BOSTON – The Boston Red Sox say that the unrest in the manager's office is no reason to give up this season and swap outfielder mookie bets.
"The goal remains to be competitive," said chief baseball officer Chaim Bloom this week after Alex Cora was ousted, leaving the Red Sox less than a month before spring training without a manager. “2020 is important. This also applies to 2021, 2022 and beyond. "
The 2018 AL MVP, Betts has been the subject of trade rumors this winter, as it was under team control last year before being approved as a free agent. The two sides avoided arbitration and agreed to a one-year contract for $ 27 million this season.
"He is the largest contributor to our team or one of the largest," said shortstop Xander Bogaerts on Thursday before the annual Boston Baseball Writers Awards dinner at Fenway Park. “We have a lot of veterans in this clubhouse to do another run. We have been through the good and the bad and are still here. We should have another great year this year. "
Red Sox infielder Michael Chavis also said he was excited, nothing came from the trade rumors.
"Mookie did a lot for me," he said. "I am very grateful that he is back."
Though the Red Sox are one of baseball's most-spent clubs, owner John Henry has announced that the team will drop below the $ 208 million bargain tax rate. Falling below the threshold for one year would lower the tax rate in future seasons.
Henry later made it clear that resetting the team's luxury tax rules is a goal and not a mandate. But the only way to do this would be to unload a high paying player. Betts would be the most valuable commercial bait, but also difficult to give up – unless you saw 2020 as a year of reconstruction.
That is not the case, the team insisted.
"We have high expectations in 2020," said Red Sox President Sam Kennedy. "We were behind last year (but) … we are better than a club with 84 wins. We think we have a team that is set up for the American League East."
Cora left on Tuesday, a day after Manfred Astros manager AJ Hinch and general manager Jeff Luhnow had suspended for a year because they had failed to stop an elaborate, illegal sign-stealing program that put trash lids on during the day There was a knock to forward pitch calls to the batsman The 2017 season in which the Astros won the World Series.
Cora was a bank trainer on this team and he reportedly implemented a similar scheme after taking over as Red Sox manager in 2018. In its first year on the bench in Boston, the club won a franchise record of 108 regular season and world series games.
Major League Baseball held Cora's punishment for his role in the Astros gadgets until the Boston investigation was completed. But the Red Sox didn't wait and said Tuesday that Cora couldn't lead the team effectively; On Thursday, the New York Mets made Carlos Beltrán, a 2017 Astros player, the third manager to lose his job in the scandal.
Cora admitted to having done something wrong, apologized, and readily went, the Red Sox said. They did not comment on the terms of financial compensation for the remaining two years of his contract.
"It's hard, especially the day I got the message," said Bogaerts, who found out about Cora's departure when he took off his cell phone after training and saw that a teammate had posted a frowning emoji. "It will be someone we all miss very much."
Chavis, a newcomer who played 95 games with the majors and the rest with Triple-A last year, said he hadn't seen anything uncomfortable during his time with the Red Sox.
"They hate to see someone lose their job," said Chavis. "I would have loved to play for Alex again, but it's beyond my control."