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.

Click here to download the new MyTeams App by NBC Sports! Receive comprehensive coverage of your teams and stream the Celtics easily on your device.

Joe Kelly admits Mookie Betts' speech to Dodgers was 'cringey' at times

Joe Kelly admits Mookie Betts' speech to Dodgers was 'cringey' at times

You've probably heard about Mookie Betts' speech by now.

Shortly after the Boston Red Sox traded Betts to Los Angeles, the publicly soft-spoken outfielder stood up in the Dodgers' clubhouse and "essentially call(ed) everyone out," according to third baseman Justin Turner.

By all accounts, the content of Betts' speech was well-received. But Dodgers relief pitcher Joe Kelly -- who was teammates with Betts in Boston before joining L.A. in 2019 -- offered some interesting insight on his delivery.

Get the latest news and analysis on all of your teams from NBC Sports Boston by downloading the My Teams App

"Me and DP (David Price) were looking at each other like -- it was good," Kelly told WEEI's Rob Bradford on "The Bradfo Show" podcast. "It was meant to go the right way, honestly. He's not very -- I don't know how to put it. He speaks well, but then when he has to plan something and speak in front of people he wasn’t too comfortable with, I think he was getting ahead of himself.

"The meaning behind what he was saying was very I think spot on, but I think the way he was saying it was kind of tough."

Betts never was a vocal leader in Boston -- he didn't need to be with David Ortiz and Dustin Pedroia in the clubhouse -- and Kelly suggested that showed in the 27-year-old's speech, which perhaps was a little blunt for some.

"It was very well accepted. If he would have said it a little bit nicer or articulated it a little bit better, it would have come off stronger," Kelly said.

"It was kind of, once in a while, cringey. But then we all knew that his meaning behind it was accurate."

Cringey in what way, you ask?

"Some people need to have their hand held the whole time and some people need the, 'eff you;' some people need the, 'You are so good, just believe in yourself' kind of statement," Kelly explained. "And Mookie went the direct path, the direct route in front of 40 people."

Kelly reiterated that Betts got his point across loud and clear: That the Dodgers are the most talented team in baseball and shouldn't squander that talent.

The former American League MVP still is finding his footing as a leader, though, and according to Kelly, that manifested itself on one of his first days as a Dodger.

Report: MLB doesn't want notes from Red Sox investigation used in court

Report: MLB doesn't want notes from Red Sox investigation used in court

As we await Major League Baseball's report on the Red Sox alleged sign-stealing from their 2018 championship season, MLB revealed in court documents that it does not want the notes from its interviews with Red Sox and Houston Astros personnel used in a current trial involving those allegations.

MLB investigator Bryan Seeley argued in a court filing this week that future investigations could be jeopardized if the league reveals details of those interviews, Evan Drellich of The Athletic reports. MLB is being sued by daily fantasy game contestants who argue that the Red Sox' and Astros' schemes corrupted the games.

A decision on the case is expected by April 15. MLB has already disciplined the Astros and it led to the firing of their manager A.J. Hinch and general manager Jeff Luhnow. The Red Sox parted ways with manager Alex Cora for what ownership said was his role in the Astros transgressions.  

MLB commissioner Rob Manfred gave Astros players who cooperated with MLB investigators immunity from his discipline. It's uncertain if the same holds true for Red Sox players. Manfred said last week a report on the Red Sox allegations - delayed by the coronavirus outbreak - would be released before the now-delayed baseball season begins.