The 2018 Baseball Winter Meetings have ended.  Here is a Red Sox focused roundup, and other related notes.

Rule Changes

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.

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.

Eovaldi’s Back

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

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.

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?

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

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:

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 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.


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