The Boston Red Sox haven’t necessarily removed their cakes from the hot stove.
MLB.com’s Anthony Castrovince on Wednesday included the Red Sox on his list of seven teams that might “make some sort of splash” before spring training. Boston’s 40-man roster looks all but set, with pitchers and catchers due to report to spring training Feb. 12 and other players due five days later. However, Castrovince believes plenty of time exists for Boston to make a surprising transaction in the next two-plus weeks.
“Well, now they need a manager,” Castrovince wrote. “So if nothing else, that?s coming. But what about the player roster?
“… team owner John Henry has walked back his previous public stance that the Red Sox plan to get under the $208 million Competitive Balance Tax threshold. So maybe we won’t see the big (Mookie Betts and/or David Price) or medium-sized (Jackie Bradley Jr.) trade that felt like a foregone conclusion back in December.
“Still, given all the trade conversation in the air — and the reality that resetting the tax penalty in 2020 would aid any effort to extend Betts past this season and/or keep the younger core players together in the coming years without a huge tax hit — we’ve got to include Boston on this list, just in case a deal goes down.”
Most of the roster moves Boston’s new chief baseball officer, Chaim Bloom, has made this offseason appear aimed at adding depth and versatility to the roster through minor moves. He also expects Betts to be in Boston’s opening day lineup, so it seems likely the Red Sox won’t make that big splash.
Nevertheless, baseball plots twist eternally, so we have to join MLB.com in not ruling out the Red Sox having “moves up their sleeve.”