Ok Red Sox fans, this year hasn’t gone the way you thought. Defending World Series champions last year, and this year probably missing the playoffs. As the final weeks get played and the postseason hopes drain, there are some things to think about for the hometown team. Let’s start with the elephant in the room, Mookie Betts. The 2018 MVP and the Red Sox went to arbitration and eventually agreed on a 1 year $20 million deal, but there is only one more season left on the contract. Mookie is expected to make an amount that Scrooge McDuck would appreciate, likely around $400 million, so the question has to be asked. Is he worth the money? Offensively, the numbers have fallen which is expected from an MVP season but would the Red Sox risk having a cloud over their head next year regarding potentially the richest contract in team history and receiving an average from Betts that is just mediocre as the 2020 season continues.
There are some big paydays coming to players on the Red Sox next season. David Price and Chris Sale are slated to make around $30 million each, while Xander Bogaerts is set to make $20 million. While we talk about paydays, there is an interesting cog in the wheel for the Sox. What happens with JD Martinez? JD has an opt out over the next three seasons and would make around $24 million next year. When he signed with Boston in 2018 he was told he would see time in the outfield. This year, Martinez has played in 27 games in the outfield and 84 games during his time with the Red Sox. If the Red Sox trade Mookie Betts, this would give Martinez his time in the outfield and the team would still have a cleanup hitter that could do damage. Financially, if Betts isn’t on the team in 2020, the team would be able to restructure JD’s contract that would give him more money and save the team some money for perhaps some bullpen help.
If we’re talking about trading a BIG piece on the Red Sox, this brings up another talking point. Who makes the deal? It is strongly believed by many reporters and Boston fans that Dave Dombrowski will be relieved of his duties during the offseason. Somebody has to be blamed for a disappointing season like this, and it starts at the top. Dealin’ Dave made some big trades that worked out for Chris Sale and Craig Kimbrel, unfortunately the bullpen has been the big glaring hole for the team. The Red Sox are around the top of MLB in blown saves and the only deal Dombrowski made was for Andrew Cashner. When he came to the Red Sox, Dombrowski was known as a person who put the now ahead of the future trading away a bunch of prospects. This offseason could be crucial for the team going forward especially with the focal point around Mookie. Buckle up Sox fans, this could be a bumpy ride.
-John Luck (@jluck_89)