FORT MYERS, Florida – A late member of the Mookie Betts blockbuster trade appeared on Tuesday at the Red Sox Spring Training Center – an attitude against the world.
The day after the official Boston exchange between Star Right Fielder and left-hander David Price and the Dodgers, an exclamation mark was made for a turbulent off-season in which the club also fired its World Series manager and MLB on his Possible use of the electronics to steal signs was investigated in 2018 – the Red Sox insisted that they are already moving forward with their unchanged expectations.
"We don't care what anyone says," Centerfield Jackie Bradley Jr. said on Tuesday at Fenway South. “We have to go out and play the game. You don't know who will win. Get out there and play, take care of your business, because if you could always guess who's going to win, what's the point of playing the game? You can write us off and give us some predictions. I want to see who is closest. "
Baseball Prospectus announced its annual PECOTA predictions on Tuesday, fixing the Red Sox on 84.5 wins with a 28.5 percent chance in the playoffs. The Red Sox won 84 games with Betts and Price last season, and that was before the Yankees Gerrit Cole landed to make life in AL East even more challenging.
But at least on the Fenway South site, there is a belief that the Red Sox can survive and fight for the playoffs in 2020 without the 2018 AL MVP and one of their top starters.
"Look, Mookie and DP were phenomenal players and are still phenomenal players," said Matt Barnes. "But you look around our team and we have a number of all-stars and a number of phenomenal players. We still feel like we're going to fight for a championship."
Whether this happens or not depends most on your health and pitching. The cast still has people like J.D. Martinez, Xander Bogaerts, Rafael Devers, and Andrew Benintendi, but the Boston pitching team has questions.
The Red Sox rely on the rebound season of Chris Sale and Nathan Eovaldi, who scored a 4.90 ERA in 215 innings while both struggling with injuries. Sale was closed due to an inflammation of the elbow in August and was given a platelet-rich plasma injection, but General Manager Brian O'Halloran said Tuesday that the left is perfectly healthy, although he is currently ill. Eovaldi underwent surgery last April to remove loose bodies on his elbow.
Then there is the bullpen, which had major problems in 2019 and has not made any major improvements outside of the season.
"We're currently focusing on the boys in this clubhouse," said Barnes. "I tell you as often as you want, how great [Betts and Price] were as teammates and people and players. But we are currently concentrating on our clubhouse. "
Bradley was particularly close to Betts. The two, both designed in 2011, went through the organization together and have shared the outskirts of Fenway Park for the past six years.
"Markus is Markus," said Bradley, calling Betts by his first name. "We've been roommates, so to speak, since we first moved in together. We're pretty close and we're like brothers. Sometimes people go on a different course in this game and that's fine."
Now the Red Sox will try to set their own new course, which they believe may still include the playoffs in 2020.
"These guys are upset about what happened [last year]"Said new interim manager Ron Roenicke." This is a good thing for this year. "