Red Sox

Travis Shaw says return to Boston Red Sox 'makes sense on paper'

Travis Shaw says return to Boston Red Sox 'makes sense on paper'

After being non-tendered by the Milwaukee Brewers, could a return to the Boston Red Sox be in order for Travis Shaw?

With Mitch Moreland hitting free agency, the Red Sox should be in the market for a left-handed-hitting first baseman. That makes Shaw an obvious fit, and the 29-year-old agrees a reunion with Boston would make sense.

Shaw discussed the situation with Rob Bradford on WEEI's Bradfo Sho podcast

"I got non-tendered this week. It was kind of a hard decision. The Brewers did offer me but I decided I kind of wanted a fresh start and was willing to risk to see what was out there free agent-wise," Shaw told Bradford. "Just wanted a fresh start after everything that happened last year. Like you said, [signing with the Red Sox] makes sense on paper now we’ll see with who else call or what other teams call. That’s kind of what we’re sorting through now. We’ve had quite a bit of interest so far over this week which is an encouraging sign for me. We’ll just go from there."

Before the 2017 season, the Red Sox traded Shaw to the Brewers in the deal that brought reliever Tyler Thornburg to Boston. In his first two years with Milwaukee, Shaw was an integral part of the offense with 30+ home runs and an OPS well above .800. Last season, however, Shaw missed some time with a wrist injury and saw his production dip significantly.

Assuming Shaw can return to the type of player we saw in '17 and '18, he makes for an intriguing option for Boston in free agency. Along with his potential at the plate, Shaw brings versatility to the table as he can adequately play multiple positions.

Right-handed sluggers Michael Chavis and Bobby Dalbec currently are the Red Sox' options at first base. Chavis was solid in his 2019 rookie campaign, and Dalbec enters 2020 as one of the organization's top prospects.

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.

If Plan A was keeping Mookie Betts, it feels like Red Sox are moving to Plan B

If Plan A was keeping Mookie Betts, it feels like Red Sox are moving to Plan B

When Red Sox ownership finally addressed Dave Dombrowski's dismissal in late September, chairman Tom Werner made what remains the most honest and revealing assessment of the team's approach to superstar Mookie Betts.

"We've stated publicly that we would hope he would stay with us the rest of his career," Werner said. "We have made proposals to him in the past and he did want to test free agency, which is his right. And we'll have some conversations with him going forward. But obviously there'll be a point where hopefully we can make a deal or we'll decide at that point what is plan B or plan C, but we haven't gotten to that point and we're very open to continuing discussions with him."

Based on the recent reports out of San Diego, in particular, it sure feels momentum is building towards a plan B or C that end with Betts's departure.

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.

Multiple factors have led to this point.

The first is ownership's stated goal (NOT A MANDATE, STOP CALLING IT THAT!) to drop below the $208 million luxury tax threshold. The team's offseason of inactivity may have lulled us into thinking that John Henry and Co. had changed their minds, but all the reasons that desire made sense in September still apply now. Resetting their tax penalties will put the team in the best long-term position to build a winner, with or without Betts.

Then there's the shape of this offseason itself.

December hit us with a flurry of high-end activity, but virtually all of it was of the free agent variety, from Stephen Strasburg to Gerrit Cole to Anthony Rendon. Outside of former Cy Young winner Corey Kluber being dealt to the Rangers, most of December's 13 trades were relatively minor.

Monday's move of All-Star Starling Marte from Pittsburgh to Arizona suggests the start of a late trade season, since the recent signings of Nick Castellanos (Reds) and Josh Donaldson (Twins) means the free-agent market is pretty much dry. "The pace of this offseason has been unusual around the industry, in terms of when things evolved," allowed Red Sox chief baseball officer Chaim Bloom recently.

Then there's the sign-stealing elephant in the room, which is the loss of manager Alex Cora and MLB's investigation into the 2018 champions, a dual catastrophe that leaves the Red Sox in danger of losing draft picks at precisely the moment when their thin farm system most needs them.

If Betts is their best avenue to acquiring young talent, and if the talks to extend him (Plan A) have convinced management that he's definitely hitting free agency, which means he's almost definitely gone, then it would be a dereliction of duty not to explore every possible avenue for maximizing his value.

After a quiet winter in that regard, rumors are suddenly percolating like steam-forced espresso. The Red Sox and Padres have reportedly progressed far enough to haggle over how much of Wil Myers' remaining $61 million the Red Sox will assume, with at least one young outfielder and pitcher joining him in return.

Meanwhile, San Diego's division rivals in Los Angeles loom with a potential second Boston bailout, especially if they're willing to take on both Betts ($27 million) and David Price ($32 million) and really clear the books for 2020, just as they did with Adrian Gonzalez and Co. in 2012.

That's two motivated buyers and one motivated seller potentially transitioning to Plan B. That sounds like a recipe for a deal, which means Red Sox fans should prepare to kiss their MVP right fielder goodbye.

Sometimes your primary plan just doesn't play out, so you move on to the next one.

How Astros' reported Dusty Baker hire impacts Red Sox' manager search

How Astros' reported Dusty Baker hire impacts Red Sox' manager search

The Boston Red Sox no longer have competition in their search for a new manager.

The Houston Astros are set to hire Dusty Baker as their next manager, USA TODAY Sports' Bob Nightengale reported Tuesday. Baker takes over for A.J. Hinch, whom Houston fired after he was suspended one year in the wake of the team's sign-stealing scandal.

Once Baker is hired, the Red Sox will be the only team without a manager: The New York Mets needed just six days to replace Carlos Beltran with bench coach Luis Rojas after parting ways with the ex-Astros outfielder, while Houston took just over two weeks to land Baker, one of the most well-respected managers in baseball.

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.

That's both good news and bad news for Boston. The good news, of course, is that Chaim Bloom and Co. now have their pick of the litter if they want to hire an external candidate to replace Alex Cora.

Veteran managers like John Gibbons, Buck Showalter and Brad Ausmus all are available, as are free-agent options such as Raul Ibanez, Mike Lowell, Mark Loretta and Craig Breslow.

The Red Sox also could look internally, as NBC Sports Boston's John Tomase recently listed bench coach Ron Roenicke, third base coach Carlos Febles and special assistant Jason Varitek as the three leading in-house candidates.

Boston no longer has to worry about the Astros or Mets poaching any of their top choices.

The bad news? The Sox officially are behind the eight ball.

Boston reportedly is "unlikely" to hire a manager before next week, as the club still is waiting for Major League Baseball to complete its investigation into 2018 sign-stealing allegations.

Red Sox pitchers and catchers report to spring training on Tuesday, Feb. 11. If Boston hires a new manager by next Monday or Tuesday -- which currently seems like a best-case scenario -- that manager would have just one week to get caught up to speed before players arrive.