Dayton Moore is currently enjoying his first trip to the playoffs as the general manager of the Royals, but as Rob Bradford of WEEI.com writes, he was almost in a position to get there as Boston’s GM some nine years ago. Bradford spoke with president Larry Lucchino, who recalls that at the behest of then-special assistant Bill Lajoie, the team interviewed Moore back in 2005 when Theo Epstein was on a hiatus with the team due to a power dispute with ownership. “[Moore] seemed like a precise kind of guy, and you add that to his reputation as an evaluator, you see someone who is going to almost inevitably be a GM,” said Lucchino, who also noted that he’s pleased to see Moore succeeding, as it validates the interest they showed in him nearly a decade ago.
Some additional Red Sox links as we get ready for the weekend…
- Mookie Betts has seen his stock rise to the point where he is one of the most desirable trade targets in all of Major League Baseball, writes Tim Britton of the Providence Journal. Betts hit .291/.368/.444 in 213 plate appearances this season, walking 21 times against just 31 strikeouts. Britton did some research and found that only a select few — and it’s an impressive list — have ever posted an OPS+ north of 120 with a K/BB ratio south of 1.75 as a 21-year-old. Betts says he’s not worrying about trade speculation; he’ll be happy to play any position he’s asked on any team he’s a part of, though he’s of course planning to help the Red Sox in 2015.
- In a second piece, Bradford runs down some prospects for Boston’s vacancy at hitting coach, reporting that the names he hears most frequently are A’s hitting coach Chili Davis, former Cubs hitting coach Bill Mueller and Rangers hitting coach Dave Magadan (who previously filled the same role for Boston). Assistant hitting coach Victor Rodriguez, who developed a strong rapport with Yoenis Cespedes, is another candidate. Magadan and Davis are still under contract with their teams, but Oakland’s offensive collapse created some frustration with him, and the Rangers are hiring a new manager, making Magadan’s future less than certain.
- The team isn’t expecting big changes to the coaching staff, writes Peter Abraham of the Boston Globe. Abraham does note that if Rodriguez isn’t chosen as the hitting coach, Boston may choose to pursue a new assistant hitting coach, as they’d like a rapport and shared philosophy between the new coach and his assistant. If a new assistant is hired, Rodriguez would be moved to another role in the organization.
- Though the Red Sox finished with one of the lowest run totals in the AL, general manager Ben Cherington isn’t planning on deviating from the team’s offensive philosophy of prioritizing hitters who see lots of pitches and post high OBPs, writes Brian MacPherson of the Providence Journal. Cherington recognized that his team got away from that plate discipline in 2012, MacPherson writes, and prioritized correcting it in 2013. However, though the same formula didn’t work in 2014, Cherington cautioned that he wouldn’t overreact: “We have to be careful not to throw the baby out with the bathwater. If we can see pitches and grind at-bats and get on base and still hit for power and hit with runners in scoring position, that’s a formula to score runs, and more runs than our competition.”