Red Sox

Red Sox ownership takes heat for comparing Mookie Betts trade to Nomar deal

Red Sox ownership takes heat for comparing Mookie Betts trade to Nomar deal

Boston Red Sox principal owner John Henry tried to get ahead of the criticism Monday by reading a prepared statement about the team's decision to trade Mookie Betts.

Instead, he opened the door for more criticism.

Here's Henry's full statement:

Here's what Henry is taking heat for: After empathizing with Red Sox fans who feel "disbelieving or angry or sad" about Boston trading away its 27-year-old superstar, Henry compared this situation to the team's trade of All-Star shortstop Nomar Garciaparra at the 2004 trade deadline.

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"Some of you no doubt felt the same way in 2004 when we traded Nomar, who like Mookie was a hugely popular, homegrown player," Henry said. "All of us in the organization hoped we could avoid ever having to go through something like that again. But most clubs face similar dilemmas from time to time."

Henry added that Boston lost several star players -- specifically Garciaparra, Pedro Martinez, Jacoby Ellsbury and Manny Ramirez -- while winning four World Series titles over the last 20 years. Red Sox chairman Tom Werner also referenced the Garciaparra trade in Monday's press conference from Fort Myers, noting the team has "been in this situation before."

... But was it really the same situation?

Garciaparra was entering his ninth MLB season in 2004 and already had dealt with several serious injuries. He didn't make his 2004 debut until June 9 due to an Achilles injury and turned 31 just before the deadline.

Yes, Garciaparra was a highly popular player on the final year of his contract. But Betts showed virtually no signs of wear and tear through six seasons with the Red Sox and is very much in his prime. (He's the current favorite to win National League MVP.)

Critics were quick to call out the Red Sox on Twitter for shoehorning Nomar into the Betts trade discussion.

You get the idea.

The Red Sox went on to win the World Series in 2004 after trading Garciaparra in return for Orlando Cabrera and Doug Mientkiewicz.

The 2020 Red Sox? Don't expect them to compete for a World Series title after they traded their best player (and a key member of their rotation in David Price) from a team that won 84 games last season.

Chaim Bloom estimates when Chris Sale could return from Tommy John surgery

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File Photo

Chaim Bloom estimates when Chris Sale could return from Tommy John surgery

Chris Sale turned 31 on Monday. He also had Tommy John surgery on his throwing elbow on that same day. The procedure will sideline him for at least the rest of the 2020 season and beyond. 

But when exactly can we expect Sale back? Boston Red Sox chief of baseball operations, Chaim Bloom, wouldn't confirm to an exact date, but he did provide some insight into how long Sale might be sidelined.

"We don't know exactly," Bloom said, per Christopher Smith of MassLive.com. "Typically you see around that 14-15 month range."

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Okay, so maybe that's not the most specific answer, but it at least gives us a ballpark idea of when Sale could return.

A 14-15 month recovery period would have Sale return sometime between early June and early July in 2021, if his recovery goes well. Of course, there are so many variables to take into account about how Sale may be progressing but also about how the Sox may be faring. If they aren't doing well, the team could take an extremely cautious approach with Sale in hopes of having him fully healthy for the 2022 season.

But Bloom's estimate at least gives Sox fans an initial target for Sale's potential return. The target date will certainly be fluid especially considering that some pitchers take 18 months to return from the surgery.

But no matter what, Sale won't be suiting up for the Red Sox until mid-2021 at the earliest. And that's bad news for the squad considering their lack of starting pitching depth.

Red Sox ace Chris Sale officially undergoes Tommy John surgery

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File Photo

Red Sox ace Chris Sale officially undergoes Tommy John surgery

Chris Sale's long road to recovery from a pesky elbow injury began on Monday.

The Boston Red Sox officially announced that Sale underwent Tommy John surgery on Monday to reconstruct the UCL in his throwing arm. Noted orthopedic surgeon Dr. Neal ElAttrache performed the surgery.

The Red Sox and Sale decided that he would need to have the surgery about a week and a half ago. The coronavirus crisis made it a bit uncertain as to when Sale would be able to have the procedure done, but now, it is in the books.

Sale won't pitch at all in 2020 and it's likely that he will miss time in 2021 as well. In fact, he could miss that whole season given that a typical recovery from Tommy John surgery takes about 18 months.

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Either way, the Red Sox will be without Sale long-term and as a result, their starting rotation looks very thin. Eduardo Rodgriguez will slot in as the team's ace while Nathan Eovaldi and Martin Perez are the Nos. 2 and 3 starters respectively.

The other two rotation spots are up for grabs but before the league was shut down due to the COVID-19 pandemic, it was assumed that Ryan Weber had the inside track for the fourth starter position. The fifth starter role was much less settled and the team may have used an opener strategy given their lack of starting pitching depth.

Without Sale, the Red Sox will likely have to rely a lot on their offense to carry them to victory moving forward. But we won't get a chance to see how they look until the MLB returns. And at this point in time, it's unclear when that may be.