Should the Red Sox reload or rebuild? The Boston Globe’s Peter Abraham votes for the latter option, arguing that Chris Sale’s season-ending injury should inspire the Sox to “consider trading anybody outside of Xander Bogaerts, Rafael Devers, and Eduardo Rodriguez.” (Personally speaking, I’d also add Christian Vazquez and Andrew Benintendi to Abraham’s no-trade list.) Such a move may seem drastic, though the Red Sox already faced a tough battle to reach the playoffs in 2020 even with Sale, and that was assuming the left-hander was able to rebound from a down year in 2019. With building blocks like Bogaerts and Devers already in place and their luxury tax penalties reset to zero, Boston could look to get back into playoff contention as early as 2021 after trading veterans for the right young talent, and then adding some other higher-priced players in trades or free agency.
Some more from around the AL East…
- It all could be something of a moot point given the indeterminate delay to the 2020 season, though Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times looked at how the Rays’ roster was shaping up in the latter days of Spring Training. Bullpen-wise, Nick Anderson was looking like the favorite for the majority of save chances, while non-roster invitee Aaron Loup was working towards winning a roster spot, which would have required Tampa to clear a space on its 40-man roster. Kevan Smith and Chris Herrmann, two other veterans in camp on non-roster invites, had seemingly fallen behind Michael Perez in the backup catcher competition. Though the Rays were preparing to deploy five regular starting pitchers, Topkin notes that the Rays were still planning to use openers every once in a while, as a way of managing injuries or giving the regular starters a break if necessary.
- Thursday was the opt-out date in Wade LeBlanc’s minor league contract with the Orioles, Roch Kubatko of MASNsports.com writes. We’re reaching the end of the 48-hour window for the club to put LeBlanc on its 40-man roster or release him, assuming some other arrangement hasn’t been made in the wake of the shutdown. Regardless, Kubatko feels LeBlanc is a lock to make the roster, and getting selected would guaranteed an $800K salary for LeBlanc in 2020.
- In another piece from Kubatko, manager Brandon Hyde told reporters that no Orioles players are set to undergo any medical procedures. This includes right-hander Evan Phillips, who dealt with some soreness in his throwing elbow in early March and recently met with Dr. Neal ElAttrache for a second opinion about the issue.