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Mookie Betts Newsbeat

Wednesday, January 15, 2020

Will the Red Sox use Alex Cora’s dismissal as a pretext for a teardown?

When Jeff Luhnow and A.J. Hinch were fired yesterday, someone asked me what it all means for the Astros. My gut reaction was “not that much, at least in the short term.” Losing your manager and GM is not great and the loss of the draft picks will be a big blow down the line, but in the short term the team is still stocked, with Justin Verlander and Zack Greinke going 1-2 in the rotation, Alex Bregman, José Altuve, Carlos Correa, and George Springer in the lineup and a farm system still pretty loaded with talent. They may not win 107 games again, and the rise of the Astros may be over, but they’re not likely to fall too far too fast.

The situation with the Red Sox strikes me a bit differently, though. And with Alex Cora getting fired this evening, I’m wondering if, perhaps, we may see some major changes for Boston, and if we see them quickly.

As Bill noted earlier, the Red Sox are at least trying to shrink payroll. They’ve equivocated on that at various times this offseason, first saying that they wanted to get below the Competitive Balance Tax threshold and that doing so while keeping both Mookie Betts and J.D. Martinez would be difficult. They backtracked on that more recently, saying that winning, not getting under that threshold, was the priority. Still, it’s hard to separate the stated goals from the P.R. considerations. One gets the strong feeling that, yes, the Sox’ front office would love to cut payroll below $208 million if they can, but that doing it without trading Mookie Betts would be close to impossible. And, of course, trading Betts would be a huge blow to fan morale, would likely lead to a big backlash, and might sink the Sox, competitively speaking.

But . . . maybe Alex Cora getting tossed aside changes that calculus? Maybe the team’s top brass — including new Chief Baseball Officer Chaim Bloom, who has no connection whatsoever to that which happened in Boston before this winter and who has more leeway right now to build the team the way he wants to than he will ever have going forward — sees this crisis as an opportunity? Maybe they decide to cast Cora’s dismissal and whatever other penalties Major League Baseball visits upon them when the investigation is over as the straw that broke this iteration of the Red Sox’ back and decide to tear it up and start over?

 

 

QLE Posted: January 15, 2020 at 01:04 AM | 3 comment(s)
  Beats: chaim bloom, dollah dollah bills, y'all, mookie betts, red sox, the sky is falling

Friday, January 10, 2020

Red Sox, Mookie Betts avoid arbitration with a 1-year, $27 million deal

Los Angeles El Hombre of Anaheim Posted: January 10, 2020 at 02:03 PM | 11 comment(s)
  Beats: c.r.e.a.m., mookie betts, red sox, wu-tang 4ever

Saturday, January 04, 2020

The case for packaging Mookie Betts and David Price in a straight salary dump

The idea sounds positively repellant on first blush—package David Price and Mookie Betts to the Dodgers (because let’s be realistic, it can only be the Dodgers) in a salary dump.

No top-tier prospects. No impact players to give the Red Sox a chance in 2020. Just money coming off the books, and not all of it bad. How can a big-market team justify such a defeatist move when it negates the massive financial advantage the franchise holds over its rivals?

But the more I think about it, the more I believe that not only is the concept of a package deal acceptable, but it’s the best course of action the Red Sox can take.

The reality is that trading Price alone, while making long-term financial sense, severely decreases the likelihood that the Red Sox will contend in 2020. He probably represents the safest bet among the trio of overpaid wild cards in the Red Sox rotation, and removing him means either adding another starter on par with the recently signed Martin Perez—his next ERA below 5.00 will be his first in three years—or turning to an opener.

Somewhere, the transit commissioner from SimCity 2000 is yelling his head off…...

 

QLE Posted: January 04, 2020 at 01:40 AM | 62 comment(s)
  Beats: bad ideas, david price, dodgers, dollah dollah bills, y'all, mookie betts

Friday, January 03, 2020

Dodgers Trade Rumors: LA Pursuing Mookie Betts More as Lindor Talks Stall

The Los Angeles Dodgers may be shifting their focus toward Mookie Betts as their negotiations with the Cleveland Indians over a Francisco Lindor trade remain at an impasse.

MLB.com’s Jon Paul Morosi reported Thursday the Indians are looking to receive Gavin Lux as part of a Lindor trade—a price the Dodgers aren’t willing to meet.

