Things have worked out pretty well for the Boston Red Sox this offseason. The team traded away the MLB’s no.1 prospect in December, and they still own the best prospect in baseball. The MLB updated its Top 100 Prospects list (“The Pipeline) on Saturday, and it saw Yoan Moncada fall back to the no.2 overall spot. Ironically, it was to his 2016 teammate with the Red Sox, Andrew Benintendi.
When one thinks of it, the update makes sense. Benintendi was in the no.5 spot on this list in 2016 when the Red Sox promoted him to the Majors without any Triple-A experience. Many believed the 22-year-old was not ready and that Boston was rushing him too quickly, but Benintendi was highly impressive in left field and gave the Sox a spark that helped propel them to the AL East title. Benintendi missed time with a knee injury, but still batted .295 with 14 RBI in 34 games and played very good defense. He did not exceed 130 at-bats and was not granted rookie status.
After securing the AL East crown, the Red Sox brought Moncada up as well. Though he too had not yet been in Triple-A, the Cuban phenom was expected to shine, but he surprisingly didn’t. The 21-year-old recorded just four hits in 19 at-bats and drove in only one. Many perceived that Boston would perhaps add Moncada to bolster their postseason roster like they did with then 20-year-old Xander Bogaerts in 2013, but his poor showing prevented that from happening and he was reassigned to the Minors.
Now don’t get me wrong, Moncada’s first MLB cup of coffee not going well does not make him a bust. After all, he’s only four months older than I am and I can’t imagine myself in his position. The reason for the difference in performances between the two could simply be that Benintendi is more suited to the North American style of the game, to which all foreign players must adjust to succeed. It could be that Moncada simply hasn’t completed that yet, 2016 was his first year in the League and he likely just needs more time. The White Sox gave up their franchise pitcher Chris Sale in order to get Moncada from the Red Sox, and there is still no doubt that he will become their franchise player one day.
As far as the rest of the Pipeline update went, Dansby Swanson of the Braves remains at no.4 and Gleyber Torres of the Yankees jumped from no. 17 to no.3. Former no.2 JP Crawford of the Phillies fell to no. 7 and Alex Reyes of the Cardinals supplanted Lucas Giolito of the White Sox as the top ranked pitcher (no.6 overall). Giolito is now at no. 12 and no.3 on the RHP list. The top 10 now looks like this;
- Andrew Benintendi- OF- Red Sox. 2. Yoan Moncada- 2B- White Sox. 3. Gleyber Torres- SS- Yankees. 4. Dansby Swanson- SS- Braves. 5. Amed Rosario- SS- Mets. 6. Alex Reyes- RHP- Cardinals. 7. JP Crawford- SS- Phillies. 8. Victor Robles- OF- Nationals. 9. Tyler Glasnow- RHP- Pirates. 10. Austin Meadows- OF- Pirates.
It’s almost time for Baseball again, pitchers and catchers report to Spring Training in two weeks. Keep up with SportsRants for all your MLB updates.
Red Sox Sam Kennedy Says Keeping Mookie Betts, J.D. Martinez ‘Difficult’, But There is a Way
After a disappointing 2019 campaign following a 2018 World Series championship, the Boston Red Sox are looking to trim payroll and revamp for the 2020 season.
Red Sox president Sam Kennedy spoke Monday about the team’s future and stated that there is a way for the team to keep superstar outfielders Mookie Betts and J.D. Martinez and stay below Major League Baseball’s competitive balance tax, but it won’t be an easy task to perform.
“There is a way, but obviously it will be difficult given the nature of the agreements and the contracts we have in place,” Kennedy said, according to ESPN.
“We have a very targeted and strategic plan that we’re building now. Some of the dates related to contract decisions come right after the World Series. So we’ve had some time in September to focus on the offseason given where we were in the standings,” he said. “It is going to be a challenging offseason, but we’re ready to attack it head-on and do everything we can to put a competitive team out there not just for next year but 2021, 2022.”
