How was your week

Posted: September 28, 2019 by Sports Time Radio in baseball, post season, sports, Sports Time Radio, Uncategorized

We’re into the final weekend of the Major League Baseball season. Every team has two games left except the Detroit Tigers and Chicago White Sox who have three game left and are scheduled to play a doubleheader today to even their schedule up with the rest of the teams.

It seems as everything is decided for the baseball playoffs except where the American League wild card game will be played. The Tampa Bay Rays and the Oakland A’s have identical records heading into today’s game. If these two teams end up tied after the final two games it would be the A’s that get to host the wild card game since they won the season series between the two teams.

Now there still is a chance that the Milwaukee Brewers and the St. Louis Cardinals could end up tied for 1st place in the NL Central. If this was to happen the teams would have to play a game 163 to decide who is the NL Central champion and who the wild card team would be. The losing team in this scenario would then have to go to Washington to face the Nationals in the wild card game since the Nationals are the home team for the National League wild card game. Both the Brewers and the Cardinals lost last night; so the Cardinals held on to their one game division lead.

I did find it humorous that there was quite a bit of complaining out of the Brewers about the line up the Chicago Cubs where playing against the Cardinals last night. Oddly with a line up that Milwaukee saw a sub-par the Cubs managed to break their 9-game losing streak as they beat the Cardinals last night 8-2. The Cubs scored all 8 of their runs against the Cardinals bullpen.

Maybe the Brewers should’ve been more focused on their match up with the Colorado Rockies instead of what line up the Cubs had for there game. Colorado easily beat Milwaukee 11-7 last night. The score actually makes the game look closer than it was as Milwaukee scored 2 runs in the 8th inning and 3 runs in the 9th inning to make the final score closer than what the game actually was.

The Brewers had bullpen issues just like the Cardinals did last night. Milwaukee’s bullpen gave up 10 runs over a 3 inning span. The only Milwaukee reliever than didn’t give up any runs last night was Jimmy Nelson who worked the 8th inning and walked one hitter, but he also recorded a strikeout.

Honestly though I think if you looked at every team the biggest issue they probably have is a bad bullpen as that seems to be the theme around Major League Baseball this season; well besides the juiced up baseballs.

I’m sure that the fans of the Boston Red Sox where thrilled when the team came out yesterday and mentioned that one of their top priorities heading into the off season was the get themselves under MLB’s luxury tax. I’m guessing trying to cut payroll isn’t something Red Sox fans will be excited about. The question now becomes; how can they get there?

The Red Sox are about $60 million dollars under the luxury tax with the contracts that they’re committed to for next season. The Red Sox have 6 free agents and 1 player with a mutual option; so they will probably let most if not all of those players walk away after this season or should I say these final two games. The problem the Red Sox have to deal with is that they have 9 players headed to arbitration and there are some interesting names that the Red Sox will have to make some tough decisions on.

Brandon Workman, Steven Wright, Matt Barnes, Heath Hembree and Sandy Leon are five of the players the Red Sox have going to arbitration. There’s a chance that the Red Sox may just let these five players go into free agency and not offer arbitration to any of them. That would help the Red Sox towards their luxury tax goals, but it probably won’t get them all the way to where they need to go.

The Red Sox are going to have to make some tough decisions on the other four players headed to arbitration. Those four players are Jackie Bradley Jr, Eduardo Rodriquez, Andrew Benintendi and Mookie Betts. Is there a chance that we could see one or more of these players dealt this off season? If the Red Sox do decide to trade one of these players; who is the most likely to get traded? and what could they get in return for that player?

Benintendi is just headed into arbitration and while his salary is going to jump up from the $717,500 he made last season I don’t think he’s the guy that Boston trades.

Rodriquez is coming off a career year; 19-6 with a 3.80 ERA in 33 starts while pitching 196 1/3rd innings. With all of the pitching issues the Red Sox had this season and the fact that Rick Porcello is one of their impending free agents you have to think that Rodriguez will be sticking around.

That leaves Betts and Bradley to try and help the Red Sox meet that luxury tax threshold they’ve talked about. While Betts numbers are down from last season when he won the MVP there’s nothing wrong with hitting close to .300 with 30 home runs. Betts was awarded $20 million dollars in arbitration last season and you have to think that number is going to go up, but how high will it go? Could we see his salary jump to $25 million dollars for next season. This is Betts last year of arbitration and he could bring a good return in a trade. Bradley Jr is an interesting case. Bradly Jr has just never hit at the major league level and has a career batting average of .236. He will hit about 20 home runs a season, but he is one of the best defensive centerfielders in baseball. The question is; what’s that worth to another team? Bradley Jr. made $8.55 million dollars in arbitration last year; so you have to figure that his salary will be $10 million dollars or more for next season. What can Boston get for a light hitting, but great defensive centerfielder?

Who do you see the Red Sox trading Betts, Bradley or maybe both?

Now the wild card in this for Boston is J.D. Martinez who can opt out of his contract this off season. While I think it would be foolish for Martinez to walk away from the $23.75 million dollars he’s scheduled to make next season he is a Scott Boras client. If Martinez does opt out there’s very little chance that the Red Sox would be interested in bringing him back as getting that salary off of their books would really help them with their goal of getting under the luxury tax. Also I’m not sure if Martinez would get anywhere near that salary number o the free agent market. I believe that Martinez can also opt out of his contract after next season and that may make a little more sense for him to do as his salary drops to $19.35 million dollars for the final two years of his contract.

What do you think Martinez will do? Does he opt out of his deal? Or will he stay wih the Red Sox?

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