Normally contenders, the Red Sox finished with one of the majors’ worst records in 2020, winning just 24 of 60 games. One obvious reason? They received zero contributions from their two best starters, left-handers Chris Sale and Eduardo Rodriguez, who missed the season with health problems.
While it would be nice for the Red Sox to get full years from both Sale and Rodriguez in 2021, that doesn’t appear likely. Regarding Sale, chief baseball officer Chaim Bloom revealed Thursday (via Jason Mastrodonato of the Boston Herald) that the ace won’t be available when next season begins.
“When he comes back, that’s upside,” Bloom said. “Because we know that’s not going to be at the beginning of the season.”
Sale underwent Tommy John surgery in March, and that typically requires a 12- to 15-month recovery period. With that in mind, it’s not surprising that Boston will miss Sale for some portion of time next year. But it’s still less than ideal for a team that signed Sale to a five-year, $145MM extension that just kicked in this past season.
The news is much better for Rodriguez, who on Thursday told MLB Network Radio, “I will be 100 percent ready for next season.” Rodriguez had a career campaign in 2019, but COVID-19 and myocarditis shelved him this year. He was just cleared to begin walking again in late September, so it’s remarkable that Rodriguez is on track to be in the Red Sox’s season-opening rotation in a few months.
Besides Rodriguez and Nathan Eovaldi, the Red Sox might not be sure who will be in their starting staff when next year commences. Their rotation stumbled to a bottom-of-the-barrel 5.34 ERA/5.50 FIP in 2020, though Tanner Houck and Nick Pivetta showed quite a bit of promise over a combined five starts and could earn spots. Otherwise, Boston may try to pick up at least one veteran in free agency to fill out the group.
[RELATED: Red Sox Offseason Outlook]
Stupid question probably – but can someone tell me why did the Red Sox sign Sale to that extension?
Because Dave Dombrowski.
Also see: Lester, John
WWS new to the sports world
@mcmillankmm well yes i am 3 years old
I think it was also a bit of ‘over-compensation’ for how they wound up low-balling Lester and letting him walk years ago. They didn’t want to make the same mistake twice — but in hindsight (and even really at the time to be honest) there were enough warning signs (diminished velocity, nagging injuries) in 2018 that they really should have waited and let him play out his previous contract before signing the big extension. (He had already been under contract through 2019… so they should have just let that season play out… and had they… they probably would’ve been able to resign him for significantly less $ than they did) or maybe they would’ve chosen not to resign him. Though as long as he makes it back healthy… I do still think keeping him will prove to have been better than losing him for nothing. Even if he isn’t ‘quite’ the same P when he returns… I still think he’s ‘that good’ that he’ll still be an ‘ace caliber’ arm once healthy.
In the world of what ifs, imagine the world that Boston DID either wait to extend/re-sign sale till end of 2019… or let him walk. Certainly there would’ve been money savings.
Would mookie and price still be in boston?
No. The Red Sox were always going to trade Mookie because they never appropriately valued him.
They offered him $300 million, Betts was hell bent on testing Free Agency until Covid happened and he realized the market was going to be a disaster this offseason, so he took what he could get from LA for the security.
intothemystic…let it go. Okay, I’ll say it. Mookie wanted out of Boston which he hinted to the press as ‘racist’. He said numerous times he wasn’t open to an extension during the season and would wait until free agency, which was a blatant lie. Like with Jon Lester, no team is going to open with their top offer. It’s give-and-take. The Dodgers were fools to sign Betts to that absurd contract. Let’s see how much a 35+ Betts gives them when the time comes.
Randy Red Sox
So what?? LA won a WS with Betts this yr and could easily win 1 or 2 more with Betts. Not sure why they would worry about a 35 yr old Mookie.
This had nothing to do with Lester. It just showed they learned nothing.
God that’s a miserable what if to think about. I feel like Mookie Betts would have not been traded. I still love Sale though. He will try like hell to live up to the contract even if he can’t.
