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Red Sox Sam Kennedy Says Keeping Mookie Betts, J.D. Martinez ‘Difficult’, But There is a Way

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Mookie Betts, J.D. Martinez

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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Anthony DiMoro is the creator of Sports Rants and the CEO of Elite Rank Media and DiMoro Enterprises LLC. He is a former Contributor for Forbes and the Huffington Post where he covered sports, social media, and SEO. Anthony hosts the Anthony DiMoro Show podcast, and formerly hosted the 'Forbes SportsMoney Podcast'.

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Boston Red Sox

Red Sox Fire Dave Dombrowski

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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.

 

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Boston Red Sox

Red Sox David Price Blasts Dennis Eckersley

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David Price

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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Boston Red Sox

David Ortiz Shooter, Six Others Arrested in Connection

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David Ortiz

The shooter who attempted to kill Boston Red Sox legendary slugger David Ortiz in the Dominican Republic earlier this week, along with 6 other people connected with the attack, have been arrested, according to officials.

According to Dominican Republic officials, the shooter, along with 5 other suspects, were paid 400,000 pesos to kill Ortiz, saying that two young men drove up to the bar, where Ortiz was, sitting on a motorcycle and one of the men got off and shot Ortiz in the back.

The men attempted to flee the scene on their bike following this shooting, but it fell to the ground forcing them to try to escape on foot.

While one of the shooters was able to escape, the other, Eddy Vladimir Feliz Garcia, was corralled and beaten by bystanders prior to being handed over to police.

Police has announced that have apprehended the other shooter, along with 3 other people that say contributed to the attack on Ortiz.

Officials states that a total of 6 individuals were paid 400,000 pesos ($8,000 USD) to kill Ortiz in the planned attack that involved 2 vehicles and 1 motorcycle, although no motive has been determined at the time of this report.

Police say that 5 suspects are now in custody, with one remaining at large, and they also believe that they have found the fun that was used in the attack on Ortiz.

Ortiz has undergone 2 surgeries since the attack, returning to Boston shortly following the attack.

Ortiz’s wide, Tiffany, stated that “His condition is guarded and he will remain in the ICU for the coming days, but he is making good progress towards recovery.”

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