Red Sox manager Alex Cora told reporters, including Jen McCaffrey of The Athletic, today that Trevor Story is doing well in his rehab, and providing an update about his progress. Story has begun regularly fielding groundballs in the infield dating back to camp this spring, and will begin throwing in two weeks. He’ll advance to hitting next month, sixteen weeks after his elbow surgery. That’s great news for Boston fans, as it means Story is still on track to make his season debut sometime around the middle of the season. As things stand, the Red Sox are relying on Enrique Hernandez, Christian Arroyo and Yu Chang for middle infield duties, with offseason acquisition Adalberto Mondesi joining Story on the IL.
The return of Story would potentially relieve Hernandez of his duties as an everyday shortstop, allowing him to bounce between second base and center field as he did during his past two seasons in Boston. 2023 is the second year of Story’s six-year, $140MM deal with the Red Sox. In his first year in Boston, Story slashed just .238/.303/.434 (100 wRC+) in 94 games, though he did post an elite defensive season by Outs Above Average, which gave him a +10 mark for his work at second base. While that sort of production didn’t quite match the expectations associated with the contract he signed, a steady presence like that would be a huge boon to the Red Sox in the second half, given the uncertainty of their middle infield situation.
More from around the American League…
- Michael Brantley has departed Houston for the Astros spring complex in West Palm Beach, as noted by Brian McTaggart of MLB.com. Brantley traveled with the team for the club’s World Series ring ceremony on Opening Day, but now returns to Florida to continue his rehab from last season’s shoulder surgery. McTaggart notes the Astros hope to have him back in the “next couple of weeks”, which tracks with GM Dana Brown’s previous statement that Brantley was likely to miss at least three weeks of games. It seems as though Brantley might be back at the earlier end of that estimate, which would surely lift an Astros lineup that will be without Jose Altuve for around two months to open the season.
- Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times reports that the Rays renewed both left-hander Shane McClanahan’s and right-hander Drew Rasmussen’s contract for the 2023 season, indicating neither hurler agreed to their 2023 salary. While pre-arbitration players like McClanahan and Rasmussen have no negotiating power over their salaries, they can refuse to agree to their 2023 salary, a symbolic gesture that indicates the player does not agree with the club’s proposed salary. McClanahan will earn $737,000 in 2023 while Rasmussen will earn $73,700. Both players figure to be arbitration eligible this offseason, with McClanahan likely poised to qualify as a Super Two player, while Rasmussen appears set to secure a third full year of service time this season.
Just mute these wow dbags
I wish I could but I use the iPhone app.
Very encouraging to hear that about Story. The Sox’s bats have been good so far. and Kiki’s looked pretty solid at short, but letting Kiki play his best positions and moving Arroyo back to a utility role would elevate the middle infield from “alright” to actually good
Fever Pitch Guy
roiste – Yes Story is definitely an upgrade over Arroyo, but I wouldn’t assume Story will be playing shortstop when he returns. Hopefully, but it all depends on his arm.
Even if he’s at second it will be a huge boost. His 2B defense was incredible last year, and his baserunning would add a lot to the team.
Fever Pitch Guy
roiste – Agreed, he is a great defensive player and very athletic.
I always doubt what Cora had to say but that’s his Story and he’s sticking to it.
Fever Pitch Guy
Cartrow – One thing Cora said was true, he stole the 2017 World Series from the Dodgers.
How did the Rays get away with paying Rasmussen under $100k?
Motor City Beach Bum
I think it’s a typo. Looks like the same as McClanahans
It’s a typo
Rasmussen’s salary is actually $739.7k as per fangraphs.
What are the odds Brantley comes back before the all star break? First it was he was healthy then he’d be ready for opening day then a few weeks away now Dana Brown said on the broadcast maybe at the end of the month. The professional hitter is needed back!
@nickdeeds I assume the Rasmussen salary is wrong?
Fever Pitch Guy
Fraham – Nick is a rookie, cut him some slack. His first sentence about “reports” was also obviously a mistake, but none of us were pointing it out.
I do agree it appears the $73,700 was not a typo, it’s surprising he didn’t realize the MLB minimum salary is $720K and no MLB player playing a full season on a major league contract would earn less than that.
FTR – Drew is earning $739,700 this season. The Rays are giving each player a bit more than minimum as a token.
You get what you get. Don’t like it? Go play in Czech Republic as a doctor.
The “don’t like it, go elsewhere” argument is so tired. If labor disagrees with management’s philosophy, they have every right to express their displeasure and disagreement. It’s not a “take this job or shove it” world – at least it shouldn’t be.
That’s the ‘Everyone gets a trophy’ mentality that is a cancer on our society.