How many true number aces are there? Thats why. He’s worth the gamble
Yes, the Red Sox would have had enough money forBetts had they not signed Sale. No, Betts would still be with the Dodgers, because he never intended to stay, and the had the money and the glitz Betts was looking for and the Red Sox would not have Verdugo, Downs, or Wong.
In no world is Mookie Betts, the 2nd best player currently in the game worth 365m and due to earn 30-35m annually from 2023-2032, or his age 40 season. I don’t believe any of this money is deferred, meaning due during each season, going to a guy 5’9 who will more than likely have lost most of his defensive range and speed halfway thru this deal and hope the power and hit tool remains.
I don’t believe he ever could have gotten north of 300m in Boston, if 300m at all as great as he currently is at 28yo.
Sale signed for what on the face was 5/150m, but with deferred amounts figured in.. Comes down to a 25m hit. There wasn’t really indicators at the time one of the best in the game was injured, so why not lock him up in advance to a below market deal (at the time) with a considerable amount deferred?
Hindsight amazes me when it comes out like this and imagine in 5y, the same Betts fans will be like those admonishing the Angels for signing Pujols.
JohnSilver – totally agree that as Betts ages his speed and defensive range will not be near what it is now (and certainly not to age 40). Hopefully he will not age like Carl Crawford (Mr. Six stolen bases in one game against the Red Sox, $143 million wasted, big Theo mistake).
There were some indicators, in his diminished velo, some nagging injuries, some advanced stats were trending negatively, but even still, you definitely lock up the guy that was still one of the best in the game..You pretty much have to lock him up; otherwise, the fanbase would have went absolutely nuts at the time..
Now, Sox fans want to complain and moan though..lol
I definitely would have sign Sale, but would have added a sixth year at league minimum pay if he misses a year with injury like the Red Sox did with John Lackey!!!!!
The Red Sox front office and owner did this before….it was not a new strategy.
I was at the Costco in Hawthorne CA yesterday wearing a Red Sox hat & shirt for 15 min. In that time 4 dodger fans said thanks to Bloom for Mookie. They all believe he is the reason they finally won a WS. Tell a Diamondback fan that Scihilling & Johnson were bad contracts.; a Nats fan that Max & Stras are over paid etc. Only in Boston would winning 4 WS in 17 yrs under multiple different GMs/Managers be cause for such complaining. Give Henry a chance to reset . He knows winning = $$$.
Randy Red Sox
I don’t think that picking out situations where the contracts work, supports the theory that it is a good idea. I could list all the big-money FAs that teams acquire, that really hurt the team’s long-term chances.
The acquisition of Pujols basically cancelled out the talent of Trout.
Signing Miggy, VMart,Filder, and Zimmerman doomed Detroit to last place.
SF’s signing of Cueto & Samadjia, doomed them.
The Rox with Tulo & Helton.
The fact that sometimes it works, does not mean that sometimes it doesn’t.
Thank you RickEO, i’m surprised I had to scroll this far down to find someone who understood. He’s a top 5 pitcher in baseball. That’s why
Because the Yankees would have signed him.
Sale and Eovaldi got paid for the World Series title
He is an insanely talented pitcher. People act like this deal is insanity, but look at whay strausberg and cole cost.
To sox fan 1; and hopefully at least one more.
Because he deserved it at the time n glad he did.
Just guessing here, but maybe it had something to do with him being the #3 SP in BB from 2012-2018, remarkably never finishing worse than 6th in the Cy Young voting.
Glad to see E-Rod is progressing well. They missed him badly this year.
“Big money baseball contracts and the lack of value they provide over the course of their deals!” All this and more on 60 minutes
Thank god for E-rod. I was scared when I started hearing reports that he was progressing into a worst state, but luckily his heart problems have faded.
Woah!! I didn’t know that e-rod’s condition got so bad that he wasn’t even allowed to walk until September. I knew he was fighting significant myocarditis issues from Covid — but I hadn’t heard that he hadn’t even been cleared to walk!! Great to hear that he seems to be doing so well now and will certainly be a welcome addition/return to the team next season!