“As a result, sources say the Dodgers’ negotiations with the Red Sox about acquiring [Betts] have become at least as frequent—and perhaps even more involved—than their talks with the Indians about Lindor,” Morosi wrote.

According to Morosi, Boston “appears less insistent on Lux” and could find a new home for David Price as part of a Betts trade. The Red Sox have already said they’re looking to get under the luxury-tax threshold for 2020, so offloading some or all of the $96 million remaining on the left-handed starter’s contract would fit with that plan.

At times, the hot stove can verge on soap opera.

 

QLE Posted: January 03, 2020 at 01:08 AM | 7 comment(s)
  Beats: dodgers, francisco lindor, mookie betts, trade rumors

Wednesday, December 18, 2019

Hot Stove Tracker: Dodgers, Red Sox reportedly talking Mookie Betts trade

The Los Angeles Dodgers, eager to finally break their World Series slump, are looking everywhere this offseason for the addition that could get them over the hump. Now, that could also mean Boston Red Sox star outfielder Mookie Betts.

According to Bob Nightengale at USA Today, the Red Sox and Dodgers are “engaged in exploratory trade talks.” The Dodgers, as we’ve talked about already, also covet Cleveland Indians shortstop Francisco Lindor, and he remains their No. 1 trade priority. Writes Nightengale:

“The Dodgers’ top priority remains Cleveland Indians shortstop Francisco Lindor, but if the two sides can’t agree on a package for the All-Star, the Dodgers could turn its attention to Boston. The Red Sox are much more inclined to trade Betts – who’s projected to earn $27-30 million in his final year before free agency – than Cleveland is with Lindor. The Red Sox, who had baseball’s highest payroll at $244 million, and will pay $13 million in luxury tax penalties, want to slash their payroll to be under the $208 million tax threshold in 2020.”

According to USA Today’s report, the Dodgers would be willing to part with Corey Seager, their former Rookie of the Year, but not Gavin Lux. Other names in the mix: young catcher Will Smith and outfielders Joc Pederson and Alex Verdugo.

The longer and longer it goes on, the Great Red Sox Freak Out of the 2019 off-season comes across as stranger and stranger, especially to those of us who remember the 2018 season…..

 

QLE Posted: December 18, 2019 at 01:44 AM | 31 comment(s)
  Beats: dodgers, hot stove, mookie betts, trade rumors

Tuesday, December 03, 2019

MLB Rumors: A scenario emerging where the Red Sox hang on to Mookie Betts?

Chaim Bloom may have sent Sandy Leon to the Cleveland Indians on Monday, but the Boston Red Sox chief baseball officer has much bigger decisions ahead.

It was reported months ago that the Sox would attempt to move superstar Mookie Betts this offseason, but it seems that things have taken a turn. ESPN’s Jeff Passan now is reporting baseball executives across the league think a trade involving Betts is unlikely to happen.

If a Betts’ trade isn’t going to happen, Bloom will need to cut payroll elsewhere—but how?

Passan reports that Boston is looking to cut salary by trading a pitcher, and a prominent one at that. David Price or Nathan Eovaldi, who were instrumental to the Red Sox 2018 World Series Championship, reportedly are on the trading block.

There are people angry that the Giants refuse to go the tear-down route- when we watch how the likes of the Red Sox behave, however….

QLE Posted: December 03, 2019 at 10:43 PM | 45 comment(s)
  Beats: david price, mookie betts, nathan eovaldi, red sox douche, trade rumors

Tuesday, November 12, 2019

Meanwhile, on the cold, cold Hot Stove . . .

It’s Hot Stove Season baby! You know what that means! Yep: time to watch some teams sign a few relievers to minor league deals and then wait everyone out until February while talking about the need to maintain financial flexibility! FEEL THE BURN.

In more specific news:

John Morosi of MLB Network reports that, based on his conversations with front office folks, either Mookie Betts, Francisco Lindor or Kris Bryant are expected to be traded this winter.

We’ve talked a lot about Betts this winter already, and that seems like madness. Bryant’s career with the Cubs began with business-side acrimony, it’s still simmering, and there is no sense that either side is amenable to a long-term deal before he hits free agency. The Indians have been signaling for some time that they have no interest in keeping Lindor long term.