And exactly what did his comment have to do with everyone getting a trophy???
Anyone good enough to reach the majors earned every trophy they won
I was responding to this:
It’s not a “take this job or shove it” world – at least it shouldn’t be.
If you don’t like the cash you’re getting, you’re free to look elsewhere or pursue a different career.
Or players can push for better working conditions. That seems like a reasonable approach.
That sounds like take this job and shove it mentality
The next line in the song is, “I ain’t workin’ here no more.”
These players want to do this job. They also want better working conditions for themselves and those who follow them.
Why some people view this as such an affront to society is beyond me. I guess a number of people – for whatever reason – are happy with a system in which owners have the vast majority of power and can treat employees however they want to.
The Rays are going to rue McLanahan leaving when he becomes a free agent.
He’s traveled down the road and back again. His heart is true, He’s a pal and a confidant.
This comment is golden.
When he becomes a free agent, he’ll likely have carte Blanche
Story was good for a time at Coors field but those days are gone. He is not the answer to anything other than another bad contract.
Fever Pitch Guy
team – Agreed, Story’s OPS has drastically declined 3 consecutive years.
Good news on Story, hate seeing anyone go down to injury, hope he can return and make an impact
Based on the history of Cora’s updates on players and the inaccuracy of Jen McCaffrey this article is pretty much meaningless. Story had surgery and isn’t close to being back is about all anyone can say accurately today.
He will remain a big question mark for months. Hopefully, Boston fans can see the good Trevor Story that played in Colorado several years ago. For those that don’t like him, please consider the fact that he’s the ONLY hitter acquired by Bloom that was an all-star prior to coming to Boston. Then, consider how many all-stars have left since Bloom arrived and you are almost forced into supporting Story because his performance is critical to the future of the Red Sox until they get more all-star quality players.
Duvall was an all-star
Eimedius – Clearly I should have stipulated that I was talking about recent all-star selections. I assumed that would be understood but clearly it wasn’t.
Yes. Technically, both Duvall and JT have been all-stars in the past. Duvall’s AS selection was four teams ago and 7 years ago. But technically, some time is his distant past he made an all-star team.
Does that translate to the discussion suggesting we need more all-star quality players? No. I don’t consider him an all-star quality player in 2023. Same for JT. His 15 year career includes two AS appearances but in 2023 he’s clearly not an all-star quality player either. He can’t play daily, that should be a big indicator that he isn’t all-star quality.
Thanks for pointing out the irrelevant but accurate fact.
Why would recent be understood? Story’s last all-star appearance was in 2019…. That’s not really recent either. Turners last was 2021. And like others have said, what good are all star selections when describing how good an offensive player is? Story is the absolute WORST of Bloom’s signings, so I don’t know why you’re centering your argument on him, he will never sniff an all-star team again and I’m pretty sure you’re aware of that. Yoshida on the other hand is looking pretty legit and I’m sure Sox fans are happy with Duvall at the moment.
The signing of Story and Story’s skills are two different things.
I agree the signing had several issues.
1 – It pushed out Bogey for money that could have gone to Bogey.
2 – Mayer was on the horizon as was Yorke so a middle infielder wasn’t critical to the immediate future since the team was so bad.
3 – $23.3MM was a reasonable price for 3 years but was above market value for 6 years.
Is Story talented? Absolutely. If healthy, he’s a player that will compete for a spot on the all-star team each year. The problem is Bloom bought damaged goods for non-damaged goods prices.
Yoshida hasn’t proven anything yet. Neither has Duvall. If you have watched Duvall for years you know he is streaky. He’s much like Dalbec. All or nothing at all. For him to start fast is great but it’s 3 games. He might not get a hit the rest of the month or he could stay hot and hit .350 for the month. He’s that streaky. We all hope for the .350 but recognize it could be .200 just as easily.
Yoshida’s OPS+ is 97 after 3 games. It’s likely that he will finish the year with a number close to 97. His expected range is 95 to 115. $18MM is a lot of money for a guy who is not projected to be above 115 in OPS+. Fans need to hope he can exceed that 115 so he actually earns his money.
Duvall and Turner were also all-stars. If you go back to previous years there are more.
As were Jansen and Kluber. Funny he’s even mentioning All Star appearances as a measure of success tho. It’s by and large a popularity contest. One could also argue that paying for players who are/were All Stars is inefficient as far as bang for the buck goes. But this guy seems adamant on bashing current BoSox regime. Whether it’s warranted or not I don’t know, just as an outside observer stating what I ve seen.
