Red Sox

2020 World Series odds: Gerrit Cole-to-Yankees a wake up call for Red Sox

2020 World Series odds: Gerrit Cole-to-Yankees a wake up call for Red Sox

The New York Yankees are all in on 2020.

The Yankees landed the prize of the free-agent class Tuesday night, reportedly agreeing to a nine-year, $324 million contract with right-hander Gerrit Cole.

Adding one of the top pitchers in Major League Baseball gives the Yankees a ridiculously loaded starting rotation led by three hurlers with multiple All-Star appearances:

1. Gerrit Cole
2. Luis Severino
3. Masahiro Tanaka
4. James Paxton
5. Domingo German/Jordan Montgomery

Add that star-studded pitching staff to a fearsome lineup that led MLB in runs scored last season, and you could argue the Yankees, on paper, have the best team in baseball.

The sportsbooks apparently agree: Hours after New York reportedly landed Cole, New Jersey sportsbook PointsBet made the Yankees the co-favorites to win the 2020 World Series along with the Los Angeles Dodgers at +450 odds.

The Boston Red Sox aren't too far behind, as PointsBet has them at +1200 odds, tied with the Washington Nationals and Atlanta Braves for fourth-best in MLB.

But the Yankees acquiring Cole certainly puts the Red Sox on notice.

Boston finished 19 games back of the Yankees in the American League East last season while missing the playoffs, and its longtime rival appears to have widened the talent gap.

That puts the pressure on Red Sox chief baseball officer Chaim Bloom and his staff, who must decide whether to keep Mookie Betts entering the final year of his contract or trade the superstar outfielder while his value is still high.

Another item on Bloom's agenda is what to do with pitcher David Price, who reportedly is garnering interest at MLB's Winter Meetings as a potential trade piece to help Boston get under the luxury tax.

It's worth wondering, however, if New York acquiring Cole changes the calculus for Boston: Could the Sox really offload Betts and/or Price knowing that their AL East rival is gearing up for a World Series run?

We'll find out soon enough.

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MLB Rumors: Red Sox' Mookie Betts trade talks 'evolving' with Dodgers, Padres

MLB Rumors: Red Sox' Mookie Betts trade talks 'evolving' with Dodgers, Padres

It appears the Boston Red Sox are moving closer to parting ways with the face of their franchise.

On Thursday, it was reported the Red Sox and San Diego Padres were discussing a potential blockbuster trade involving Mookie Betts. Now, Alex Speier of The Boston Globe reports those trade talks have "evolved" with both the Padres and the Los Angeles Dodgers, who have been rumored to be a suitor for Betts throughout the offseason.

Speier writes:

According to multiple major league sources, the Red Sox continue to discuss the possibility of a Mookie Betts trade with multiple suitors. The team is weighing potential combinations of big leaguers and prospects offered by the Padres as well as the Dodgers, and remains engaged with both teams about the possibility of a deal involving their superstar right fielder.

The fact that discussions are ongoing with multiple teams is not a guarantee that Betts will be dealt. It’s possible that the Red Sox will enter the 2020 regular season with their superstar — with the possibility of exploring his trade value at the deadline if the team is not clearly in contention. But the team’s willingness to consider dealing the four-time All-Star and 2018 A.L. MVP appears serious.

That's certainly a change of tune from Thursday's report, which referred to a potential Betts deal as "unlikely."

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Both San Diego and L.A. make sense as possible trade partners for the Red Sox. The Padres have the top prospects to make a deal worthwhile, and the Dodgers have the financial flexibility to take on the $96 million remaining on David Price's contract to help Boston get under the $208 million luxury tax threshold.

Betts, 27, is scheduled to become an unrestricted free agent after the 2020 season.

Tomase: Pros & cons of trading Betts to Padres

Report: Former Red Sox infielder Eduardo Nunez to join Mets as non-roster invite to spring training

Report: Former Red Sox infielder Eduardo Nunez to join Mets as non-roster invite to spring training

Midway through the 2019 MLB season, the struggling Boston Red Sox made an attempt to shake things up on their bench and get them back into the playoff race. That decision involved designating Eduardo Nunez for assignment.

Nunez spent parts of three seasons with the Red Sox after he was acquired at the 2017 MLB trade deadline. Nunez quickly endeared himself to Boston fans by batting .321 and smashing eight homers in 38 games with the team.

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But after his first season, Nunez's production tailed off. He was still productive during the team's 2018 World Series run, though he was hampered by a knee injury, before things bottomed out in 2019. He was hitting just .228 at the time of his release and his defensive range was declining because of his balky knee.

Now, after remaining out of MLB work for almost half a year, it looks like Nunez is getting one more shot at sticking around in the MLB.

According to MLB.com's Jesse Sanchez, the New York Mets have invited Nunez to join them as a non-roster invite at spring training in 2020. 

It may be tough for Nunez to ultimately win a spot with the Mets, who also have former Red Sox shortstop/third baseman Jed Lowrie on the team. But he is going to be on a minor league deal as a result of this signing.

And if injuries strike and Nunez proves himself, perhaps he could eventually earn a roster spot.

We'll soon see what happens with Nunez, but it is nice to see the 32-year-old get another chance to play at the MLB level, even if it is just a spring training invite.