The comments come off the heels of a Friday media session with team owners John Henry and Tom Werner where the two stated that they were prepared to cut payroll to get under the luxury-tax threshold next season.
The Red Sox have had baseball’s highest payroll for two consecutive seasons, exceeding the competitive balance threshold of $208 million in each of those seasons.
Doing so for a third straight season would see an astronomical rise of the taxes.
“We need to be under the CBT,” Henry said on Friday.
“We will continue to demonstrate a willingness to go over the CBT,” Kennedy said. “It is going to be a challenging offseason, but we are going to attack it.”
“We absolutely love Mookie Betts as a player, as a person,” Kennedy said. “We’ve gotten to know his family. You hope that he’s a guy that is here for the long term.”
Kennedy also added that he took no offense at the idea of Betts testing the free agent market this upcoming winter.
“I think it speaks to Mookie’s confidence and how special of a player he is,” Kennedy said of Betts’ potential testing of the market.
“He really does love it here. He told me he loves it here. … You can see with the joy and energy and enthusiasm in which he approaches playing baseball at Fenway Park — the fans love him.”
Kennedy also lauded the performance of Martinez, while also pointing out his importance to the team’s success.
“You want J.D. Martinez in the middle of your lineup,” Kennedy said. “He’s a world champion and was a key part of last year’s success, so we will see where it goes in the future.”
The Red Sox have a lot of work to do this offseason, and it may include losing Martinez, or Betts, or potentially both as they look to drop payroll.
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Red Sox Fire Dave Dombrowski
The Boston Red Sox have fired president of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski one year after winning the World Series, according to ESPN’s Jeff Passan.
The Red Sox fired Dombrowski, 63, on Sunday and they will elevate senior vice president Raquel Ferreira and assistant general managers Eddie Romero, Brian O’Halloran and Zack Scott to jointly lead their baseball operations department for the remainder of the 2019 season.
Dombrowski was hired back in August 2015 and was the architect of the World Series Championship team in 2018.
Dombrowski made some major moves during his tenure, such as trading for Chris Sale and Craig Kimbrell, signing J.D. Martinez and David Price, and hiring manager Joey Cora.
“This is a guy that gave me a chance to come here and be a big league manager,” Cora said. “It’s one of those things that caught me. They just told me, so I’m not ready to talk about it.”
An excessive payroll and getting this team back on track will be just some of the tasks that Dombrowski’s successors will have to do.
For all that Dombrowski had accomplished in Boston, he came under scrutiny this season for some of the big moves he missed on, as well as the team’s poor season that has them well out of the division race and 8 games back from the wild card.
Red Sox David Price Blasts Dennis Eckersley
Some feuds just refuse to die, and that seems to be the case with Boston Red Sox pitcher David Price and Hall of Famer Dennis Eckersley, who is a TV analyst for the team, whose feud kicked off around two years ago.
It all started when Eckersley made a comment about Boston lefty Eduardo Rodriguez on air, leading to Price confronting him on the team plane, blocking his path, mocking, and cursing at him as some players applauded.
A few years after the incident, Eckersley made comments about Price during an interview with the Boston Globe that ran on Tuesday.
“I didn’t know how to deal with that. I don’t plan on saying a word to him, I don’t plan on seeing him, never,” Eckersley said. “I don’t really give a — one way or another. I don’t think he really cares one way or the other.”
Price made some not-so-subtle comments, in response, on his Twitter account via some emojis on Wednesday, but unloaded on Eckersley when speaking to the media at Fenway PArk on Wednesday.
“Honestly, I just think it’s trash. He had an unbelievable career and he’s a Hall of Famer,” Price said (h/t ESPN). “I saw his special on MLB Network. It was cool. The one thing that stood out to me was that he had zero former teammates in that interview. Not one talking about him. It was him talking about himself.
“If anybody ever does a special on me after baseball, I won’t need to go on that interview. I will have former teammates. I will have former coaches. He didn’t have that. To me, that’s all you need to know. That tells the story right there.”
It seems that this feud is far from being over.
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