Tigers3232 – I take no issue with Jansen being a former all-star and a guy who has an outside chance of doing it in 2023 but his presence is only beneficial if the team can score runs with it’s depleted offense. He would he have been a great pick-up after Kimbrel was dropped years ago and the team was still strong. Absolutely. Is his presence in 2023 and 2024 going to make a difference in the standings and put Boston into the playoffs? Not likely since the team is thoroughly depleted of talent other than Devers’ hitting and some young pitchers.
As an outside observer did you notice the massive decline in the Red Sox since Bloom arrived? If not, then lets just stop here because you don’t know baseball. If you have seen the massive drop-off and you were a Red Sox fan wouldn’t you be upset too?
Evaluating poor performance whether it’s a player’s, a manager’s, a GM’s or an owner’s is the right of any fan. Commenting on what others write instead of discussing baseball is what makes for a troll. Don’t troll my comments. If you have a baseball point, make it. Keep the cheap shots to yourself.
Your one baseball point wasn’t articulated. WHY would one argue that paying for players who are/were all-stars is inefficient? The amount of money paid a player doesn’t make a contract efficient or inefficient, his performance does. An all-star performance is a sign of success so you are paying for successful players. That’s a bad thing? You truly are in Bloom’s camp with that comment. He thinks the same way. That’s why Story is the one significant all-star he has added in 3 years and that significant all-star has been injured more than healthy. Bloom swapped expensive talented all-star quality players for dozens and dozens of below league average ball players in hopes one might blossom. Nobody has blossomed except maybe Whitlock and Boston finished dead last in an embarrassing fashion in both 2020 and 2022, two of Bloom’s three years. There is plenty to be unhappy about as a Red Sox fan. It’s all warranted and documented in the fact that DD was in Boston a bit over 3 years and left with the team being 104 games over .500. Bloom has been here 3 years and they are 4 games over .500 going into 2023. That fact alone warrants any and all the complaints provided by me and others.
So word to the wise, comment on baseball not other writers.
Lots of bad choices by Bloom lead to lots of justified negative comments by fans willing to call it as it is.
Barnes was an Allstar just 2 years ago how did that matter now I don’t get the obsession this site has with meaningless all star appearances
Remove = Exactly. The whole point was Bloom didn’t add value since he arrived with the exception of Jansen and Story. The other players added may or may not have been a token all-star at some point in their career but that’s not relevant to the point.
Nobody I know would consider Barnes a current day all-star.
Fever Pitch Guy
KD – Right you are as always! Talking about tokens, I’m sure you remember when Scott Cooper was the ONLY Red Sox All-Star in both 1993 and 1994. In his 5 years with Boston he had a .767 OPS and played his last ML game at Age 29 with the Royals, he was never even close to All-Star caliber.
I’ve always said, anybody who has a good first 3 months of the season can become an All-Star. It’s totally meaningless.
@KD All Star players by and large become more expensive with name recognition and success(for worthy All Stars). Teams like the Ray’s are not out acquiring All Star’s as their standard practice. Only recently with the Mets and Padres has this become standard practice. And as evidenced by their payrolls is insanely expensive and likely unsustainable, but time will tell.
As for Bloom, again I’m jot familiar enough with BoSox’s situation to know what % of blame falls on him. Without a doubt some of the blame falls to DD. Yes he was brought in to win a World Series and to that he succeeded. At the time DD arrived in BOS tho most could forsee what the future held, he comes in leverages all a franchises assets and goes all in. Whether Bloom was the right guy to come in for the ensuing rebuild, I do not know. But the current state of the team was very predictable to many back when DD arrived.
Tiger – Tiger. Let me guess you are a Tiger’s fan so you hate DD.
Your comments don’t reflect the truth in Boston and much like in Boston DD left Detroit with plenty of talent and their next GM frittered it away just like Bloom. Revisionist history is what you are preaching here. NO FACTS!!
When DD came to town all fans saw was a man who was willing to spend the Owners money up to the CAP because he understood their profits would be better if he won a RING. He won 3 Divisions which was completely unprecedented and the last Division TItle led to a RING. There is no way you can spin the greatness of his performance in Boston to anything but an epic success story that got cut short by ignorance.
I fo not hate DD, I’m thankful for getting to watch Tigers contend for a decade. And part of winning is teams become expensive to keep together. But the point still stands DD has a history of leveraging a teams future for the present, that is just a fact it is not fricen by hate or anything else…
You do not think Bloom was or is willing to spend the owners money?? That is absolutely laughable. Any MLB GM would b more than willing to spend an owners money and buy every player they desired. Bloom was brought in to rebuild a team that was on verge of becoming extortionately expensive to hold together. The players DD left behind were all on the cusp of free agency, that is when teams typically rebuild. To give DD a pass on current state of the franchise is just being flat out naive.
