In fact, the Red Sox lineup should still be quite good in 2020, which is hardly to say that the team is championship-caliber. They probably aren’t. But there is a lot to be determined between now and Halloween, and if the 2019 season taught us at all, it taught that there is no such thing as a sure bet.
Let’s remember that the Red Sox are in a fairly tight predicament. They want to shed about $30 million or more in payroll while addressing needs at first base, second base and on the mound. They have a thin farm system. And they want to contend at the time.
Somebody - or somebodies - must go. And we mean somebody (or more than one) from the group of Nathan Eovaldi ($17 million), David Price ($31 million), Chris Sale ($25.6 million) and, yes, Mookie Betts, the last of whom has a projected salary of $27.7 million next summer and will be a free agent at the end of the 2020 season.
Don’t look now, Red Sox followers, but the news that David Price has landed on the injured list has left the Sox in a rather curious position. Forty percent of the team’s starting rotation is now on the IL, Price (elbow tendinitis) joining Nathan Eovaldi (elbow surgery) on the sideline. No one can possibly know how Sox pitchers will fare in the long run this season, but the idea was to bring them along slowly so that they would all be at maximum strength in September and October.
So just admit it: you fell in Eovaldi with him last October after what should have been a one-night stand. We all did. And then you committed to something that you really shouldn’t have committed to, a baseball version of “Paradise by the Dashboard Light.”