Red Sox

Chaim Bloom, Red Sox brass address Mookie Betts' future in Boston

Chaim Bloom, Red Sox brass address Mookie Betts' future in Boston

Chaim Bloom has plenty on his plate as he takes the Chief Baseball Officer title for the Red Sox, and figuring out the future of Mookie Betts is right at the top of the list.

Betts is entering the final year of his Red Sox contract and there hasn't been any indication the two sides are remotely close to coming to terms on an extension. All signs point toward the 2018 American League MVP being prepared to test out free agency in 2020, which brings into question whether the team could look to trade the face of their franchise.

During Bloom's introductory press conference on Monday, the 36-year-old was peppered with several questions regarding the direction of the organization. Predictably, a number of those questions were Betts-related, but Bloom opted not to get into specifics during his first day on the job.

“Just having gotten here, obviously I come in with some information having competed against this team for a long time," Bloom said. "There’s a lot I don’t know and a lot I’m still learning."

As Bloom gets himself situated in his new role, Red Sox chairman Tom Werner and principal owner John Henry will continue to face questions regarding Betts until the star right fielder's contract situation is resolved.

Werner reiterated his prior comments regarding the organization's desire to keep Betts in Boston for the rest of his career, though he didn't exactly exude confidence in the two sides reaching an agreement any time soon.

“As we’ve said, we think he’s one of the great players in baseball, and in a perfect world, we would like to figure out a way for him to continue to be a player for us for [the rest of] his career,” Werner said. “He has the right to test free agency. We had conversations with him in the past, and Chaim and his group will lead conversations going forward.”

Since planning out Betts' future is the No. 1 order of business for Bloom as he takes over for Dave Dombrowski, it's conceivable his name was brought up multiple times during the interview process with the new Chief Baseball Officer.

Henry acknowledged there indeed were discussions with Bloom about Betts, though there other variables that come into play including whether Mookie even wants to be in Boston for the long haul.

“I would say we talked about that there are a lot of tough decisions to make this offseason,” Henry said. “That’s not uncommon during offseasons, but there are some significant decisions. They’re not all in our hands, obviously. The first one is not our decision to make, but it will impact us.

"It was more of a general discussion. We talked about Mookie, JD [Martinez], other issues, but we didn’t focus on ‘What should we do?’ because you’re going to be looking at a number of factors, including where Mookie wants to play — for the long term.”

Between Betts' uncertain future, J.D. Martinez potentially opting out of his contract, and the money tied up within the Red Sox rotation, Bloom has quite the mess to sort out this offseason. But if there's one thing Sox brass wants to be made clear, it's that they believe Bloom is the perfect man for the job.

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Lou Merloni: Red Sox 'believe they will [get off scot-free]'

Lou Merloni: Red Sox 'believe they will [get off scot-free]'

The Boston Red Sox are facing a lot of unexpected uncertainty at this stage in the offseason. The team fired their manager Alex Cora amid a sign-stealing scandal from his time with the Houston Astros. And now, they're searching for a replacement.

At this point in the offseason, there aren't a lot of options available. And most of the best candidates may come internally.

That said, the Red Sox will want to make sure that none of those internal candidates, namely Ron Roenicke, were involved in any sort of sign stealing during Cora's Red Sox tenure.

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And just how would they do that? Lou Merloni offered up a potential solution on NBC Sports Boston's Early Edition on Thursday night.

"What you do is you don't even name the manager," Merloni said. "You go into spring training if you have to, whenever this investigation is over. Roenicke runs the team. [Jason] Varitek has more responsibility in camp.

"And when the report comes out -- and if it's what they believe it is, that they're clean -- then Roenicke's the manager, 'Tek's the bench coach and you go from there with no promises of the future and you just say this is the way we go. I think that's the easiest transition for everyone in that locker room."

This definitely would be a sensible route for the team to take. Essentially, they can have Roenicke continue to serve as the manager without officially naming him the manager until they know the results of the investigation.

And according to Merloni, the team does believe that Roenicke and other members of their staff are clean and as a result, the team won't be punished.

"I'm hearing that they believe they are [going to get off scot-free]," Merloni said. "They believe that what they're told is true and that they didn't do anything. And if they didn't do anything, there's no reason for punishment."

It's unclear exactly when the MLB's investigation will be complete, but this will certainly be something to watch moving forward. For the time being though, the Red Sox seem content to stick with what they have provided that everything comes back clean.

MLB Rumors: Red Sox, Padres have discussed Mookie Betts trade

MLB Rumors: Red Sox, Padres have discussed Mookie Betts trade

A Mookie Betts trade this offseason still appears to be in the realm of possibility for the Boston Red Sox.

According to Dennis Lin of The Athletic, the Red Sox and San Diego Padres have discussed a potential deal involving the superstar outfielder.

Lin writes:

Recent talks between the teams have focused on sending a significant amount of prospect talent and outfielder Wil Myers to Boston, according to sources. Multiple people familiar with the discussions characterized an agreement as unlikely, and the industry consensus is that Betts will be in a Red Sox uniform on Opening Day. Yet both sides appear to have legitimate interest.

As our own John Tomase has noted, the Padres are a prospect-rich organization with all of the pieces necessary to acquire Betts if they want him. Throwing in Wil Myers would relieve San Diego of the $61 million owed to him over the next three seasons.

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On Monday, ESPN's Buster Olney wrote the Red Sox are looking to package David Price in any deal involving Betts to part ways with the $96 million remaining on the left-hander's contract.

Betts is scheduled to become a free agent after the 2020 season if he and the Red Sox do not agree to a contract extension.

Tomase: Top Sox prospect quickly growing on the franchise