Tiger – Bloom is spending money on bad players and he’s exceeded DDs spending significantly in 2022 and 2023. But that was never my point.
DD did not strip the farm system. That is simply inaccurate. The players he pruned and traded were all over-rated so he got top value for them. That’s brilliant not bad for the organization.
Any big market GM who understands the game knows the owners are making incredible profits when they are just below the CAP. DD spent just below the CAP and won big 3 of 4 seasons. The overage during DD’s tenure will always be on Cherington’s wild spending sprees not DD.
Lets talk simple philosophies for GMs of Big Markets. Here are some simple rules good GMs follow:
1 – Create a window for each run at championships. In DD’s case he built his contract structure to align with the 2016 to 2022 time frame. He didn’t leave a mess for Bloom, he left a well laid out financial plan for winning. He gave himself a strong core group of all-stars making all-star money and he used the farm system and minor pick-ups to add the complimentary players. Pearce and Eovaldi were the complimentary players in 2018 when they won their ring. Their core expensive players were Price, Sale, Mookie, JD, Bogey and Pedroia. Peddy’s injury was a severe blow to his well thought out plan and probably cost Boston 1 or 2 rings.
2 – After you define your window you define your salary structure between all-stars and complimentary players. You slot them in all 26 roster spots and recognize which ones should last throughout the window of pursuing multiple rings and which ones are transient. DD had a very clear structure and Bloom rejected the existing framework in an act of hubris. The plan was excellent and should have been recognized as that by Bloom but his experience in TB did not prepare him for Boston..
3 – You use the window to evaluate which players are to be extended and which ones would end their time with Boston after the 2022 season. Based on performance, DD was going to extend Mookie, Bogey, Devers, and had already extended Sale but not Price or Porcello. Price’s big money was to roll off in 2022 and a new #1/#2 SP was to be procured to replace him. The infield didn’t have Yorke and Mayer on the horizon because Cora and Bloom hadn’t tanked the 2019 and 2020 seasons yet so the likely extensions by DD would have been Vazquez at catcher, Devers at 3B, Bogey at SS, Benny in LF and Mookie in RF. If JD performed well late in his contract he would have been extended as well.
The pitching staff would have been jump started after the 2022 season just like when it got Price when DD arrived in Boston. With Sale already extended and excellent young pitchers like Houck and Mata in the minors, the future pitching needs were not that great but a closer was needed to replace Kimbrel.
DD approached his job the right way. He had a plan. He recognized the enormous profits being made and sold owners on the idea that happy fans will spend more money and fans get happy from winning. Coming in under the CAP maximized profitability but even small cash flow challenges that might temporarily take you over the cap simply reduced the $330MM in profits to something closer to $300MM. Nobody was going to go hungry if the CAP was exceeded for one year to keep Mookie and let the Cherington money roll off the books. DD understood how things worked and used that knowledge to build winners everywhere he’s gone.
Bloom doesn’t comprehend what I have just written. He’s a small market guy who thinks small market tricks will work for Big Market teams. Well, they don’t and Boston fans have paid for that realization.
If Bloom was in a grocery store with DD he would go to the check out counter with 2 full baskets of average products while DD would show up with one basket filled with high quality products and a few selected products that were necessary. Whether you call Bloom’s behavior dumpster diving or sifting for gold, he acquires an excessive number of inexpensive untalented players in hopes one might suddenly become a breakout and he can take credit for his brilliant philosophy of how to have sustained winning through luck!!
Unfortunately, the breakout acquisitions that occurred when he was in TB all came from the guys sitting around the room advising him on who to pick up. They have continued to do that since he moved to Boston but Boston has yet to get the same clever additions that TB continues to make.
They pulled the wrong guy from the TB think tank. They got the marketing guy who has no substance they left the baseball guy who figures out which young player will be the next break out. Arozarena, Meadows, Glasnow they are all coming from the same guy and he’s still sitting in TB!!!
TIger – I’ve included some facts refuting your gross exaggeration of the payroll in 2019.
SPOTRAC puts the final 2019 Payroll at $228.4MM with $25.3MM of it comprised of RETAINED PAYROLL (Money spent on players no longer with the Red Sox. The biggest chunk was $18.4MM on Sandoval signed by Cherington,)
Subtract the $25.3MM from the $228.4MM and you have $203.1MM spent by DD. That was $5MM under the CAP.
The bad debt by Cherington created issues with both luxury tax fees and draft picks. DD had nothing to do with it.