Open thread, for any thoughts concerning transactions.

QLE Posted: November 12, 2019 at 12:38 AM | 8 comment(s)
  Beats: attendance, francisco lindor, free agency, hot stove, kris bryant, mookie betts

Friday, November 08, 2019

Shaughnessy: Face it, Red Sox fans, you are overrating Mookie Betts a bit

But no baseball player is a sure thing after five or six seasons, and there is plenty of reason for the Sox to pause if Mookie wants anything in the area of $300 million over 10 seasons. Trout got $430 million for a 12-year deal, which averages out to $35.8 million per season. Bryce Harper signed with the Phillies for $330 million over 13 seasons ($25.4 million per).

Mookie and his agent are going to be reminded 330 million times that the Washington Nationals went on to win the World Series after they let Harper play out his contract.

Few players make good on these kinds of deals. One was Manny Ramirez, who was great for 7½ seasons of an eight-year, $160 million contract he signed with the Red Sox way back in 2001….

In my view, the best play is for the Sox to keep Betts in 2020, try to get another great year out of him, while still trying to sign him (unlikely) and hoping he will listen to reason. If he goes, you say, “Thank you very much,” and you take the draft pick. You do not take dimes on the dollar now, or in midsummer. No one is going to give you commensurate value for one season (or two months) of Mookie Betts.

 

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: November 08, 2019 at 03:07 PM | 65 comment(s)
  Beats: mookie betts

Thursday, November 07, 2019

Mookie Betts, Red Sox have not discussed contract extension

With J.D. Martinez not opting out of his Red Sox contract, all eyes now are on Mookie Betts.

Martinez’s commitment to Boston for 2020 adds to the speculation the Red Sox could choose to trade their superstar right fielder if the two sides can’t come to terms on a contract extension. Betts is set to become an unrestricted free agent after next season, and Sox president Sam Kennedy has admitted “it will be difficult” to keep both sluggers on the roster.

On Wednesday, Kennedy said the two sides have not discussed a possible extension yet this offseason.

“I’m sure we’ll have conversations at the appropriate time,” Kennedy said according to Chris Cotillo of MassLive.com.

It’s always something to watch a train wreck in slow motion, isn’t it?

 

QLE Posted: November 07, 2019 at 01:22 AM | 21 comment(s)
  Beats: mookie betts, red sox

Tuesday, October 29, 2019

Chaim Bloom, Red Sox brass address Mookie Betts’ future in Boston

Chaim Bloom has plenty on his plate as he takes the Chief Baseball Officer title for the Red Sox, and figuring out the future of Mookie Betts is right at the top of the list.

Betts is entering the final year of his Red Sox contract and there hasn’t been any indication the two sides are remotely close to coming to terms on an extension. All signs point toward the 2018 American League MVP being prepared to test out free agency in 2020, which brings into question whether the team could look to trade the face of their franchise.

During Bloom’s introductory press conference on Monday, the 36-year-old was peppered with several questions regarding the direction of the organization. Predictably, a number of those questions were Betts-related, but Bloom opted not to get into specifics during his first day on the job.

“Just having gotten here, obviously I come in with some information having competed against this team for a long time,” Bloom said. “There’s a lot I don’t know and a lot I’m still learning.”

There’s a team in the Bay Area that would be willing to talk- and they have a player that might excite the older fan base…..

 

QLE Posted: October 29, 2019 at 12:50 AM | 22 comment(s)
  Beats: chaim bloom, mookie betts, red sox

Sunday, October 06, 2019

Mookie Betts removed from Red Sox season ticket web page

Are the Red Sox sending a not-so-subtle hint about Mookie Betts’ future in Boston to prospective season ticket holders?

When you visit the portion of the team website seeking new season-ticket buyers, the illustration on the web page shows Rafael Devers, Xander Bogaerts and Chris Sale.

Barstool Sports’ Jared Carrabis pointed out earlier this week that Betts had been removed from the illustration. The Red Sox All-Star right fielder and 2018 AL MVP, the subject of much trade speculation as the team prepares to shed payroll this offseason, actually appeared on the page in mid-August. By last week, Eduardo Rodriguez had replaced him. The current graphic has Sale on the left. 

