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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) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: david price, mookie betts, nathan eovaldi, red sox douche, trade rumors

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   1. Nasty Nate Posted: December 04, 2019 at 09:48 AM (#5905471)
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.
No it wasn't.

Anyway, the new information is the sources saying they are trying to move Eovaldi and/or Price. This article is just a re-hash of a more comprehensive Jeff Passan article, which is here: https://www.espn.com/mlb/story/_/id/28216818/mookie-lindor-arenado-players-should-mlb-offseason-trade-talks

I will go on the record to predict that Betts, Eovaldi, and Price are on the roster at the start of spring training.
   2. Jose Goes to Absurd Lengths for 50K Posted: December 04, 2019 at 09:54 AM (#5905473)
I'm not quite sure what QLE's intro means.
   3. Nasty Nate Posted: December 04, 2019 at 10:02 AM (#5905478)
Not the first time!
   4. jmurph Posted: December 04, 2019 at 10:14 AM (#5905482)
Add me to 2 and 3.
   5. Nasty Nate Posted: December 04, 2019 at 10:28 AM (#5905488)
Add me to 2 and 3.
Yeah, was the point supposed to be something like: The Giants may not win many games, or spend a ton on payroll like the Sox, but at least they never traded Posey or Bumgarner - and the Sox are douches for maybe trading hometown heroes like, uh, Price and Eovaldi?
   6. QLE Posted: December 04, 2019 at 10:50 AM (#5905496)
Not quite.

The thought I had was a rather simple one- in a world where a really wealthy baseball team with a really wealthy owner is seriously considering dumping someone who clearly appears to be a Hall of Fame talent solely to save money (seemingly just to further line the pockets of said owner), there's something to be said for a team that doesn't tank games, especially given, firstly, how heavily that's being done out of sheer greed, and, secondly, how recent news stories of the last month aren't exactly looking positive for the team usually given as the success story for this approach.

Not that hard in the slightest to comprehend, I should say....
   7. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: December 04, 2019 at 10:51 AM (#5905497)
Good luck finding anyone willing to take on a significant amount of either of those contracts.
   8. Nasty Nate Posted: December 04, 2019 at 11:20 AM (#5905522)
Not that hard in the slightest to comprehend, I should say....
What does this have to do with the Giants? They are are wealthy team and they have spent less than the Sox every single year for 20 years or so. Barring major surprises, they will spend less than the Sox again next year. And they are probably losing franchise icon Bumgarner this offseason because of money.

Furthermore, the premise of the article you linked was that the Sox aren't trading Betts.
   9. Nasty Nate Posted: December 04, 2019 at 11:21 AM (#5905524)
Good luck finding anyone willing to take on a significant amount of either of those contracts.
Agreed. That thought and the fact that the Sox don't have SPs waiting in the wings to take their place, is why I don't think they'll be traded.
   10. Jose Goes to Absurd Lengths for 50K Posted: December 04, 2019 at 11:33 AM (#5905534)
Good luck finding anyone willing to take on a significant amount of either of those contracts.


I keep hearing this but we've seen bad contracts moved in the past. Price in particular is a guy potentially very good and if the Sox split the money with someone or something like that a deal might be had. I never would have thought the Mariners could move Cano but there he is with the Mets.

Furthermore, the premise of the article you linked was that the Sox aren't trading Betts.


Beyond that is the fact that Henry and Co. have been getting DESTROYED locally for this idea. There are some dopes saying "yeah gotta deal him for prospects" but the overwhelming response among Sox fans has been negative.

   11. PreservedFish Posted: December 04, 2019 at 11:37 AM (#5905535)
I also did not understand QLE's intro. And sort of don't understand the explanation either.
   12. jmurph Posted: December 04, 2019 at 11:39 AM (#5905536)
Beyond that is the fact that Henry and Co. have been getting DESTROYED locally for this idea. There are some dopes saying "yeah gotta deal him for prospects" but the overwhelming response among Sox fans has been negative.

