BOSTON (CBS) — The Boston Red Sox are fresh off a World Series championship. What Dave Dombrowski does next is anybody’s guess. But the next move for the team’s president of baseball operations could reportedly include saying farewell to some key contributors from the 2018 World Series run.
In a pair of tweets on Tuesday from MLB’s winter meetings, USA Today’s Bob Nightengale said that starting pitcher Rick Porcello, shortstop Xander Bogaerts, and center fielder Jackie Bradley Jr. are all reportedly possibilities to be traded.
It’s worth noting that the latter two — Bogaerts and Bradley — were brought up by rival executives.
Joel Sherman of the New York Post later shared a similar report.
Porcello, soon to be 30 years old, would be the most logical candidate if the Red Sox were set on shedding salary this winter. The right-hander who went 17-7 with a 4.28 ERA last season has one year left on his contract, at $21 million.
A trade of Bradley may not be particularly earth-shattering, but it also would save the least possible money. The 28-year-old Gold Glove center fielder won’t be a free agent until 2021. He hit just .234 last season with a .717 OPS (33 doubles, four triples, 13 home runs) before delivering a trio of big hits to earn ALCS MVP honors. He made $6.1 million last year.
Any deal involving Bogaerts could be classified as a shocker. The 26-year-old put forth his best big league season in 2018, when he batted .288 with 45 doubles, 23 home runs, 103 RBIs and an .883 OPS. That’s all while sporting a .980 fielding percentage at shortstop. Bogaerts received MVP votes, finishing 13th.
Bogaerts remains under team control for one more season, as he’s set to be a free agent in 2020. Bogaerts made $7 million last season.
With players like Mookie Betts (2021), Bogaerts (2020) and Chris Sale (2020) set to become free agents soon, and with J.D. Martinez owning opt-out clauses in his contract, Dombrowski said that the long-term financial planning of the team is weighing heavily on his mind.
“It’s not going to be possible to keep everybody that we have. You have to realize that if anybody is signed long-term now, it may have an effect on some other things that you may do later on. Sometimes there may be some scenarios, but we’re more interested in a short-term deal at this time,” Dombrowski said Monday, per MLB.com. “That changes, because some of our conversations with our own internal players change, too. But we’re cognizant of a couple of really important guys that we want to keep for the long-term that are going to be free agents within the next year or two. That is in the back of our mind.”
What Dombrowski ultimately ends up doing will depend on many factors. But based on this early murmuring around the winter meetings in Las Vegas, it’s clear that he’s at least open to exploring all options at this point in the offseason.