The Boston Red Sox suffered a World Series hangover in 2019, when they failed to reach the postseason with an 84-78 record and finished 19 games behind the Yankees in the American League East. They fired general manager Dave Dombrowski in September and recently hired highly regarded Rays executive Chaim Bloom to fill the shoes of “Dealin’ Dave.”
Tampa’s penny-pinching approach to fielding a team is not exactly in lockstep with Boston’s spendthrift ways, and ownership has stated it wants payroll to be shed from the approximately $240 million they laid out in 2019 to the luxury-tax threshold of $208 million. Logic would dictate that Boston will go into a rebuilding mode, but that may not be necessary. Oddsmakers believe that the Red Sox could field a World Series contender in 2020.
|Team||2020 World Series Odds|
|New York Yankees||+600|
|Los Angeles Dodgers||+700|
|Boston Red Sox||+1200|
Boston has been tabbed as a +1200 prospect to win the 2020 Fall Classic, tied for the fourth-lowest odds on the market with the Braves and just behind the Yankees (+600), Astros (+600) and Dodgers (+700). Their odds have been set lower than the 2019 champion Nationals, who are +1500 underdogs to repeat their feat next season.
Red Sox will look to shed contracts
The Red Sox will shed the onerous contract of Rick Porcello ($21.5 million in 2019) this offseason, along with those of Mitch Moreland and Steve Pearce, among others. Brock Holt is also off the books, though the “heart-and-soul” utility man could take a team friendly deal to return to his native city.
Betts isn’t necessarily on his way out
J.D. Martinez was expected to depart, but he opted into the last three years and $62.5 million remaining on his contract. Speculation has run rampant on whether Boston will now trade either him or Mookie Betts, or both players, but none of those ideas seem wise. Red Sox president Sam Kennedy told The Boston Globe that getting under $208 million in payroll isn’t a “hard-and-fast mandate,” so Bloom need not deal the three-time All-Star for pennies on the dollar.
Boston needs to bolster its rotation
There are plenty of affordable arms to go after this offseason to place behind Chris Sale and David Price—including Gio Gonzalez, Kyle Gibson and Wade Miley, just to name a few. Boston was fourth in runs generated last year, so no major offensive upgrades are required. If both Moreland and Pearce are let go, the Red Sox are spoiled for choice of first basemen on the market, with Eric Thames, Justin Smoak and Matt Adams among the top names available.