Good to hear. I'm also hopeful they've been convinced that they aren't actually likely to get much in prospect value for a highly paid guy on a one year deal who is intent on testing the market?
   13. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: December 04, 2019 at 11:47 AM (#5905541)
The Pirates will probably have a little bit of payroll room, particularly if they end up trading Marte this offseason, and might be willing to take a bad deal like Eovaldi's if there were enough prospects attached to it.
   14. Nasty Nate Posted: December 04, 2019 at 11:57 AM (#5905550)
I'm also hopeful they've been convinced that they aren't actually likely to get much in prospect value for a highly paid guy on a one year deal who is intent on testing the market?
If I may paraphrase Darren from a different thread: So the idea is it would be an abomination for the Sox to lose out on generational-talent Mookie's 2020 season, but no other team would consider having him to be valuable?

In my opinion, that sentiment severely overrates the "homegrown guy" factor.
   15. jmurph Posted: December 04, 2019 at 12:02 PM (#5905555)
If I may paraphrase Darren from a different thread: So the idea is it would be an abomination for the Sox to lose out on generational-talent Mookie's 2020 season, but no other team would consider having him to be valuable?

Yeah I don't find that reply persuasive. I just don't see teams giving up a lot of talent for guys on one year deals. Is that wrong? Are teams willing to do this in recent years and we're just forgetting?

EDIT: I'm missing your "homegrown guy" point, I think, but the reason it would specifically be an abomination for the Red Sox to lose him is A. they already have him, at the cost of nothing but his salary, and B. there is every reason to believe they will be the heavy frontrunners to retain him once he reaches free agency. Those things aren't true of any other team.
   16. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: December 04, 2019 at 12:03 PM (#5905557)
If I may paraphrase Darren from a different thread: So the idea is it would be an abomination for the Sox to lose out on generational-talent Mookie's 2020 season, but no other team would consider having him to be valuable?

In my opinion, that sentiment severely overrates the "homegrown guy" factor.


The Sox 1) can afford to keep him, 2) are a contender in 2020, where Betts may very well be the difference between playoffs and no playoffs, 3) have a chance of him being an all-time franchise great, a la Yaz.

No other team has factor 3), obviously, and very few fit factor 1) and 2). Basically, Betts is far more valuable to the Red Sox than any other team. That makes a trade almost impossible.
   17. Nasty Nate Posted: December 04, 2019 at 12:08 PM (#5905560)
Basically, Betts is far more valuable to the Red Sox than any other team. That makes a trade almost impossible.
I think those are huge over-statements if we accept the premise from #12 that he is intent on testing the market.

But to be clear, given all the factors I don't think it makes sense for them to trade him.
   18. Kiko Sakata Posted: December 04, 2019 at 12:10 PM (#5905561)
The Pirates will probably have a little bit of payroll room, particularly if they end up trading Marte this offseason, and might be willing to take a bad deal like Eovaldi's if there were enough prospects attached to it.


Would it be a legal "trade" if the Pirates acquired Eovaldi and two Red Sox prospects in exchange for literally nothing? Or is that something that even Rob Manfred would block a'la Bowie Kuhn (and Charlie Finley) "in the best interests of baseball"?
   19. jmurph Posted: December 04, 2019 at 12:10 PM (#5905562)
I think those are huge over-statements if we accept the premise from #12 that he is intent on testing the market.

They're not the Pirates or Royals, they have every ability to retain players who test the market.
   20. Nasty Nate Posted: December 04, 2019 at 12:13 PM (#5905563)
They're not the Pirates or Royals, they have every ability to retain players who test the market.
Ditto for any teams that would plausibly trade for him this offseason...
   21. jmurph Posted: December 04, 2019 at 12:21 PM (#5905567)
Ditto for any teams that would plausibly trade for him this offseason...

