Red Sox

Dombrowski: Betts, Red Sox 'have a good relationship' after arbitration

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Dombrowski: Betts, Red Sox 'have a good relationship' after arbitration

BOSTON — Red Sox president of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski said Friday afternoon that the team and star right fielder Mookie Betts are okay after an arbitration hearing earlier this week, which Betts won.

“Well, I think our relationship with him is fine,” Dombrowski said at the Hotel Commonwealth before participating in a charity luncheon to benefit the Foundation to be Named Later. “I think it would have been either way. I called him and texted him, we missed calls but texted back and forth. [Assistant general manager] Brian O’Halloran spoke to him. Mookie’s fine, he understands the process. So we have a good relationship.”


The Red Sox filed for a $7.5 million salary in 2018 for Betts while he asked for $10.5 million. An arbitration panel ruled in Betts’ favor, giving him the highest ever award given out by a panel to a first-year arbitration-eligible player. 

“He’s a player that we love a great deal and want to keep part of the organization for years to come,” Dombrowski said. “You wouldn’t go into it [a hearing] if you didn’t think your position is the right one, that you would win the case. But I can’t also tell you that you’re surprised or shocked that you lose, because I still think arbitration is one [area] that you just never know how it’s going to go. … There’s still a lot of chance when you let somebody else decide those numbers for you."

Dombrowski was part of a panel at the Business of Baseball Champions lunch, which also included manager Alex Cora, Red Sox executive Raquel Ferreira,  Peter Gammons, Bernie Williams and Bronson Arroyo.


Source: Martinez's immediate readiness to play not in question; medical experts involved

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Source: Martinez's immediate readiness to play not in question; medical experts involved

FORT MYERS, Fla. -- J.D. Martinez and the Red Sox are indeed sorting through a medical matter, but one that a baseball source with knowledge of the situation said would not have any effect on Martinez in the immediate future. It's unclear what the specific issue is, but a better understanding between the parties could come as early as Saturday.

"I imagine that today is a day that we could have some definition," the source said.

Martinez can opt out over two years, in which he would make as much as $50 million, per the originally agreed upon deal. Naturally, a priority for the Red Sox is to be sure that any potentially latent issue would remain just that, latent, for not only two years but the potential five years of the deal.

Additional medical experts have been involved as the Red Sox and Martinez sort out the issue, including experts consulted on agent Scott Boras' referral, not only the team's. The process was described as thorough and cooperative.

Delay in J.D. Martinez's introduction suggests complication in medical review

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Delay in J.D. Martinez's introduction suggests complication in medical review

FORT MYERS, Fla. -- They’re leaving us to speculate now.

Sox manager Alex Cora said essentially nothing Friday about J.D. Martinez’s unfinished contract, a five-year, $110 million pact that was in the medical-review process. 

“I’m not concerned. I’m not concerned. I’m just  -- the thing I can do is do my thing,” Cora said Friday. “My job here is to show up every day and get ‘em ready.”


Cora’s statement that he is not concerned appeared less an assessment of Martinez's direct situation and more a reinforcement of Cora’s larger point: He is not going to publicly engage the topic as the field manager.

Cora said he was unsure if Martinez was still in Fort Myers. Here's guessing Cora really does know. But, this is traditionally a front-office matter. 

Sox president of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski and Martinez’s agent, Scott Boras, both have made comments about the process this week. Not on Friday, however. On Friday, they went silent. 

So let’s consider what we know, and what it could mean.

Multiple times this week, the media waited at JetBlue Park because there was a belief a press conference was imminent. Terms were agreed to Monday. We’re about to enter Saturday without a press conference. We know for a fact the Sox and Martinez were still going through the medical process as of Thursday.

Added up, everything is highly suggestive of some sort of complication during J.D. Martinez’s medical review. What is impossible to know is the impact of any potential complication. 

The original agreement could go through completely and totally untouched. A contract could be revised in a slight way or a larger way. Other doctor visits could be arranged, and indeed, probably have been. 


A complication does not mean a contract will fall apart. That would be a wildly unexpected scenario. 

Rather, it could mean the sides once again dig in. The Red Sox have doctors, and so too does Boras. Sometimes, there are differing medical opinions.

And it would be strange if there wasn't some medical concern.


Scheduling or a similar matter may have contributed in slowing down this process. But by now, with a nine-figure investment at stake -- plus the involvement of top doctors and a major league baseball team -- it’s hard to imagine what logistical issue could exist. They have email for records, they have planes for visits.

Everyone else has little in the way of answers.