The big hitters left on the roster by DD included:
Price at $31.MM
Sale at $15MM
JD at $22MM
Betts at $20MM (arbitration year 2)
Porcello at $20.6MM (his cost was rolling off the books that year)
Eovaldi at $17MM
Bogaerts at $12MM
JBJ at $8.5MM
Moreland at $6.5MM (rolling off at year’s end too)
Pedroia at $13.75MM (Good contract until Machado hurt him)
Pearce at %6.25MM (rolling off at year’s end)
Since DD was fired before the end of the season all Bloom had to do was pick up where he left off with payroll because the PAST DEBT by Cherington wasn’t coming off the books until after 2021. As a reminder, the tax rate was 50% for all money spent over the CAP of $208MM. $228MM means there is a $10MM luxury tax assessed. JBJ’s NON TENDER would have covered the $10MM in luxury tax so it’s hard to argue that finances were key to any of the decisions being made. Throwing away $11MM on JBJ and not signing Mookie for an additional $9MM per year in 2021 sure seems pound foolish to me.
The irony of the entire set of mistakes by Bloom is that Boston would have gotten under the CAP in 2020 whether Bloom was there or DD was there because Price opted out reducing costs by $32MM dropping payroll below $200MM in 2020.
Boston was NEVER in dire straights financially other than the overage caused by ownership and Cherington. DD ran an efficient payroll that stayed under the CAP. Mookie was to make $27MM in 2020 and was seeking $36MM through free agency in 2021. Boston had the money to land him for 10 years without impacting the profitability of the organization, creating CAP issues or setting a precedent they couldn’t follow with other players like Bogey and Devers. Devers was to get big bucks in 2023 after Price rolled off the books. The net should have been a gain but Bloom grossly over paid Devers.
Holding the Red Sox payroll together as you put it was not going to be a challenge. The schedule that created turnover at the end of 2022 made perfect sense and allowed for a window to assess talent and define the future players before the 2022 season ended.
That didn’t happen under Bloom. There is one new long-term solution in Devers bloated salary and there is Sale’s remaining years at $25.6MM versus the CAP. Sale will have cost Boston an average of $23.4MM for the 8 years he was contracted to pitch for them. Had Cora not side tracked Sale’s career with his pitching mechanics mandates the Sale contracts would have been looked on as team friendly despite several years at $25.6MM.
Truly, Bloom and Cora have created a comedy of errors that have set back the organization at least half a decade. The Don McLean song about the day the music died applies to the Red Sox because that day was the day DD got fired. It was the first domino to fall and 3 years later they keep falling without any signs of reversal in the future.
No three day hot streak by Duvall is going to brighten up the future for the Red Sox. They now need a massive overhaul due to Bloom’s incompetence..
I am a little surprised that he is fielding grounders already. Even if he feels good, isn’t that rushing it a bit? I am no doctor, so I don’t know. I just don’t want to see another Pedroia situation where he rushed back to only get hurt almost immediately.
Fever Pitch Guy
DBH – Great point, I was thinking the same thing. If he continues to rush, especially if he does rehab as a shortstop, I think there’s a possibility he’ll have a few setbacks.
FPG – A Boston player having a setback in rehab? Does that ever happen? hahaha
There are countless foot drills that don’t include throwing and hopefully he’s doing those. Hopefully he is conditioning as well and strengthening his legs so no hamstring pulls happen as he recovers.
I would guess he’s in the batting cages having tennis balls shot at him at over 100 mph to get his hitting eye back sooner. There is a ton of things he can be working on without throwing. It would be interesting to see their band work schedule. Will he be ready by the all-star break? It would be nice if he was.
It’s really hard to tell if he’s being rushed by what was said.
Fever Pitch Guy
KD – I completely agree, but at some point he will have to test the arm including throwing from deep in the hole if he wants to return as a shortstop.
Remember Rooster? Man that guy had a gun on him!
FPG – Thanks for the link. Yep I loved Burleson’s arm. It funny what you remember as a kid. I loved watching Rico Petrocelli because he had a rhythm to his footwork and release. I felt like you could put his movement to some good Italian music and watch it for hours. And Dwight Evans, what an arm he had.
The other thing I remember was watching Yaz go from LF to 1B and Ernie Banks going from SS to 1B. I half expected Bogey to be one of those guys who played SS until Mayers graduated and then he would go to 1B because like Ernie as a former SS he could really scoop the low throws. That’s how home grown players used to adjust to aging so they could stay with a ball club their entire career.
For the young fans, not having that seems like a big disadvantage of the current game but like most things, you can’t miss it if you never had it.
It’s the leg work and the glove work that keeps him in tune. I don’t think he’s throwing the ball anywhere after scrambling and gloving the grounders. Probably dropping them right where he is and staff does the rest.