Red Sox

MLB Rumors: What Mets offered Red Sox in Mookie Betts trade talks

MLB Rumors: What Mets offered Red Sox in Mookie Betts trade talks

The Boston Red Sox (eventually) found a willing Mookie Betts trade partner in the Los Angeles Dodgers.

But Chief Baseball Officer Chaim Bloom reportedly had other options on the table.

The New York Mets exchanged "several" trade proposals with the Red Sox regarding Betts this offseason, the New York Post's Joel Sherman reported Wednesday.

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The Mets viewed their own young outfielder, Jeff McNeil, as off-limits in trade talks, per Sherman. But here's who New York was considering dealing to Boston in exchange for Betts, via Sherman -- and why those deals fell through.

The Mets offered packages centered around Brandon Nimmo or J.D. Davis and one of their top infield prospects, Andres Gimenez or Ronny Mauricio. But that did not muster enough traction, especially because to make any deal work the Mets were going to have to counteract Betts’ $27 million 2020 salary by likely including Yoenis Cespedes and Jed Lowrie.

The structure of those packages is similar to what the Red Sox eventually received from L.A. for Betts and David Price: A young major-league-level outfielder with upside (Alex Verdugo) an infield prospect (Jeter Downs) and a catching prospect (Connor Wong).

Verdugo arguably has higher upside than Nimmo or Davis, but Davis hit .307 with 22 home runs and an .895 OPS last season at age 26.

Gimenez and Mauricio both are among MLB.com's Top 100 prospects, although lower on the list than Downs (No. 44): Mauricio is at No. 62 and Gimenez at No. 84.

It's easy to see why talks fell through, though: Boston would have had to absorb the contracts of Cespedes or Lowrie (both former Red Sox), which may have pushed the club over the $208 million luxury tax.

The Red Sox got under that threshold by having the Dodgers pick up part of Price's contract and still got what looks like a better haul from L.A's rich farm system than New York could have offered.

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."