Red Sox Expect Mookie Betts to Be on Opening Day Roster Amid Trade Rumors

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured ColumnistJanuary 15, 2020

Boston Red Sox's Mookie Betts runs in from the outfield during a baseball game against the Minnesota Twins at Fenway Park, Thursday, Sept. 5, 2019, in Boston. (AP Photo/Elise Amendola)
Elise Amendola/Associated Press

While ownership issued a directive to trim payroll heading into the 2020 season, chief baseball officer Chaim Bloom told reporters Wednesday he expects Mookie Betts to remain on the roster for Opening Day.

"We are not doing our jobs if we're not open to anything that can improve our chances to compete as successfully and as often as possible over the course the next decade," Bloom said, per ESPN's Joon Lee.

Betts and the team agreed to a one-year, $27 million deal Friday, which set an arbitration record.

Given his production in recent years, the 27-year-old is an obvious trade asset. He had a .295/.391/.524 slash line with 29 home runs and 80 RBI in 2019, and his 6.6 WAR ranked ninth among position players, per FanGraphs.

MLB.com's Jon Paul Morosi reported Jan. 2 the Los Angeles Dodgers had discussed a possible move for Betts, as the Dodgers' negotiations with the Cleveland Indians over Francisco Lindor were at an impasse.

The task of getting under the luxury tax already put enough on Bloom's plate. Now the Red Sox front office has to deal with the fallout from Alex Cora's firing, which resulted from the Houston Astros' sign-stealing scandal. The team remains under investigation by MLB for its own allegations of stealing signs in 2018.

Cora's departure could provide Bloom and his cohorts with cover to more aggressively shop Betts.

Bloom's comments shed little light on how the next few months will transpire since Betts remains a member of the Red Sox. One would expect Boston to have him on March 26 against the Toronto Blue Jays.

That probably won't stop the Sox from maintaining contact with suitors who are interested in acquiring the 2018 American League MVP, though.

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