Scott Edwards ‘21
The Boston Red Sox are one year removed from a World Series title in 2018. They went into 2019 with almost the exact same team minus a few players and at times offensively were exactly the same. So, what happened? Pitching went down a miserable path which now leads to the most daunting offseason the team has seen in years. Ownership made it clear that they want to do everything in their power to get under the luxury tax threshold that usually results in teams having to spend more if they want to go down that path. Fans now have to wonder: A) how do they get under the threshold? And B) does parting ways with 2018 AL MVP Mookie Betts have to happen?
Part one of this scenario can go down a plethora of avenues. Parting ways with the contracts of Nathan Eovaldi or David Price could be a huge splash that can free up plenty of dough. Under the new chief baseball operator, Chaim Bloom, it’s far more believable that it could actually happen. Other avenues to go down to get under the $206 million luxury tax threshold, the Sox will have to part with another piece aside from one of those two pitchers. Centerfielder Jackie Bradley Jr. becomes a top candidate as he sits on an expiring contract at the end of the 2020 season. The interest is there from other teams, so this is almost a “for certain” move if the Sox are in fact set on getting under the stated threshold.
And then there are the questions that scare fans more than any: will Mookie Betts be wearing a Red Sox jersey come spring training next season? That is a question without an answer really. What we know is that Mookie Betts wants to get the most money in a contract possible and rightfully so. Bryce Harper and Mike Trout broke the bank last offseason, as Harper got a 13 year, $330 million deal with the Philadelphia Phillies. Trout, on the other hand, is world-renowned as the best player in baseball and signed the largest contract in the history of sports, signing a 12 year, $430 million extension with the Los Angeles Angels. As a Sox fan and a baseball fan, you have to recognize the fact that Betts is going to land right in the middle of those numbers. This means he can very well leave after the 2020 season if the Sox are simply outbid by another team. Which begs the question of him getting dealt or not so the Red Sox don’t completely get left with nothing if he were to leave in free agency.
When we say it is a daunting offseason upcoming, it is the truth. There is nothing sure about it and a real chance the Red Sox go into 2020 without their best homegrown player possibly ever. As a Sox fan, you can only really hope something changes and Betts wants to remain the franchise of the team moving forward.