Red Sox

MLB rumors: Diamondbacks 'have shown interest' in Mookie Betts trade

MLB rumors: Diamondbacks 'have shown interest' in Mookie Betts trade

The Boston Red Sox have a decision to make with Mookie Betts, and if they decide to trade him, several National League teams reportedly are interested.

UPDATE (Monday, Jan. 27 at 3:05 p.m. ET): The Diamondbacks no longer make sense as a potential Mookie Betts trade destination after they reportedly acquired Pittsburgh Pirates outfielder Starling Marte on Monday. 

--End of Update--

Betts is eligible to become an unrestricted free agent after the upcoming 2020 season, and he's poised to land a potentially record-breaking deal at that time.

If the Red Sox don't want to pay that kind of money to retain Betts, or if he wants to test free agency and not sign an extension with Boston beforehand, then it makes sense for the franchise to explore possible trade packages. Betts leaving in free agency and the Red Sox getting nothing of value in return would be a huge setback to the roster.

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The Los Angeles Dodgers and San Diego Padres reportedly are interested in a Betts trade, and over the weekend, The Athletic's Ken Rosenthal reported a third National League West team that could be in the mix.

The Red Sox need to maximize their leverage with two and possibly three NL West teams in the bidding — the Diamondbacks, whose GM, Mike Hazen, and manager, Torey Lovullo, previously were with the Red Sox, also have shown interest in Betts, sources say. But finances likely are a greater issue for the Diamondbacks, and their farm system ranks only 16th according to Baseball America, well behind the Padres at No. 2 and the Dodgers at No. 5.

The Padres are the team most in need of Betts after finishing 36 games behind the Dodgers at the bottom of the NL West standings in 2019. San Diego ranked 13th of 15 NL teams in runs scored last season. It also ranked 10th in home runs, 15th in batting average and 13th in on-base percentage.

Betts, in addition to being one of the premier defensive outfielders in baseball, also is a fantastic hitter. He's won three Silver Slugger awards over the last four years, as well as the 2018 AL MVP award. Betts batted .295 with 29 homers, 80 RBI and a .390 on-base percentage in 150 games last season.

Red Sox chief baseball officer Chaim Bloom was asked at a press conference earlier this month about Betts being on the Opening Day roster, and he said “That’s really been my expectation all along.” Betts still might be in the Red Sox lineup when they open the 2020 season March 26 against the Toronto Blue Jays, but these reports indicate the team is at least willing to examine different trade packages involving its best player before the season begins.

Report: This Padres catching prospect drawing interest from Sox

Red Sox claim RHP Phillips Valdez off waivers, place Dustin Pedroia on 60-day IL

Red Sox claim RHP Phillips Valdez off waivers, place Dustin Pedroia on 60-day IL

The Boston Red Sox have made yet another move to bolster their pitching depth.

On Sunday, they claimed right-hander Phillips Valdez off waivers from the Seattle Mariners. To make room for Valdez, they placed veteran second baseman Dustin Pedroia on the 60-day injured list.


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Valdez, 27, only has 11 games worth of major league experience under his belt. In 2019, he posted a 3.94 ERA and 1.62 WHIP in 16 innings pitched with the Texas Rangers. Valdez was claimed off waivers by the Mariners in November, then designated for assignment on Saturday.

Pedroia suffered a "significant setback" during his knee rehab, so his placement on the 60-day IL doesn't come as a surprise. The 36-year-old did not report to spring training with the Red Sox.

Along with Valdez, Boston has added Chris Mazza, Martin Perez, Trevor Hildenberger, to its pitching staff this offseason.

An Opening Day start for Red Sox' Chris Sale: 'I think I'm going to be ready'

An Opening Day start for Red Sox' Chris Sale: 'I think I'm going to be ready'

Already coming off a season cut short by an elbow injury that shut him down last August, Chris Sale's spring training got off to a slow start as he recovered from a bout with pneumonia just as pitchers and catchers reported to Red Sox camp in Fort Myers. 

He says he's progressing after the illness led to him dropping a few pounds from his already thin frame (6-foot-6, 180). He'll throw a side session Sunday and told reporters on Saturday that he thinks he'll be ready for Opening Day March 26.

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"I think I’m going to be ready for [the opener]. But like I said, those aren’t my calls to make. I go out there, do my job, tell them how I feel on a daily basis," Sale said. "Obviously as the workload picks up, we have to see how things work out. I’ve just got to be open and honest with them and then we map out a plan and see how it works out."

In a Friday interview on WEEI's "Ordway, Merloni and Fauria" show, Sale said having his season end early last summer and going through a rehab process to avoid Tommy John surgery has him raring to go into 2020 despite questions about his stamina.

"I feel like I'm better now than I was then because of going through that [injury and rehab]."

Sale hasn't reached 200 innings pitched since 2017. He went 6-11 in 25 starts (147.1 IP) in what he called "a nightmare season" in 2019 after his and all the starters' workloads were limited in spring training and he struggled with his velocity at times before the injury was diagnosed.

"I feel really good," he told WEEI. "I can sit here and tell you what I want to do, what I think I'm going to do, but I've just got to go do it. I live here in town and put in a lot of work. I was here four to five times a week. It's exciting. For me, this really started last September October when that rehab process began.

"I gotta get back to the basics. Not really worry about fading, the injuries. This is sports. Injuries can happen overnight...I'm not worried about what my track record is or what people are thinking of me."