Monday, March 2, 2020

Life After Mookie (And Price)—What Can We Expect From The 2020 Season?

Given the mandate from John Henry to shave payroll (and the decision of J.D. Martinez to stay in Boston), it was almost inevitable that new GM Chaim Bloom would have to trade away 2018 AL MVP Mookie Betts. Well, it happened—Mookie will be patrolling right field in Chavez Ravine in 2020—not Fenway. Trading Betts along with David Price will get Boston under the luxury tax threshold for this year—but it is a sad day when your team deals way a legitimate five-tool player for any reason. Essentially, we unloaded our Willie Mays in exchange for financial flexibility and the chance that one of the three players coming back will someday come close to Mookie's value. Don't hold your breath. The 2020 season is likely to be an unmitigated disaster—with only three legitimate starters—Chris Sale, Eduardo Rodriguez and Nathan Eovaldi. And, of course, two of them (Sale and Eovaldi) have a recent history of quirky injuries. Forget about the #4 and #5 starters—we don't even know who they are with about three weeks left before Opening Day. Even without Mookie, the Boston offense is likely to be potent. Rafael Devers will be even more devastating at the plate with another year of maturity under his belt. Xander Bogaerts will be a leader on and off the field again. J.D. Martinez will be, well, J.D. Martinez. And, Christian Vazquez should build on his solid 2019 and be an even better player on both sides of the ball. Still, this is probably a .500 ballclub that will miss the playoffs for the second straight year.