS the following year. We already know the Astros are guilty of using electronic equipment in an elaborate sign stealing scheme back in 2017, and MLB is investigating the Red Sox for similar violations during their 2018 championship season. In an appearance on Showtime’s “Inside the NFL” Tuesday night, Sabathia said he feels “cheated” now that the allegations have been confirmed.

“As everything’s been coming out and the more facts that we get, it’s getting frustrating, man, to sit here and know that late in my career I could’ve had a title, maybe ’17 or maybe ’18,” Sabathia said, as transcribed by ESPN. “But we got cheated out of a team kind of doing something that’s not within the rules of the game.”

The Yankees lost to the Astros in seven games, and Sabathia started Game 7. All four of the losses in the series came at Minute Maid Park, which is where Houston had set up a video monitor outside its dugout to help steal signals from opponents via a center field camera feed. Sabathia said the fact that the series was so close makes the cheating harder for him to swallow.

“When I first heard it, I was upset, and then as investigations went on … I was like, well, we can’t go back and play the games,” he said. “But as more information started to come out, I’m like, we played a seven-game series in 2017, ALCS, and we lost really on kind of like one pitch.”

Like many others, Sabathia feels even the $5 million fine, loss of draft picks, and season-long suspensions of former Astros manager AJ Hinch and general manager Jeff Luhnow were not enough. He wants Houston to vacate its 2017 World Series title. Considering who MLB painted as the mastermind behind the cheating with the Astros, Sabathia may soon feel the same way about the Red Sox.

Alex Cora fired as manager of the Boston Red Sox

Alex Cora

The Boston Red Sox only needed a day to make a decision on the fate of Alex Cora.

The Red Sox announced Tuesday that they were parting ways with Cora.

Though the statement makes the decision sound mutual, there is little doubt the Red Sox decided they needed to get rid of Cora. They probably gave him the option of being fired or announcing a mutual parting of the ways.

The Red Sox are making the correct call.

Cora was named by MLB as the mastermind behind the Astros’ cheating in 2017, which was when Cora was the team’s bench coach. He is said to have brought a similar cheating system to the Red Sox, who won the World Series in 2018 during his first season as their manager.

MLB on Monday announced its discipline for the Astros for cheating. No discipline was announced for Cora because the league is investigating alleged cheating by the Red Sox in 2018. There is a good reason to believe the penalty for Cora will be much harsher than what former Astros manager A.J. Hinch received, and he was suspended for a season.