I don’t think the true extent of things were really reported at the time to be honest.
Now that said, even if he’s physically up to it (awaits to be seen) will he have a super tight innings limit and/or need to start in an opener role where he starts off going 1 or 2 innings for a bit?
That much bed rest, has he seen significant weight change? Will that alter his feel and mechanics?
I think everyone hopes he doesn’t over do it trying to get back
Yea I have the same concerns. I was shocked to hear that he couldn’t walk
Get well soon E Rod
Red Sox sign Tanaka and bring back Lester. That should sure up rotation until Sale makes it back
Glad to hear Eduardo is on the mend. Hopefully his future stays as bright as it was looking. I would love to see the game where he strikes out Mancini, and gives up a Homer to him in the next at bat. Win win for sports.
Sale is unrelated to missing out on Lester. Price is kind of the response to losing Lester but Cherington traded Lester and failed to resign him, DD signed Price to that awful contract which set up the Mookie situation. Ugh common denominator is Henry, who is a moron.
So Billionaire Henry, who owns the premier football club in the world and one of the most iconic franchises in all of sports and whose investments in both have more than quintupled in value since he bought them, is being called a moron by someone commenting in a baseball blog. You can’t make this stuff up, folks.
That move by Cherrington earned his way outta Boston regarding Lester, n earned Lesters resentment.
Ugh common denominator is Henry, who is a moron.
Sorry fake fan, but we have been the best team in baseball since Henry bought the team.
Sale is done, just a question of when. Great signing of that extension though, good for him. As far as the Sox losing big time on these types of high stakes moves, who cares. As a billionaire said IT’s ONLY MONEY !
Sale was basically a Randy Johnson type ace.. and he will probably bounce back… I can’t stand him as a Yankee fan. But I don’t think that signing was a mistake. We had CC at the end he was making big $$. Evo on the other hand should have been transitioned to a closer.
I like you NYY fan you make sense. We need more of it here.
And Randy Johnson pitched into his early 40s. I wouldn’t bet against Sale either pitching into his late 30s to 40 also. Still only 31. Tall lefties with that motion and velocity are going to be very hard to hit. Unless he falls into that minority who don’t recover from TJS, I like his chances of returning to form, although his command may be spotty at first. Sabathia’s injury was worse. His landing knee. Couldn’t control his pitches for several seasons until they jury-rigged some knee brace that helped. I give him credit. He reinvented himself from a 96+ starter to someone who threw like Jamie Moyer, and did it effectively. Not an ace anymore, but good. Sale won’t have to go that route.
At the time of Sale’s extension it seemed like a good move. TJ surgery is becoming an all too regular thing with pitchers. Sox just need to keep their fingers crossed that Sale is able to fully recover. Most of them do, but not all. Hopefully he doesn’t rush his rehab and try to come back too soon.
The extension made sense. Sale was still young, one of the top five pitchers in the game, an ace lefty. The timing of the injury was unfortunate, but I like his chances of returning to top form, or close to it. Beginning by mid-2021, Red Sox fans will be happy he’s on their team again.
Once again, we have fans deciding a deal was bad because a player got injured. 2018 was Sale’s highest bWAR season at 6.9. Anyone can get hurt, but you have to take chances.
Sale was an ace, Red Sox traded for and extended the ace, had been durable up to that point. The extension was not a mistake, and it’s too soon to write him off before he returns from injury.
Great news on both players but Boston still needs to be very active this offseason. They will probably sign (2) starting pitchers of the Garrett Richards skillset, sign or trade for (3) bullpen arms including a true closer, (1) OF and (1) IF whose primary position can be 2B. There will be a lot of new faces in Boston next year, but there will always be room for Chris Sale whenever he gets back!
Hmmmm, Sox could use a veteran pitcher like Jon Lester right about now!