Red Sox

MLB Rumors: What return could Red Sox get back in a Mookie Betts trade?

MLB Rumors: What return could Red Sox get back in a Mookie Betts trade?

As baseball's GM meetings roll on in Scottsdale, Arizona, one of the biggest headlines continues to be Mookie Betts' uncertain future.

With the former MVP entering the last season of his contract — and the Red Sox looking to shed payroll — one of the biggest decisions facing Boston's chief baseball officer Chaim Bloom is whether to keep Betts around in 2020 or deal him away for as much as he can find on the open market.

But what type of package could Boston receive in exchange for Betts?

In an article for The Athletic, former MLB Executive of the Year Jim Bowden, now an analyst for MLB Network, looked at three possible trade partners and what they could offer in a Betts trade. Bowden considered what the Diamondbacks received in exchange for Paul Goldschmidt last offseason, knowing that Betts should fetch more in a trade, and for the purposes of this exercise, he stayed away from players who would be on 25-man rosters right now.

Here's what he came up with for potential destinations and returns (all prospect rankings courtesy MLB Pipeline):

LOS ANGELES DODGERS

Catcher Keibert Ruiz: #3 prospect in LAD organization; 20 years old, .261 BA, 6 HR, 34 RBI in AA & AAA in 2019
Middle infielder Jeter Downs: #5 prospect in LAD organization; 21 years old, .276 BA, 24 HR, 86 RBI in A & AAA in 2019
RHP Josiah Gray: #4 prospect in LAD organization; 21 years old, 11-2 record, 2.28 ERA, 147 K in 130 IP in A & AA in 2019

Bowden posits that the Dodgers would likely put pitchers Dustin May and Tony Gonsolin as well as middle infielder Gavin Lux in the off-limits category for a rental player like Betts.

ST. LOUIS CARDINALS

Outfielder Randy Arozarena: #10 prospect in STL organization; 24 years old, .344 BA, 15 HR, 53 RBI in AA & AAA in 2019 (.300 BA in 19 MLB games in 2019)
Third baseman Elehuris Montero: #4 prospect in STL organization; 21 years old, .194 BA, 7 HR, 18 RBI in rookie league & AA in 2019
Catcher Andrew Knizner: #3 prospect in STL organization; 24 years old, .276 BA, 12 HR, 34 RBI in AAA in 2019 (.226 BA in 18 MLB games in 2019)

Like the Dodgers, Bowden has several top young Cardinals players off the board, like pitchers Jack Flaherty and Dakota Hudson as well as prospects Dylan Carson and Nolan Gorman

ATLANTA BRAVES

Outfielder Drew Waters: #2 prospect in ATL organization; 20 years old, .309 BA, 7 HR, 52 RBI in AA & AAA in 2019
LHP Kyle Muller: #7 prospect in ATL organization; 22 years old, 7-6, 3.14 ERA, 120 K in 111.2 IP in AA in 2019
Catcher William Contreras: #8 prospect in ATL organization; 21 years old, .255 BA, 6 HR, 39 RBI in A & AA in 2019

For the purposes of this exercise, Bowden suggested the Braves wouldn't part with these players: outfielder Cristian Pache, pitchers Ian Anderson and Kyle Wright, and catcher Shea Langeliers.

Considering the potential returns from these clubs, Bowden suggests the Red Sox would be better off holding onto Betts and making a run with him on the roster in 2020, especially since draft-pick compensation if he left after next season wouldn't really be able to contribute at the major league level until 2024 — or later.

While Chaim Bloom and the Sox front office evaluate all options, it'll be a wait-and-see situation for Red Sox fans.

Report: 'Great skepticism' teams will pay up for Betts>>>>>

Click here to download the new MyTeams App by NBC Sports! Receive comprehensive coverage of your teams and stream the Celtics easily on your device.

In appreciation of Brock Holt, whose job with Red Sox might be gone, but whose legacy is secure

In appreciation of Brock Holt, whose job with Red Sox might be gone, but whose legacy is secure

The transactions came in quick succession as the winter meetings wrapped on Thursday in San Diego. First, the Red Sox selected infielder Jonathan Arauz from the Astros in the Rule 5 draft. A couple of hours later, they inked infielder Jose Peraza to a one-year, $3 million deal.

Both are utility infielders, and their arrivals increase the likelihood that we'll be saying goodbye to Brock Holt this winter. 

From a bottom-line perspective, it's hard to argue. Holt turns 32 in June, has battled injuries the past four years and should make more than $3 million annually on a multi-year deal. The Red Sox need to get younger and cheaper, and that includes the bench.

