Current Red Sox Player Contracts, Trade Probabilities, Extension Candidates!

By Terry Cushman – @AVIDBOS_PODCAST 

Mookie Betts:    Signed Thru 2020  (Three Years Remaining)

Trade Probability:  ZERO

Mookie Betts has already turned down a rumored 5YR/$100M contract that would have kept him with the Red Sox thru 2022.   Despite the fact he turned down that offer, one would still believe the Red Sox will make another steadfast attempt to sign him once he reaches free agency.  All eyes will be on Bryce Harper & Manny Machado following the 2018 season to see what their market becomes.  Once those two sign, we will have a better idea of what it might cost to retain Mookie.  Giancarlo Stanton was the last mega deal at $312M.   However, that particular contract may have become a cautionary tale for future blockbuster signings.    In the mean time, I don’t see any chance Mookie gets traded whatsoever.   He is perhaps the best Red Sox draftee since Nomar Garciaparra.

Xander Bogaerts:  Signed Thru 2019  (Two Seasons Remaining)

Trade Probability:  Possible, but not likely.

To call Xander Bogaerts a “bust” would be inaccurate.   However, when watching the likes of Carlos Correa, Francisco Lindor, and Corey Seager…   Bogaerts has largely been a disappointment.  With only two years remaining on his contract, Bogaerts doesn’t have enough value to bring in that power bat the Red Sox desperately need.  Teams just aren’t willing to give up their top prospects anymore unless it’s a “Chris Sale” type player being acquired.   The only big bats who got dealt at the July 31, 2017 deadline were all rental players who’s contracts were up following that season.   None of those rental players garnered good prospects in return, which is precisely why that trend is becoming so popular.   The only realistic way Bogaerts gets traded is if the Red Sox are desperate for a reliever this coming July.   Also keep in mind that just because Bogaerts is a Boras client, does not mean he will command a huge contract, especially if his second half slumps continue the next couple years.   Even if his production does trend upward, he might be more retainable than you think.

Jackie Bradley Jr:   Signed Thru 2020  (Three Years Remaining)

Trade Probability:   Highly Likely

There is a very real possibility that Jackie Bradley Jr has played his final game in a Red Sox uniform.   With the possibility of Stanton or JD Martinez landing in Boston, Bradley will quite simply be the odd man out.   The Red Sox will undoubtedly miss his elite glove in centerfield, but the reality is that Bradley is a bottom of the order player with a lifetime .239 batting average.  He is the most expendable player on the Red Sox roster.

Andrew Benintendi:  Signed Thru 2022  (Five Years Remaining)

Trade Probability:  Highly Unlikely

Don’t buy into the paranoia/hysteria over whether or not Dave Dombrowski will send Andrew Benintendi to Miami for Giancarlo Stanton.    The Marlins simply don’t have the luxury of unloading the most ridiculous contract of all time… AND… demanding some of the most elite prospects in MLB.   The only reason I didn’t rate Benintendi’s trade probability at ZERO, is the ever so slightmy minute possibility the Red Sox also get Christian Yellich in the Stanton deal.   As extremely unlikely this scenario is, it would definitely command a Benintendi type player as part of the haul for Miami.

Rafael Devers:  Signed Thru 2023  (Six Years Remaining)

Trade Probability:  ZERO

Third basemen are hard to come by in recent years.  Rafael Devers could potentially be the best offensive third baseman at Fenway since Mike Lowell.   If the Red Sox really hit the jackpot, Devers could potentially be the greatest since Wade Boggs.   The Red Sox were desperate for a power bat at third base leading up to the 2017 trade deadline.   Devers was awarded the job by default, and then passed every possible test he was given, including some big moments in the post season.   Its always very encouraging when a player is unphased by those big moments.  I expect that to continue for the next several years.

Hanley Ramirez:   Signed Thru 2018  (Has a vesting option for 2019)

Trade Probability:  Unlikely

The only possible way Hanley Ramirez gets traded is if he is included in the Giancarlo Stanton deal to help off set some of the money.   Since I don’t consider the Red Sox to currently be the front runner for Stanton (St. Louis is), Hanley will unfortunately be here for likely the next two seasons.    His contract is too large for another team to justify acquiring him.  Especially when cheaper alternatives like Jay Bruce, are on the market.  Eric Hosmer’s annual salary might even wind up cheaper than Hanley’s.  That’s the bad news.   The Good news is that the new leadership with Cora hiring, a newly repaired shoulder, Hanley could very well have a strong bounce back year offensively.

Christian Vazquez:  Signed Thru 2020  (Three Years Remaining)

Trade Probability:  ZERO

Christian Vazquez had a breakout year, hitting .290 at the plate.   He is an elite defender who can gun down baserunners as accurately as we have ever seen in Boston.   It simply makes no sense to ship him out of town.   I would not be the least bit surprised if Dave Dombrowski attempts to extend Vazquez’ current contract at some point this season, or off season.   He is a special player who cannot be replaced.

Chris Sale:  Signed Thru 2019  (Two years Remaining)

Trade Probability:  ZERO

Chris Sale has no chance whatsoever to be traded before the start of the season.   The only conceivable way he could be traded during the season is if the Red Sox shockingly fall out of contention early on for the playoffs.   Under the bold assumption Sale won’t be willing to sign an extension before he has a chance to test free agency, it’s possible he could be traded mid summer similarly to how Jon Lester and David Price once were.   These scenarios are extremely hypothetical.  Its more likely that Sale will be an integral part of the 2018 playoff race.  One of his biggest focuses this coming season will hopefully be to solve those second half woes which have began to haunt him these last few seasons.   Sale’s long term future with the Red Sox is very uncertain, but his short term future is VERY certain.   I fully expect Chris Sale to be the game one ALDS starter in 2018.

Rick Porcello:   Signed Thru 2019  (Two Years Remaining)

Trade Probability:  ZERO

Rick Porcello’s contract is ridiculously large for pitcher with a career 4.25 ERA.   No major league teams will be willing to take on that type of payroll, and the Red Sox unfortunately don’t have the luxury of trading him.   Like it or not, Porcello is still a “key” arm who can eat up tons of innings.  It’s one of those situations we all just need to hope for the best.  Porcello’s Cy Young year was clearly an anomaly, but it’s not inconceivable he could have a solid season while being stashed in the middle of the rotation behind David Price and Chris Sale.

Eduardo Rodriguez:  Signed Thru 2021  (Four Years Remaining)

Trade Probability:  Highly Unlikely

I would like to think Eduardo Rodriguez’ chances of being traded are actually ZERO since he has the most controllable years of any pitcher in the Red Sox rotation, but stranger things have happened.   Rodriguez won’t likely join the rotation until sometime in May after undergoing surgery on his injury plagued knee, but still carries tremendous upside if he makes a full recovery.   He could also be viewed as an insurance policy if David Price chooses to opt out of his contract following the 2018 season.  Either way, the Red Sox are much more stable with Rodriguez being a mainstay.

Other Notable Extension Candidates:

Craig Kimbrel

Joe Kelly

Other Notable Trade Candidates:

Blake Swihart

Bryce Brentz

Sam Travis

Michael Chavis

Brian Johnson



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