Red Sox Reportedly Could Dump Mookie Betts and J.D. Martinez to Cut Payroll

Ryan Phillips

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.