The Future Ahead: A Brief Look at The Boston Red Sox

Coming off of a 2018 season that saw the Red Sox win the World Series, fans and players alike expect the team to make another run at defending their title in 2019. In this post however, we are going to take a look at not only 2019, but what the team will look like in the years ahead after next season. It could look quite a lot different.

The 2019 season will see most of Boston’s roster returning except for a few players, most notably closer Craig Kimbrel(well, potentially). It’s still not out of the picture that the Red Sox could bring back their star closer as Kimbrel’s market still isn’t all that great and his contract demands are still too rich for teams to consider adding him. If his market continues to fall, it’s still possible the Red Sox could sign him for a discounted price.

Nonetheless, the focus will be on going for a repeat performance this year in Boston as the team begins to gear up to defend their World Series title(as mentioned above). After the 2019 season things could completely change for the Red Sox, as the team could potentially say goodbye to players like Chris Sale, J.D. Martinez(if he opts out), Rick Porcello, and Xander Bogaerts, among others. And with the team payroll still very high despite those players’ contracts off the books after 2019, it could become very difficult for the Boston front office to bring back the bunch.

The year after doesn’t get much better either. Mookie Betts, the team’s top player, will become a free agent the following year and could leave as well. The Boston farm system at the moment doesn’t look too good as the team has shipped out most of the farm in recent years to get top talent through trades.

We clearly wouldn’t expect the team to trade anyone to add to the farm system due to the fact that the team is a World Series contender for at least the next couple of seasons. But what happens by the time Mookie Betts becomes a free agent?

The team could very well strike an extension with their star outfielder by then, but as free agency gets closer and closer in the next couple of years, Betts may want to see what he could get from other teams as he would surely command a mega type of contract by that point. It would take a ton for the Red Sox to retain the MVP, especially before he ends up a free agent. This is definitely something Red Sox fans don’t want to think about right now.

In looking at the farm system, third baseman Michael Chavis is the teams top prospect and is a well regarded top 100 prospect in multiple outlets. He is somewhat blocked by Rafael Devers right now, but a position change for one of the two could be in order once Chavis is ready to make the big leagues, whether that be next year or the year after.

There’s also Jay Groome, the teams No. 2 prospect per MLB.com. Tommy John surgery has wiped out a year of development for the left-hander, but once he gets back to pitching again, he’ll continue his journey to one day making it to the big leagues as potentially a front-line starter if things break right for the 2016 No. 12 overall pick. Behind him is 2018 first round pick Triston Casas, he is years away from big league readiness. Beyond those two, while there are a few interesting arms, there’s not much in the way of prospects who could help the team anytime soon or at all.

It will be interesting to see how the future in Boston goes in the years ahead, but for right now, Red Sox fans should enjoy the team that won them a World Series title and could potentially win another in 2019.

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Destination Speculation; Winter Meetings Edition

We are officially to the annual GM winter meetings, which means executives from every MLB organization will get together and is also a time where we usually see the most offseason activity amongst all 30 clubs around the league(it also includes the Rule 5 draft, which is held on the last day of the meetings).

With that being said, rumors will be all over the place pertaining to free agents and trade candidates alike. There’s always that move or two that will catch us all off guard, so it’s important to keep up with the latest news concerning each team around baseball, including the team you root for, because well, you never know. Here we will speculate on places we could see some oft-talked about players potentially going during the upcoming week. First we start with:

-Corey Kluber and Trevor Bauer

The Cleveland Indians have been one of the most talked about teams thus far, due to their desire to shop starters Corey Kluber, Trevor Bauer, and Carlos Carrasco. Carrasco was just signed to an extension which makes him less likely to be traded, but that still leaves Kluber and Bauer. Both would fetch potentially huge returns in trades and Cleveland will not settle for anything less than a large return. Teams we’ve heard discussing the Indians’ starters so far have been the Mets and Dodgers. Other speculative fits could also be the Braves, Padres, Reds, Phillies, and Astros. Perhaps Houston namely, could include Kyle Tucker in a deal for Kluber or Bauer due to the Indians’ desire to acquire some outfielders.

-Noah Syndergaard Trade?

Rumors have swirled around Syndergaard thus far, to the point where multiple teams have discussed players with the Mets however no deal has come to fruition. Since then, Mets GM Brodie Van Wagenen has made it known he doesn’t intend on dealing the Mets No.2 ace unless a massive offer comes along. Could he get dealt? The Padres have been the most aggressive team on Syndergaard yet Mets brass has insisted San Diego include one of Fernando Tatis Jr or Mackenzie Gore as part of a trade package that, unsurprisingly, the Padres don’t want to offer. The same teams listed above in the Kluber/Bauer section could be in on Syndergaard, but the Mets surely wouldn’t deal “Thor” to the Braves or Phillies. Don’t be surprised if he gets dealt despite Mets management saying they are unlikely to deal him.

-Does Dipoto Continue Dealing?

Mariners GM Jerry Dipoto has been wheeling and dealing over the past several weeks, both building up the farm system and adding young, MLB ready talent. While Seattle has already dealt most of its top trade chips, could Dipoto still surprise us by biting on an offer for star outfielder Mitch Haniger or perhaps starter Marco Gonzales? We will find out this week. Jay Bruce, Carlos Santana, and other high priced veterans recently acquired have been talked about already too. Don’t underestimate dealin Dipoto, he always has something up his sleeve.

-Bryce Harper and Manny Machado Sweepstakes:

It’s not entirely known if Bryce Harper and/or Manny Machado will sign at the winter meetings but if they do, expect record contracts like we’ve all predicted. It will surely be fascinating to see who will end up with one of these two(or even both).

-Yusei Kukuchi

He’s been posted by his home team in Japan, and while it’s unlikely he signs during the meetings, whoever wins the bidding for his services will surely be adding a quality, young starter who can slot in well in any big league rotation. Expect west coast teams to have the most interest.

There will be A LOT more moves this week, including plenty of free agent signings(at least we hope due to last year’s free agent freeze), and trades will flow in with notable players such as Zack Greinke, J.T. Realmuto, and Madison Bumgarner potentially being dealt this week. It will make for another fascinating week this hot stove season so stay tuned and feel free to continue the discussion with your comments below!