There were years, decades, almost a century when the Red Sox had to prioritize a season ahead of their near future. This was life in the drought during the curse.
Four titles in the past 16 seasons – one only in 2018 – offer Boston a certain consolation in making more comprehensive decisions than, for example, the Dodgers who haven't won since 1988 or the Padres who never won everything.
Of course they want to win again this year, have a fan base and a story that requires a constant striving for wrestling. However, the titles rightly allow the Red Sox to ask this question: How important is the unique 2020 season compared to the near future?
Before answering this question, let's consider an important question in 2021: what is the percentage chance that Mookie Betts will be with the Red Sox in 2021, even if Boston doesn't act before he signs up for one at the end of the coming season free agency can register? The Red Sox tried several times and were unable to sign Betts on a long-term basis without any evidence that the teams were in the same stadium or that Betts really wanted to stay in Boston for the long term.
In the next off-season, he might consider a $ 400 million contract considering his talent (abundant), his age (not even 28 years to October), and a potential applicant field to which (among other things ) The Dodgers, Giants and a Mets organization could suddenly be infused with Steve Cohen's wallet. So are we talking about the Red Sox even having a five percent chance of keeping bets if – again – at best – they showed ambivalence about staying?
Now let's go back to 2020. The Red Sox still have the core of their 2018 championship team, but their depth is suspicious (majors and minors), their rotation is talented but fragile (with no obvious help imminent). Theft scandal You are currently working without a manager a week before the camp opens. Your possible punishment for possible violations from 2018 is due before the regular season. On paper, the Yankees and Rays are better in the AL East. In addition, the AL is generally better this year than in the past two seasons. Boston is talented enough to get into the playoffs, but a championship title would come as a surprise.
How much do they want to prioritize in 2020 by putting Betts on an attempt to raise a fallow farm system that could suffer another blow if the commissioner frees the Red Sox from the draft picks as part of a sign theft penalty to the Astros done? The fact that Betts owes $ 27 million and is a free agent after the season lowers Boston expectations compared to Betts' actual talent.
Even so, Boston has twice tipped what it looks like when 1) owner John Henry said when he concluded last season that the Red Sox's plan was to break the $ 208 million threshold for luxury taxes to fall below what the organization later changed to a hope and not a mandate. And 2) Chaim Bloom was hired as Chief Baseball Officer. Bloom was hired by Rays, an organization that does more with less and doesn't just have a big picture this season.
According to executives who have been informed of ongoing discussions, discussions between the Red Sox and key Betts applicants, the title-hungry Dodgers and Padres, have grown in importance over the past week. Boston has received strong offers from both, so there is now a stronger belief that the Red Sox will compete against their best player next week and then cope with these failures instead of having to deal with the awkwardness of Betts in spring training ,
A person informed about the discussion said that the publicly reported scenarios are largely true. Namely, that the Dodgers would not include any of the gems from their deep system like Gavin Lux or Dustin May, but would use multiple talents, including outfield player Alex Verdugo, and would sign the entire Betts $ 27 million contract. There are scenarios where they also get David Price (three years, $ 96 million left), but Boston would have to eat money and / or a contract like A.J. Pollock's four years, $ 47 million.
The Dodgers under the president of baseball operations, Andrew Friedman, were disciplined not to overpay – they gave $ 1.15 for a $ 1 win. But they went beyond their comfort zone and offered Gerrit Cole an eight-year, $ 300 million deferment offer and would do so here. Because they haven't won since 1988. Because the Diamondbacks and maybe the Padres in NL West have become peskier. Because after the season their problem was often about the offense. And because they expect to bet on bets in the next off season anyway.
Padres' proposal is based on the design of the Red Sox, which will take up part of the three years and $ 61 million that Wil Myers owes, and in return will plunge into the depths of the prospect in San Diego, particularly in the catcher Luis Campusano. The Padres are under GM A.J. Bouncy as they try to make the playoffs for the first time since 2006.
They could afford to be more liberal in their trade prospects – even though the chance of re-signing Betts is slim – because they have so many talented farm workers and managing their 40-man list is becoming an increasing problem.
The Dodgers and Padres are motivated buyers. Are the Red Sox ready to prioritize the future over 2020?