Red Sox

Alex Rodriguez was 'completely bummed' not to join Red Sox in 2003

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Alex Rodriguez was 'completely bummed' not to join Red Sox in 2003

Fifteen years ago, the Red Sox and Rangers agreed to terms on a deal that would have sent slugging shortstop Alex Rodriguez to Boston and changed the course of the franchise.

The trade fell through at the last minute, however, when the Major League Players Association ruled against Rodriguez taking a voluntary pay cut. Instead, A-Rod ended up with the archrival New York Yankees, and we know how the story goes from there.

Even after enjoying 12 seasons in the Bronx and becoming a World Series champion, Rodriguez explained on "Dale & Keefe" as part of the WEEI/NESN Jimmy Fund Radio-Telethon he still thinks "what if?" about a career in Boston.

“Oh my God, yes. I have thought about it a lot," Rodriguez said. "It was such an exciting time for me. I knew how great the Red Sox were going to be. Could I have forecasted four championships? Probably not, but I knew at least a couple in there. I thought that after spending a lot of time with John Henry down here in Florida at my home in Miami and his home in Boca, I knew that this was someone who had incredible passion and knowledge and knew how to put a winning team around him — on the field and in the front office.

"After talking with Theo (Epstein) and Jed Hoyer, and now they have Sam Kennedy, he just surrounds himself with incredible people. I just thought the combination between John Henry, who is a hedge fund wizard, Tom Werner, who is the king of Hollywood and putting great shows together, and then a lawyer like Larry Lucchino, I just thought they were a triple threat. And then they had Theo. I said this is a place that I can win and win for a long time."

A-Rod admitted he initially was upset not to be a part of the Red Sox organization.

"I was completely bummed it collapsed," he said. "It was so depressing never knowing that the Yankees were even an option at that point. And of course, a few weeks later I sat next to Brian Cashman in New York collecting my MVP award. … And then a few weeks later I have my press conference in New York."

Everything ended up working out just fine for both sides. Boston went on to win a championship the very next season (2004) and add three more. Rodriguez made approximately $317 million while with the Yankees and earned a ring of his own in 2009.

Still, it's difficult not to think about what the state of both franchises would be today had the MLBPA not stepped in to prevent the blockbuster trade.

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Report: Brian Bannister leaving Red Sox to join Giants

Report: Brian Bannister leaving Red Sox to join Giants

After five seasons in Boston, Brian Bannister is taking his talents elsewhere.

The former Red Sox vice president of pitching development will join the San Francisco Giants, according to Jon Morosi of MLB Network.

Bannister was initially hired by the Red Sox as a scout in 2015. Later that year he was promoted to director of pitching analysis and development by then-Sox GM Dave Dombrowski.

In 2016, Bannister became Boston's assistant pitching coach and VP of pitching development. He was removed from the coaching staff but kept the latter title following the 2019 season.

Bannister spent five years as an MLB pitcher with the New York Mets and Kansas City Royals before pursuing a scouting/coaching career.

UPDATE (7:30 p.m. ET): Bannister confirmed his Boston exit Wednesday night in a pair of tweets thanking the Red Sox organization.

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Chaim Bloom: Red Sox 'exploring all options' with Mookie Betts

Chaim Bloom: Red Sox 'exploring all options' with Mookie Betts

Chaim Bloom continues to take the safe approach when it comes to conversations about Mookie Betts' future in Boston.

Bloom was asked on "NESN After Hours" about Betts' contract situation with the superstar right fielder set to become a free agent after the 2020 season. According to the Boston Red Sox chief baseball officer, who was hired in October, all options remain on the table.

“Well, I mean, you’re talking about, as you said, one of the great players in the game,” Bloom said. “We are thrilled to have him, and I know this organization prior to my arrival was happy to have him. Now we have to figure out how we go forward. I think where we are as an organization, we wouldn’t be doing our job if we didn’t explore all of our options. But we do that recognizing we have a very good team and one of the best players in the game and we’re going to handle the situation accordingly.”

Watch below:

This kind of answer from Bloom is predictable, but it's telling that a possible trade involving the 2018 American League MVP hasn't been ruled out.

Boston has been adamant about its goal to cut payroll before the new campaign, and parting ways with Betts certainly would help accomplish that. If there's no indication Betts is willing to commit beyond 2020, trading him for a haul of prospects does make sense. Still, as Bloom acknowledges, Betts is one of the best players on the planet and the organization should aim to lock him up long-term.

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