You'd have to believe there is absolutely no incumbent advantage to make this case, I think. I'm not aware of any reason to think the Red Sox don't have one. They have him now, don't need to trade prospects to get him, and will be seen as the frontrunner to retain him. No other team has any of those things working for them.
   22. Jose Goes to Absurd Lengths for 50K Posted: December 04, 2019 at 12:26 PM (#5905569)
But to be clear, given all the factors I don't think it makes sense for them to trade him.


I think this is the thing. The Sox could trade him tomorrow very easily. But I think the idea that the Sox can "restock the system" or any such nonsense is a virtual impossibility meaning a trade isn't likely. Like so many things the devil is in the details. The person I know who most thinks the Sox should trade Mookie always tells me "they'll get nothign for him, gotta get something." But when i ask what they should get it's some combination of "a couple of guys in or near MLB, plus a couple of top prospects and a lottery ticket type" which just isn't realistic.

Would it be a legal "trade" if the Pirates acquired Eovaldi and two Red Sox prospects in exchange for literally nothing? Or is that something that even Rob Manfred would block a'la Bowie Kuhn (and Charlie Finley) "in the best interests of baseball"?


I don't think so. When the Cubs hired Theo Epstein the Cubs sent someone (not that Chris Carpenter) as compensation. To make the deal legal the Sox had to send a player the other way (who was Xander Bogaerts' twin brother Jair).
   23. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: December 04, 2019 at 12:27 PM (#5905570)
I never would have thought the Mariners could move Cano but there he is with the Mets.
And how's that working out? The pool of teams willing to take on those kinds of contracts keeps getting smaller, and on the relatively rare occasions that it still does happen, it pretty much always turns into yet another data point for "don't do that." Yeah, the Mariners were able to convince the hotshot new GM to make a dumb move by dangling a shiny closer, but those kinds of suckers are getting harder and harder to find.
   24. Nasty Nate Posted: December 04, 2019 at 12:29 PM (#5905572)
They have him now, don't need to trade prospects to get him, and will be seen as the frontrunner to retain him. No other team has any of those things working for them.
But by the time he tests the market, those things no longer come into play.

Or to any extent that they do, the benefits will have been transferred to whomever acquired him in a hypothetical trade.
   25. Jose Goes to Absurd Lengths for 50K Posted: December 04, 2019 at 12:30 PM (#5905573)
but those kinds of suckers are getting harder and harder to find.


I'm 49 years old and I feel like I've been hearing a variant of this my whole life. I'm not saying it's going to be easy but big "untradeable" contracts get traded pretty regularly.
   26. jmurph Posted: December 04, 2019 at 12:33 PM (#5905576)
But by the time he tests the market, those things no longer come into play.

So you believe this, and yet also (seem to?) believe that there will be teams willing to trade lots of things of value to put themselves in that position?

   27. Nasty Nate Posted: December 04, 2019 at 12:37 PM (#5905579)
But by the time he tests the market, those things no longer come into play.


So you believe this, and yet also (seem to?) believe that there will be teams willing to trade lots of things of value to put themselves in that position?
No I believe that there are teams willing to trade things of value for Mookie's 2020 season at the projected salary.
   28. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: December 04, 2019 at 12:42 PM (#5905581)
Ditto for any teams that would plausibly trade for him this offseason...

No. The only teams that can spend like the Red Sox are the Yankees and Dodgers. Any other potential trade partner has less financial resources than the Sox.

If you want Miguel Andujar, and Albert Abreu, and to see Betts playing CF in NY for the next 10 years, you can probably have that.
   29. Nasty Nate Posted: December 04, 2019 at 12:46 PM (#5905584)
No. The only teams that can spend like the Red Sox are the Yankees and Dodgers. Any other potential trade partner has less financial resources than the Sox.
Yes, that's why Greinke, Machado, Harper, Pujols, Cano, and Scherzer all signed as free agents with one of those 3 teams...
   30. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: December 04, 2019 at 12:48 PM (#5905585)
Yes, that's why Greinke, Machado, Harper, Pujols, Cano, and Scherzer all signed as free agents with one of those 3 teams...

