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.
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.