Red Sox

Projected arbitration salaries for eligible Red Sox players

Projected arbitration salaries for eligible Red Sox players

A busy offseason awaits for the Boston Red Sox. Will they trade Mookie Betts? Will J.D. Martinez opt-out of his current deal? How will they go about cutting payroll?

One of their many obstacles will be negotiating with arbitration-eligible players, most notably Betts, Jackie Bradley Jr., Andrew Benintendi, and Eduardo Rodriguez. Boston avoided going to any arbitration hearings last winter, but might not be as fortunate this time around.

As for what each of these players could sign for in arbitration, MLBTradeRumors.com uses a model to accurately predict arbitration salaries and on Wednesday unveiled their projected dollar amounts for each eligible player.

Here's what they projected for the Red Sox:

- Jackie Bradley Jr. – $11MM
- Sandy Leon – $2.8MM
- Chris Owings – $3.0MM
- Mookie Betts – $27.7MM
- Brandon Workman – $3.4MM
- Steven Wright – $1.5MM
- Eduardo Rodriguez – $9.5MM
- Matt Barnes – $3.0MM
- Heath Hembree – $1.6MM
- Andrew Benintendi – $4.9MM
- Marco Hernandez – $700K
- Gorkys Hernandez – $1.0MM

The obvious standout here is Betts, who MLB Trade Rumors projects will make a whopping $27.7 million in arbitration. Betts and the Red Sox avoided arbitration last winter by agreeing on a $20 million contract for 2019.

Betts' teammate, J.D. Martinez, recently told NBC Sports Boston there's a belief within the Sox clubhouse that the organization won't be able to afford the 2018 American League MVP. Given that Boston is determined to shed payroll and Betts is set to make more than $30 million on the open market in 2020 if the two sides can't come to terms on an extension, that doesn't come as a huge surprise.

It was a tumultuous 2019 campaign for the Red Sox, and with so much uncertainty heading into the offseason, it doesn't look as though things will get easier any time soon.

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Alex Cora sees Chris Sale as a man 'on a mission' after resuming throwing program

Alex Cora sees Chris Sale as a man 'on a mission' after resuming throwing program

SAN DIEGO -- Chris Sale recently cleared a major hurdle and resumed throwing. Manager Alex Cora can already see the noted competitor's fire burning bright as he looks to make amends for a shockingly mediocre 2019.

"I hate to say he's on a mission, but obviously he wasn't happy with the way the season went last year," Cora said. "He was trending up when he got hurt at the end. So hopefully he can bounce back, be ready for spring training, and be ready for the opening series."

Sale went just 6-11 with a 4.40 ERA in what was easily the worst season of his career before shutting it down in late August with a sore elbow. Dr. James Andrews prescribed rest and said he'd reevaluate Sale in six weeks, an aggressive timetable that was abandoned when it became clear the Red Sox would not make the playoffs.

Until Sale had his follow-up and started throwing again, however, concerns would linger that perhaps he'd still require a surgical procedure or be unready to start the season with the team. The start of throwing, however, has him back on track.

Sale is working out at the team's spring training facility in Fort Myers, where Sale makes his home. He and his wife recently donated $1 million to his alma mater, Florida Gulf Coast University.

"I texted him the other day," Cora said. "What he did to his university, that was amazing, not forgetting where you come from. That was great. Physically, he's in a good spot. He's in a good place. He's been very consistent with his rehab. Obviously, not sleeping that much because of the birth of the baby. We've got a few guys like that, but physically he's in a good spot. Mentally he's in a good spot."

Soon enough we'll find out if he's putting himself in a position to say mission accomplished.

***

Sale isn't the only pitcher who recently started throwing again. David Price, a couple of months removed from a procedure to remove a cyst on his wrist, is playing catch.

"The feeling is different," Cora said. "Obviously, he's been dealing with this for a while, and it's been a grind for David to go out there and perform. He feels a little bit looser with the wrist. The feel of the ball is different, and there haven't been setbacks. As of now, everything is trending the right way. The goal is for him to be ready for the opening series."

Tomase: Sox offseason plans could come into focus this week>>>

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How future Hall of Famer Adrian Beltre quietly helped turn around Rafael Devers' season

How future Hall of Famer Adrian Beltre quietly helped turn around Rafael Devers' season

SAN DIEGO -- It was easily one of the low points of Rafael Devers' otherwise breakout 2019, but it led to a phone call that changed his season.

On May 2 in Chicago, Devers booted a ground with one out in the ninth and the Red Sox holding a 4-3 lead over the White Sox. Two batters later, Nick Delmonico launched a walkoff three-run homer, and a disconsolate Devers admitted that he "played a significant role in the loss."

Teammate Mitch Moreland, however, saw an opportunity. He put Devers in touch with a former Rangers teammate who knows a thing or two about manning the hot corner -- five-time Gold Glover and future Hall of Famer Adrian Beltre.

The two spoke a couple of times a month for the rest of the season, and Red Sox manager Alex Cora is excited to see what impact Beltre's wisdom will have on Devers in 20202.

"He took it personally," Cora said of the Chicago error. "And I'll say it now, after that, Mitch actually, he made a phone call to the Dominican Republic and talked to Adrian, and Adrian talked to Raffy, and from there on, the communication was on an every-other-week basis, and there's a few things that Adrian told him to do in the offseason and what he should do in spring training, and looking forward for him to work that way and see where it takes him."

After making nine errors in his first 31 games, Devers made just 13 the rest of the way, and the Red Sox expect he'll continue making strides next season.

"As far as like moving and decisions and what he did last year compared to where he was in my first year, it's night and day," Cora said. "The confidence, too."

Tomase: Sox offseason plans could come into focus this week>>>

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