Just like the others pictured on the page, Betts isn’t a free agent…yet. Bogaerts and Sale have signed long-term extensions and the Sox are reportedly ready to talk about an extension with Devers. Betts? He’ll likely receive more than $30 million for the 2020 season in arbitration then command a long-term deal of $300 million or more when he tests the free-agent market after next season.

If we’re going to watch the Red Sox bizarrely melt down, can’t chicken and beer be involved somehow?

 

QLE Posted: October 06, 2019 at 01:06 AM | 42 comment(s)
  Beats: mookie betts, red sox

Tuesday, September 24, 2019

Video: Mookie Betts makes 305-foot on-the-fly throw to nail Avisaíl García at third base

Red Sox right fielder Mookie Betts made one of the best throws of the season, making a 305-foot on-the-fly laser-focused throw to Rafael Devers at third base to nail Avisaíl García, attempting to stretch a double into a triple in the bottom of the sixth inning. Ji-Man Choi had doubled ahead of García and scored easily on the ground ball slapped down the right field line, but García couldn’t outrun Betts’ arm.

A demonstration of a cannon arm in action.

 

QLE Posted: September 24, 2019 at 12:25 AM | 7 comment(s)
  Beats: arm, fielding, mookie betts, throwing

Thursday, September 19, 2019

Should the Red Sox Trade Mookie Betts?

With Dave Dombrowski out and a new baseball operations guru presumably on the way in, the Red Sox are approaching a critical juncture. Chief among the priorities of Boston’s revamped front office will be dealing with 2018 AL MVP Mookie Betts, which could mean dealing Mookie Betts ahead of his contract year or trying to build one last team around him before he becomes a coveted free agent.

The question is simple, the answer is not: Should the Red Sox trade Mookie Betts this winter?

It strikes me as a lousy idea, but, if they’re being serious, the Giants have a player that (if the the Red Sox fan base offers the sort of pressure I expect) could result in the steal of the century…..

 

QLE Posted: September 19, 2019 at 12:42 AM | 4 comment(s)
  Beats: bad ideas, mookie betts, trade talk

Tuesday, September 10, 2019

Report: Red Sox unlikely to retain Mookie Betts and/or J.D. Martinez

Alex Speier of The Boston Globe reports that the Red Sox are unlikely to retain outfielder Mookie Betts and/or DH J.D. Martinez. One or both are likely to be traded this winter. The Red Sox purportedly do not have the payroll flexibility to afford both given the recent signings of pitchers Chris Sale and Nathan Eovaldi.

The Red Sox currently have a payroll over $236 million, exceeding the competitive balance tax threshold for a second straight year. Last year, the CBT threshold was $197 million, this year it’s $206 million. The Red Sox will pay a penalty on the $30 million overage, 30 percent ($9 million) plus a 12 percent penalty ($3.6 million) for exceeding the CBT threshold between $20-40 million. To a layperson, these are huge penalties. To a billionaire, they are drops in the ocean. Even to a team, it’s the cost of a free agent reliever.

John Henry, who is the principal owner of the Red Sox (and The Boston Globe), has a net worth of $2.7 billion, according to Forbes. Henry and the Red Sox could keep both Betts and Martinez if they really wanted to. The CBT, of course, was designed to give team owners a reason to limit their investments in their teams, so it’s working exactly as intended.

Ever get the feeling we’re on the verge of a major strike in a few years’ time?

QLE Posted: September 10, 2019 at 01:30 AM | 48 comment(s)
  Beats: cheap owners, j.d. martinez, mookie betts, red sox

Thursday, August 22, 2019

Why Bryce Harper is rooting for Mookie Betts to beat his $330 million deal

For three weeks during spring training, Bryce Harper was the owner of Major League Baseball’s richest contract ever.

Now the 26-year-old outfielder is hoping he’ll be third on that list come opening day 2021 after offering a ringing endorsement for soon-to-be free agent Mookie Betts of the Boston Red Sox.

Speaking to NBC Sports Boston this week, Harper made it clear that he includes Betts among the league’s elite class of players. He’s hopeful the 2018 American League MVP will be recognized and paid as such when or even before he’s slated to hit free agency.

The answer seems obvious to me- but, then again, I am not one to court popularity….

 

QLE Posted: August 22, 2019 at 06:22 AM | 36 comment(s)
  Beats: bryce harper, contracts, dollah dollah bills, y'all, mookie betts

 

 

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