Red Sox

Why Red Sox chairman Tom Werner likes team's chances in 60-game MLB season

Why Red Sox chairman Tom Werner likes team's chances in 60-game MLB season

After a four-month hiatus due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Major League Baseball is set to return next month with a season that will be unlike anything we've seen before.

The 2020 MLB campaign will be 60 games, which obviously is an enormous change from the 162-game seasons we've grown accustomed to. To put it into perspective, the 2019 World Series champion Washington Nationals were a subpar 27-33 after 60 games.

A shortened season could benefit teams that may not have otherwise been built to last a full 162-game schedule. In a conversation with WBZ-TV's Dan Roche, Red Sox chairman Tom Werner explained why he likes Boston's title chances in a 60-game marathon.

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“What’s good about 60 games is that every game is important. Any team is capable of going on a 10-game winning streak and we’ve got some enormous talent on the team,” Werner told Roche on Friday. “It’s a shame that Chris Sale isn’t playing, but I would compare the left side of our infield [Rafael Devers and Xander Bogaerts] to any infield in baseball and J.D. Martinez is an outstanding DH. I like our chances.”

There absolutely is too much talent in the Red Sox lineup to count them out in 2020, but pitching has always been the concern. Following the loss of Chris Sale to Tommy John surgery and the trade that sent David Price to Los Angeles, Eduardo Rodriguez will be counted on to anchor a rotation that also consists of Nathan Eovaldi, Ryan Weber, Martin Perez, Brian Johnson, and Collin McHugh. Not exactly "murderer's row."

Of course, in a season that will be abbreviated by a whopping 102 games, anything is possible.

MLB has yet to officially announce a schedule, but Opening Day is expected to be on July 23.

How David Price opting out of 2020 season impacts Red Sox, MLB

How David Price opting out of 2020 season impacts Red Sox, MLB

We won't see David Price in Dodger blue this season, after all.

The Los Angeles Dodgers pitcher announced Saturday via Twitter he won't play in Major League Baseball's shortened 2020 season, citing health concerns amid the coronavirus pandemic.

The Dodgers said in a statement they fully support Price's decision.

A handful of other stars already have opted out of the 2020 season -- including Colorado Rockies outfielder Ian Desmond and Washington Nationals teammates Ryan Zimmerman and Joe Ross -- but Price is the biggest star yet to back out.

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From a business perspective, Price's decision saves the Red Sox some cash: Boston no longer has to pay its $5.7 million share of Price's $11.5 million prorated salary for 2020 after trading him to Los Angeles this offseason, per The Boston Globe's Alex Speier.

The Red Sox were just under the luxury tax for their 2020 payroll prior to the pandemic, and while the 2020 luxury tax in the age of COVID-19 has yet to be determined, per Speier, taking Price off their books gives them some flexibility.

But Price's decision obviously is about much more than money. A handful of players already have tested positive for COVID-19 since teams began training camps July 1, and the 34-year-old veteran is one of several players who have legitimate safety concerns about playing the season.

Price was expected to be a key rotation member for the World Series favorite Dodgers, and his decision to step away might cause others to follow his lead.

MLB, MLBPA announce initial coronavirus testing results

MLB, MLBPA announce initial coronavirus testing results

MLB and the MLB Players Association announced the results of the league's initial round of coronavirus testing on Friday.

According to their joint statement, 31 players and seven staff members tested positive out of the 3,185 total individuals tested (1.2 positivity rate). Nineteen of 30 teams had positive cases.


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While the results are promising, it's important to note there still will be significant health and safety hurdles for the league to avoid a spread when the 60-game season begins later this month. A number of teams, including the Boston Red Sox, started workouts Friday at their home ballparks.

Sox manager Ron Roenicke said Friday the team has some positive COVID-19 cases. Left-hander Eduardo Rodriguez did not join the rest of the team for the first day of workouts as he was "around somebody who was sick" and awaiting the results of his own coronavirus test.