Red Sox

MLB Rumors: Mets may ask for Andrew Benintendi in Edwin Diaz trade

MLB Rumors: Mets may ask for Andrew Benintendi in Edwin Diaz trade

As the Boston Red Sox pursue Edwin Diaz ahead of Wednesday's MLB trade deadline, they may have to consider parting with a core offensive player.

Speaking Tuesday morning on ESPN's "Get Up!", MLB reporter Buster Olney suggested the Mets are seeking an MLB-level player who can help them now in return for Diaz, their All-Star closer.

Olney mentioned the Red Sox as "a team to watch" in Diaz trade talks -- then dropped this interesting note:

I think the Red Sox, knowing the Mets are looking to add players who can help them in 2020, they may have to make a decision: Do we give up Andrew Benintendi, who is a true centerfielder, in a deal for Edwin Diaz? It'd be fascinating to see if the Mets were to get Benintendi and if the Red Sox can get Diaz.

Host Laura Rutledge (rightly) asked if the Red Sox really would trade Benintendi, one of their best young hitters and an expected cornerstone of their outfield for years to come.

"I don't know if they would," Olney responded, "but I think that's what the Mets' asking price is going to be."

Olney added the Red Sox have also discussed including center fielder Jackie Bradley Jr. in a deal for Diaz instead of Benintendi.

Boston reportedly is hesitant to move top prospects Tristan Casas and Bobby Dalbec but desperately needs a closer as it enters the stretch run with the worst save percentage in baseball. Diaz also is 25 years old and on a favorable contract ($607,425 in 2019).

Still, giving up Benintendi seems like too steep a price for the Red Sox unless he was part of a larger deal that included another Mets position player. The Sox may even be wary of dealing Bradley, who's hitting .231 this season but thrived in the 2018 postseason and is a Gold Glove defender.

President of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski has options -- MLB.com's Mark Feinsand recently floated Michael Chavis as a potential trade chip for Diaz -- so it's a matter of how much he and the Red Sox believe in Diaz as the piece that can solve their bullpen puzzle.

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Jason Varitek's strikeout call as umpire in Red Sox scrimmage is fantastic

Jason Varitek's strikeout call as umpire in Red Sox scrimmage is fantastic

Jason Varitek may have found a new calling in calling batters out.

The former Red Sox catcher, whose official title with Boston is "Special Assistant/Catching Coach," moonlighted as the home-plate umpire in the team's intrasquad scrimmage Thursday at Fenway Park.

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But Varitek didn't just half-heartedly call balls and strikeouts. Nope, he was committed to the bit, dressing up in full umpire attire to stand behind the plate.

Oh, and his strikeout call was a thing of beauty:

Leslie Nielsen would be proud.

Varitek didn't go all-out for all of his strikeout calls, but he didn't hesitate to punch out Red Sox stars like J.D. Martinez.

Varitek got to know major league umpires very well during his 15-year playing career in Boston, so if anyone on the Red Sox' staff is qualified for this job, it's him.

Thursday marked the Sox' first simulated game action since they opened Training Camp at the beginning of the month. They're set to begin the shortened 2020 season July 24 with a home series against the Baltimore Orioles.

Red Sox schedule 2021: Dates, opponents for 162-game season revealed

Red Sox schedule 2021: Dates, opponents for 162-game season revealed

Major League Baseball is looking ahead to (hopefully) brighter days.

The Red Sox don't begin their coronavirus-shortened 2020 season until July 24, but that didn't stop Boston and the rest of the league from unveiling their full schedules for the 2021 MLB season Thursday.

Here's the Red Sox' full 2021 schedule, which at the moment includes 162 games.

Boston will open the 2021 season against the Baltimore Orioles on April 1, 2021, at Fenway Park and play its first nine games against American League East opponents.

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The Red Sox' 2021 schedule also includes interleague matchups with the National League East, who they'll see plenty of this summer during their 60-game campaign.

The Sox don't face the New York Yankees until June 4 at Yankee Stadium but will play a total of 14 games against their archrival between June and July.

With COVID-19 still hitting the United States hard, it's much too early to tell if the 2021 season will start on time or if fans will be allowed at games. But at the very least, the league has a schedule in place should things drastically improve over the next seven months.