I didn't say no one else could sign him, simply that only two other teams have the resources of the Red Sox.

The Red Sox are more able to retain Betts than all but two of 29 potential trade partners.
   31. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: December 04, 2019 at 12:52 PM (#5905588)
I'm 49 years old and I feel like I've been hearing a variant of this my whole life.
It's been a slow process, but one that's accelerated quite a bit lately. Of course it only takes one, and going from 1/30 suckers to 0/30 suckers is probably the hardest step (and thus you're right, there is still at least some nonzero hope of making a deal). But the trend is undeniable, and finding a taker for either will be very difficult.
   32. Nasty Nate Posted: December 04, 2019 at 12:56 PM (#5905589)
I didn't say no one else could sign him, simply that only two other teams have the resources of the Red Sox.

The Red Sox are more able to retain Betts than all but two of 29 potential trade partners.
OK, but if he's intent on testing the market, the Sox would have to out-bid more than just those other 2 teams. And if there's an incumbency advantage to signing him as a free agent, more than just those other 2 teams would gain that advantage in a trade situation.
   33. cookiedabookie Posted: December 04, 2019 at 01:00 PM (#5905593)
If money was such an issue, why did they offer a contract to JBJ? According to BB-Ref, he's been an average defensive outfielder for two years, and for one on Fangraphs, with a below-average bat. You could sign Pillar to replace him for half the price.
   34. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: December 04, 2019 at 01:03 PM (#5905594)
OK, but if he's intent on testing the market, the Sox would have to out-bid more than just those other 2 teams. And if there's an incumbency advantage to signing him as a free agent, more than just those other 2 teams would gain that advantage in a trade situation.

Sure. My point is simply that if the ability to keep Betts is an important consideration, that consideration is more valuable to the Red Sox than almost any other trade partner, because they're less likely to be outbid.
   35. jmurph Posted: December 04, 2019 at 01:06 PM (#5905598)
And if there's an incumbency advantage to signing him as a free agent, more than just those other 2 teams would gain that advantage in a trade situation.

I don't think there's any reason to believe that the Dodgers, for example, would have the same advantages as the team that drafted him, that he's played with for years, with several of the same teammates for years, that he's won a World Series with, etc.

We're arguing about speculation at this point, I suppose, so I don't think it's provable who is right on this subject. I'll note that there doesn't seem to be a market forming at this point, but that could change. I hope that just means they're not actually serious about shopping him.
   36. Nasty Nate Posted: December 04, 2019 at 01:11 PM (#5905601)
This may not be relevant to the topic, but I was surprised at how many names I could put in post #29. It might indicate that the upper-upper-payroll teams have not used their financial advantage on the free agent mega-contracts, but instead with depth and extensions.
   37. PreservedFish Posted: December 04, 2019 at 01:17 PM (#5905605)
Most of the teams listed in #29 are kinda dumb.
   38. Jay Seaver Posted: December 04, 2019 at 01:58 PM (#5905616)
And if there's an incumbency advantage to signing him as a free agent, more than just those other 2 teams would gain that advantage in a trade situation.


If money was such an issue, why did they offer a contract to JBJ?


I think, in both cases, there's a certain advantage to going with what you know. If Betts is happy in Boston - and there's been nothing to indicate that he's unhappy, just smart enough to know how the system works - that can be a pretty useful tiebreaker when he's got three or four similar offers next fall, similarly, yeah, the Red Sox could replace one year of Bradley with one year of Pillar or whoever, but they know Bradley, they've got coaches who have spent years working on helping him hit, he knows Fenway's center field better than anyone, etc., and if the goal for 2020 is to compete for a championship it might be worth a few million to keep working on Bradley rather than starting clean with kind-of-like-Bradley.

