Red Sox

David Price once again picking fights with Dennis Eckersley for no good reason

David Price once again picking fights with Dennis Eckersley for no good reason

The Red Sox just suffered one of their worst losses of the season, so of course David Price is re-engaging with the lowest moment of his Red Sox career and going after Dennis Eckersley again.

"Huh?" you might ask. But no, it's true. On Tuesday night, WEEI.com's Alex Reimer aggregated a section of a long Boston Globe feature on Eckersley — specifically Eckersley being mortified about the time Price ambushed and insulted him on a 2017 team flight.

"I don't plan on seeing him, never," read the relevant quote.

A couple of hours later, the Red Sox dropped a 10-4 decision to the second-division Blue Jays in Andrew Cashner's Red Sox debut. On Wednesday morning, Price retweeted the story with seven laughing face emojis before responding to a pair of critics.

When another follower reasonably asked why the story was resurfacing, Price responded to that one, too.

Then finally came this cryptic tweet, which could refer to anything:

The Red Sox host the Blue Jays on Wednesday night before Thursday's series finale in a matinee. Price is next scheduled to pitch in Thursday's opener in Tampa.

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Latest Mookie Betts report heightens trade speculation entering GM meetings

Latest Mookie Betts report heightens trade speculation entering GM meetings

The spotlight already was on Mookie Betts and the Boston Red Sox entering Major League Baseball's general manager meetings, which begin Monday in Arizona.

Jon Morosi's report Monday morning should intensify that spotlight.

Several MLB executives believe at least one of Betts, Cleveland Indians shortstop Francisco Lindor and Chicago Cubs third baseman Kris Bryant will be traded this offseason, according to Morosi.

The Red Sox face a critical decision with Betts, who will become an unrestricted free agent following the 2020 season and is expected to demand a historically lucrative contract if Boston doesn't sign him to an extension this offseason.

The Indians and Cubs have a bit more leeway with Lindor and Bryant, who both will enter the final year of arbitration on their rookie deals next winter and become unrestricted free agents in 2020.

Like Betts, though, Lindor and Bryant are perennial All-Stars who will command hefty deals that Cleveland and Chicago may not be willing to pay.

New Red Sox chief baseball officer has some tricky math to sort out with Betts, however. Slugger J.D. Martinez just opted into his deal with Boston that will pay him $62.45 million over the next three years, and if Betts seeks a deal worth anywhere near the $35 million-per-year range next winter, the Red Sox likely won't be able to keep both players while staying under the $208 million luxury tax.

Baseball's top executives all will gather this week in Arizona, so expect Bloom and the Red Sox brass to be in the thick of conversations surrounding their 27-year-old star outfielder.

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Chaim Bloom's GM meetings to-do list downright exhausting as 2020 Red Sox begin taking shape

Chaim Bloom's GM meetings to-do list downright exhausting as 2020 Red Sox begin taking shape

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- The GM meetings are usually pretty sleepy. There's lots of groundwork-laying and tire-kicking and temperature-taking and tea-leaf-reading and trial-ballooning as teams assess what moves might be available at next month's winter meetings.

But the Red Sox and new chief baseball officer Chaim Bloom need to hit the ground at a brisk jog, because their offseason projects to be about as sleepy as Al Pacino in "Insomnia." And that makes this week's meetings at the Omni Resort more intriguing for Boston than any team in baseball.

The Red Sox could be in the market for, in no particular order: a right fielder, center fielder, first baseman, second baseman, closer, starter, depth starter, swing starter, break-glass-in-case-of-emergency starter, and however many relievers they can afford with what's left.

That's a hellacious to-do list, especially since item No. 1 will come into play if defending MVP (we can still call him that for a couple of more days) Mookie Betts is traded to ease a payroll crunch that's been exacerbated by the $79 million the Red Sox will pay question-mark starters Chris Sale, David Price, and Nathan Eovaldi. Speaking of which, the Red Sox probably wouldn't mind trading one of them.

Bloom couldn't deal Betts this early in the offseason even if he wanted to, because it would require a willing partner, and see paragraph No. 1 for insight into how most teams approach November. But that doesn't mean he can't make some moves around the margins they might nonetheless pay dividends in 2020.

The biggest area of need that can be addressed immediately is the starting rotation. The Red Sox might need to open the season with 10 viable starting options in the organization (including whoever piggybacks with an opener), and that's no exaggeration. Last season, injuries to Sale, Price, and Eovaldi forced a combined 36 starts from Hector Velazquez, Brian Johnson, Andrew Cashner, Jhoulys Chacin, Ryan Weber, Travis Lakins, Josh Smith, Josh Taylor, Darwinzon Hernandez, and Bobby Poyner. That group went 3-15 with an ERA that was . . . very bad (6.79, to be exact).

The Red Sox need to fill one actual hole in the rotation with a replacement for free agent Rick Porcello, who could return at a reduced salary, though moving on from a man who has posted a 4.79 ERA since winning the 2016 Cy Young Award probably makes sense. They then will need enough depth to account for any possible injuries to Sale, Price, and Eovaldi, two of whom underwent surgery last season and one of whom (Sale) still might.

That could mean taking a flyer on someone like former Phillies right-hander Jerad Eickhoff, a former well-regarded prospect who just became a free agent after refusing to be outrighted to the minors. Injuries have limited him to only 11 starts over the last two years, but he's only three years removed from winning 11 games and throwing nearly 200 innings while posting a 3.65 ERA.

That's the kind of player the Red Sox will be in the market for, thanks to their self-imposed payroll limitations. Bloom helped unearth gems in Tampa over the last three years, and the Red Sox hired him to do the same here.

With free agents Mitch Moreland and Steve Pearce gone, a first baseman will be on the agenda, too. While the team could go internal with some combination of Michael Chavis and Bobby Dalbec, there should be no shortage of first basemen available on the market, including 25-homer Brewers slugger Marcus Thames and National postseason hero Howie Kendrick.

As for bullpen, the Red Sox have already made one move, signing former White Sox left-hander Josh Osich. There will undoubtedly be more like him to follow as the Red Sox look to upgrade beyond top four relievers Brandon Workman, Matt Barnes, Josh Taylor, and Darwinzon Hernandez.

MORE TOMASE: It's time for Mookie to tell the Sox what he really wants>>>

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