The 2018 Baseball Winter Meetings have ended. Here is a Red Sox focused roundup, and other related notes.
Before the meetings, there was a lot of buzz about a pitch clock to speed up the game. Once the meetings began it was all about The Shift.
I went on MLB Now and talked about why banning the shift would be goofy, among other things. It was great fun and I did not fall in the pool. https://t.co/PFH8TdSHQq
— Meg Rowley (@megrowler) December 13, 2018
2018 resulted in a league wide .248 batting average, the lowest since 1972. Singles are also in a five years decline. Apparently, according to Jason Stark of the Athletic, the Commissioner, owners, batters, and pitchers are all for shift reform.
Of course there’s backlash. People are decrying unintended consequences. The debate rages on.
The Red Sox led off the Winter Meetings by agreeing with Nathan Eovaldi for 4 years and $67.5 Million. It seemed like a reasonable deal at the time. Little did we know something like this would happen, seemingly within hours of the signing becoming official:
The Red Sox Crying Poor Mouth
In efforts to bolster their bullpen and clear salary space. Red Sox have said that they are listening to offers on RHP Rick Porcello, CF Jackie Bradley Jr., and SS Xander Boegarts. pic.twitter.com/n6Lc8GhHtA
— SportsRaid365 (@SportsRaid365) December 12, 2018
Could this be true?
It seems incredible, with the Red Sox coming off a World Series title and raising ticket prices, that they need to clear salary space. Dave Dombrowski threw some cold water on this story, but didn’t deny it.
A Red Sox Bullpen In Flux
Early this morning, new broke that Fightin’ Joe Kelly is going west.
— Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan) December 13, 2018
Kelly was one of the stalwarts of a transformed bullpen, that turned into a bunch of vintage Ecks, in the 2018 playoffs. With Kelly gone, could a reunion that seemed impossible happen?
Don’t count the Red Sox out on Craig Kimbrel yet. Agents who represent high-leverage relievers that the Red Sox are interested in have been told by the team that the Red Sox are waiting on Kimbrel. https://t.co/eP5A8combd
— Evan Drellich (@EvanDrellich) December 13, 2018
It seems incredible, with reports of Kimbrel seeking a six-year deal for nine figures, that he could come back. Apparently, the Red Sox are playing chicken and waiting for the price to come down.
Other than Kelly and Jeurys Familia, more on him in a minute, the reliever market has been quiet. The Sox probably need two more relievers this off-season.
2019 Lineup Changes
Alex Cora just said that Mookie will bat second next year. Benintendi to lead off.
— Ian Browne (@IanMBrowne) December 11, 2018
Mookie has been known to resist moving out of the leadoff spot, and he can be stubborn, so Cora is planting the seed early.
It makes sense to move the more powerful Betts behind Benintendi. More RBIs for Mookie, a two-three of Mookie and JD is pretty formidable. This will lead to a right handed heavy 2-3-4, with Xander behind JD Martinez or vice versa.
Not every lineup can have Papi and Manny back to back.
Too Many Catchers
The Red Sox having one too many catchers has been an open question for some time. Alex Cora spoke about the possibility of a trade at the Winter Meetings:
— masslivenews (@masslivenews) December 12, 2018
The Winter Meetings were anti-climatic in terms of moves being made by the Red Sox. But there was one team that lead off the Meetings with a bang:
The Mets Making Moves
They started by acquiring Cano and Diaz from the Mariners. They ended the meetings by bringing back Jeurys Familia.
The @Mets bringing back Familia ensures their 8th and 9th innings. This solidifies one of the worst bullpens in baseball last year. Indications from the @Mets suggest they still need a right handed bat in the outfield, a catcher, and maybe one more arm. https://t.co/saRd6p4cOM
— Couch GMs (@TheCouchGMs) December 13, 2018
The Red Sox have the assets to almost perfectly match up with the Mets. If the Red Sox are truly considering moving Jackie Bradley, would the Mets consider a left handed bat in the outfield? The Red Sox have extra catchers.
Noah Syndergaard is rumored to be available. Stay tuned.