How much is either of these cases worth? Probably not much, maybe not enough, but I suspect that short-term certainty is worth more for the Red Sox than the relatively small potential upside of replacing 2/3 of their outfield.
   39. Walt Davis Posted: December 04, 2019 at 02:14 PM (#5905622)
The Ms didn't move Cano's contract, they moved about 2/3 of it by rolling 4 years of cheap control over Diaz into the deal. Where the Ms made out like bandits was getting back two pretty good prospects (who both had a very good 2019). but although none of us are hopeful, let's not write off Cano's and Diaz's futures just yet.

But sure, Price is clearly tradeable as long as the Red Sox are willing to eat enough money and demand little in return. He's had injury issues but a 118 ERA+ in Boston with a good K-rate, coming off an excellent FIP season. You can probably move him at around 3/$50. Eovaldi is probably not movable right now except as some part of a bad-contract swap -- at a minimum, he has to show he's healthy and reasonably effective so I can't see him moving until mid-season at best.

I also agree though that if the Sox are that committed to cutting payroll, they would have just non-tendered Bradley. So either that aren't THAT committed to cutting payroll or they are highly confident they have another deal in place.

On Betts and the (not so) contradictory notion that he's so valuable they should keep him while also not being valuable enough to get return in trade ... he's obviously easy to trade, the question is for what return. Given he's gonna get something in the vicinty of $30 M in arb and then he's off to FA, you're talking about "only" something like $10-$20 M in excess value. Given the current valuation of prospects, that's not going to bring a big return, certainly not on the level of "restocking a farm system." Or at least it shouldn't. If they can move him for a top 10 prospect (plus), that's probably a deal worth making, especially if they really are committed to reduced payroll.
   40. Walt Davis Posted: December 04, 2019 at 02:26 PM (#5905632)
if the goal for 2020 is to compete for a championship

But that's the rub. I think we all agree that if the ownership's goal is to (seriously) compete for a championship this year then you keep Bradley. But the offseason theme, supported by team comments, has placed lowering payroll as a top priority (and maybe the top priority) -- we wouldn't be discussing trading Betts if the focus was on a championship. So the Bradley tender is weird -- it was an easy place to save money, letting him go probably wouldn't have a major impact on their championship chances, it would help in keeping Betts while limiting payroll.
   41. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: December 04, 2019 at 02:30 PM (#5905635)
Would it be a legal "trade" if the Pirates acquired Eovaldi and two Red Sox prospects in exchange for literally nothing? Or is that something that even Rob Manfred would block a'la Bowie Kuhn (and Charlie Finley) "in the best interests of baseball"?


I think they'd need to send at least one player (or other tangible consideration, like a cash payment) back in return, even if it's nothing of significant value.

What about something like Eovaldi, Chavis, and Bryan Mata for a fringe prospect like Stephen Alemais?
   42. jmurph Posted: December 04, 2019 at 02:40 PM (#5905637)
Yeah that Zach Wheeler contract just immediately makes Boston's job easier, I think.
   43. Jeff Frances the Mute Posted: December 04, 2019 at 03:04 PM (#5905652)
Yeah that Zach Wheeler contract just immediately makes Boston's job easier, I think.

Does it? I'm skeptical that Price would do much better than 2/$30 or 3/$40 if he were a free agent this year.
   44. Walt Davis Posted: December 04, 2019 at 06:40 PM (#5905731)
For whatever reason, I thought Price had pitched in Sept showing he was healthy. But it was just a 2 IP appearance early. I think he'll need to show he's healthy and effective before they can trade him even at half-price.
   45. The Yankee Clapper Posted: December 04, 2019 at 10:10 PM (#5905770)
Difficult to trade Price or Eovaldi until they demonstrate they’re healthy, but if they were to return to form, along with Sale, the Red Sox would probably be contenders, at least for the early part of the season. Not easy to trade your stars in the middle of a playoff run without pissing off your fans. Doesn’t make a lot of sense to do that.

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