It didn’t take long for the Red Sox rumors to begin during the Winter Meetings. Let’s take a look at how valid each are.
It’s the most wonderful time of the year for hardcore baseball fans. Every GM in baseball is attempting to improve their respective clubs and rumors are in abundance. Each team has “interest” in a set up players, but it’s harder to evaluate what may come to fruition and what is just wishful thinking.
There was large Red Sox news yesterday when Bob Nightengale mentioned that Dave Dombrowski is listening to key players on the current roster including Rick Porcello, Jackie Bradley Jr, and Xander Bogaerts.
The Boston #Redsox, trying to clear salary space for bullpen help, are openly listening to offers on Rick Porcello, and rivals insist also are willing to talk about Xander Bogaerts and Jackie Bradley Jr.— Bob Nightengale (@BNightengale) December 11, 2018
Are the Red Sox likely moving on from any of these players?
In a short answer, no. It would be unlikely that the Red Sox would move on from any of their core players, but there’s certainly incentive to do so. At this point, Dave Dombrowski is doing his due diligence and inquiring on each player’s market value.
Player performance aside, the Sox have plenty of reason to listen to offers. Each mentioned player is set to hit free agency within the next three years and with a need for financial flexibility, it would be unlikely for all to remain in Boston in a couple of years.
Xander Bogaerts and Jackie Bradley are both Scott Boras clients. If you recall the contract debacle with J.D. Martinez last season, you’ll remember that name relatively quickly. Boras has a reputation for getting maximum return for his clients, which doesn’t bode well for the Boston Red Sox. Bogaerts plays a premium position and will get a multi year deal with $15-20 million AAV on the open market. Additionally, JBJ has struggled at the plate, but will certainly get a solid contract when he’s a UFA in 2021.
Meanwhile, Porcello represents a solid mid-rotation arm; however it’s possible that Dombrowski feels like he can upgrade within free agency next season rather than overpay. The Red Sox also have a bottom five farm system and could use the prospects that may be received in a trade for any of the mentioned players.
As of now, it’s likely that the President of Baseball Operations is merely doing his job and Red Sox fans should be content with that.
Are the Red Sox moving on from Craig Kimbrel?
As of now, it appears very unlikely that we will see Kimbrel back in Boston. His agent has reported that he’s looking for a multi-year deal and Dombrowski has been extremely hesitant in entertaining a contract of that size. Red Sox viewers should expect to see a new closer in the 9th inning in 2019.
Robertson and Ottavino are believed high on Red Sox list of back-end relief targets. Of course they’d like to have Kimbrel and Kelly back but they are free agents too. Deep pen market also includes Britton, Miller, Familia, more.— Jon Heyman (@JonHeyman) December 9, 2018
The Hot Stove is just beginning to heat up, but be sure to stay linked to Sox Sphere for in-depth analysis of all Red Sox rumors throughout the offseason.