Somewhere in between Mookie Betts getting ready to participate in the Professional Bowlers Association Hall of Fame Classic and the Red Sox responding to the chaos of moving on from their manager, Chaim Bloom passed along a fairly notable piece of information.
As it looks now, Mookie Betts will be starting the 2020 season with the Red Sox.
"That’s really been my expectation all along," said Bloom Wednesday when asked if he expected Betts to be on the Red Sox' Opening Day roster. "I think big picture, and this applies to everything, we’re not doing our jobs if we’re not open to anything that improves our chances to compete as successfully and as often as possible over the course of the next decade. That has kind of been our guiding principle as we have accessed interest in any of our players. But you do that with the expectation that they will be here. And that will certainly be the case with Mookie."
The proclamation falls in line with the tact taken by Cleveland general manager Chris Antonetti, who recently gave the same sort of answer when asked about his star player, Francisco Lindor. Both Betts and Lindor have been linked to trade rumors, particularly involving the Dodgers.
"I still have every expectation that Francisco will be our shortstop Opening Day" he said. "I’m more confident today in saying that, as more of the offseason has passed. But that’s still our expectation.”
We do know that the Red Sox haven't been actively shopping Betts, who recently agreed to a one-year, $27 million deal for 2020.
The goal for the Red Sox heading into the new season continues to be finding a way to get under the $208 million threshold, a line it finds itself more than $20 million away from. But besides making it clear that dealing Betts isn't the desired way to execute that task, Bloom also tempered any singular motivation to get below the CBT.
"No, nothing’s changed with that, but I think it’s important to clarify, and I think this has gotten lost in the shuffle sometimes … the goal to get under the CBT is not an end in itself," said the Red Sox Chief Baseball Officer when asked if getting under $208 million was still a goal, if not a mandate. "It fits within the larger goal of making sure that we are as competitive as possible over the long haul. Our fans deserve a competitive product year in, year out, and regardless of your budget, it is near impossible to deliver that unless you focus on the big picture, unless you focus on both the present and the future, and so accomplishing that, using your resources effectively is part of accomplishing that goal. And so as far as that’s going to help us do that, help us compete as often as possible for as long as possible, that’s the goal we’re going to pursue but we’re not doing it as an end itself. We will attempt to do it in a way that’s consistent with that larger goal."