TheBoston Red Sox announced they had fired president of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski on Sunday just one year after winning a World Series. Now we may be starting to understand why he was ousted. A report from USA Today’s Bob Nightengale claims the Sox may be looking to reduce payroll and ownership didn’t think Dombrowski could get it done.
Here’s what Nightengale had to say:
"There is word now from Red Sox executives that they are changing direction, plan to cut payroll, let All-Star slugger J.D. Martinez leave if he opts out of his contract, even let reigning MVP Mookie Betts walk away as a free agent (if they don’t trade him first), and didn’t believe Dombrowski was capable of pulling it off."
Letting J.D. Martinez walk and trading Mookie Betts before he gets a massive contract extension is certainly one way to go about reducing your obligations. Boston entered 2019 with baseball’s biggest Opening Day payroll at around $213 million.
Letting Martinez walk and moving on from Betts would be dangerous moves for Boston. Martinez is slashing .306/.383/.574 this year with 35 home runs, 94 RBI and an OPS of .957 in 132 games. He just turned 32 has sustain his success well and that’s a ton of production to replace.
Meanwhile, Betts is a 26-year-old perennial MVP candidate who has become the face of the franchise. The reigning American League MVP is slashing .290/.388/.522 with 27 home runs, 77 RBI an OPS or .910 and a top-10 fWAR of 6.1.
I’m fairly certain letting either of those guys walk away from Boston would drive Sox fans crazy. This is a risky path the team’s ownership is charting.