If this is it, though, Holt deserves more of a sendoff than a line in the transaction wire, because his impact on the field, in the clubhouse, and especially in the community far outstripped his modest 5-foot-10 frame.

From high school (where he barely broke 100 pounds as a freshman) to junior college to Rice University to the major leagues, Holt beat long odds each step of the way. That a throw-in acquired with Pirates closer Joel Hanrahan before the 2013 season could earn Rookie of the Year votes and then make an All-Star team defied reason. That the same player would hit for the cycle not once, but twice -- including in the postseason -- while winning two World Series and becoming a gritty heart-and-soul fan favorite, let's just say guys hit that lottery maybe once in a generation.

LIVE stream the Celtics all season and get the latest news and analysis on all of your teams from NBC Sports Boston by downloading the My Teams App.

"I know and I've kind of gotten a taste of it coming here that certain players just really seem to bond with the fan base," said new baseball boss Chaim Bloom. "He's certainly been one of those. That's not something that's lost on any of us."

Holt brought a fun-loving energy to a clubhouse that needed it in good times and bad. Boston can be a meat grinder even when things are going well, and supporting players who take the edge off are essential. Kevin Millar mastered that role in 2004, while Jonny Gomes followed suit in 2013. That was Holt's job, too, whether he was serving as Andrew Benintendi's All-Star publicist, re-christening the 10th month on the calendar as Brocktober, or wearing a Cobra Kai-inspired headband around the locker room that others soon copied.

Holt had a knack for cracking up his teammates. After Mitch Moreland's three-run homer delivered the team its first win of 2019 in Seattle, Holt sauntered past Moreland in the clubhouse with an ice cream cone, gave it a lick, and said, "Hey Mitch, my mom says, 'Way to go,'" and then just walked out. (His mom later confirmed this account on Twitter).

He famously asked a shorts-wearing Bill Belichick if he was, "going to put some pants on," before facing the Packers on a cold October night in 2018 when the Red Sox were honored by the Patriots as World Series champions.

The night he completed the first cycle in postseason history with a ninth-inning home run to complete a rout of the Yankees, the megawatt smile on Holt's face as he rounded third and returned to the dugout could've powered the sun.

Holt's joyful persona extended to his toddler son, Griff, a glasses-clad Instagram star who developed a cult following for giggling while raiding a box of Life Cereal in the pantry, or pointing at a billboard of David Ortiz and exclaiming, "Big Papi!" or hitting what he called, "Big bomb!" with an oversized whiffle ball bat.

Holt's many viral moments with his son became all the more poignant when viewed through the lens of his tireless devotion to children's causes. He's a four-time Roberto Clemente Award nominee for community service, and he routinely leads the Red Sox in charitable appearances. He served as Jimmy Fund captain for the past five years, and his Brock Stars ticket program brought a Jimmy Fund patient to every Tuesday home game for batting practice. Director of community relations Sarah Narracci has long referred to Holt as her "go-to guy" who never says no.

"He has a great heart," manager Alex Cora said when Holt was nominated for this year's Clemente award, and if this is indeed the end of Holt's Red Sox career, he'll leave an outsized legacy that "5-10, 180" doesn't begin to capture.

Click here to download the new MyTeams App by NBC Sports! Receive comprehensive coverage of your teams and stream the Celtics easily on your device.

MLB Rumors: These six teams pursued Martin Perez before Red Sox landed him

MLB Rumors: These six teams pursued Martin Perez before Red Sox landed him

Martin Perez is no Gerrit Cole or Stephen Strasburg. But the veteran left-hander reportedly drew a good amount of interest in free agency before the Boston Red Sox scooped him up.

A "handful" of MLB teams, including the American League East foe Tampa Bay Rays and Toronto Blue Jays, pursued Perez before the Red Sox agreed to terms with him Thursday night, MassLive's Chris Cotillo reported.

Perez's surface-level stats aren't very inspiring: The 28-year-old posted a 5.12 ERA with the Minnesota Twins last season after the worst campaign of his career with the Texas Rangers in 2018 (6.22 ERA, 1.78 WHIP).

But what Perez does provide is durability: He's appeared in at least 32 games in three of the last four seasons, topping 165 innings in each of those campaigns.

Durable left-handers aren't a dime a dozen in MLB, which explains why Perez drew interest from several clubs looking to fill out their rotations entering 2020.

The Venezuela native should be a rotation-filler in Boston, projecting as Boston's fifth starter behind Chris Sale, David Price, Eduardo Rodriguez and Nathan Eovaldi with Rick Porcello leaving to join the New York Mets in free agency.

Click here to download the new MyTeams App by NBC Sports! Receive comprehensive coverage of your teams and stream the Celtics easily on your device.