Well, the Red Sox finally did it. They traded Mookie Betts and David Price.
Boston said they were committed to shedding salary this offseason to avoid the luxury tax but it was starting to look like nothing was going to happen. But alas, Betts and Price are off to Los Angeles and Red Sox fans are wondering what’s next.
The Red Sox still have loads of talent but they have now lost their manager (Alex Cora), their best player (Mookie Betts), and a key part of their rotation (David Price).
This raises the question, will the Blue Jays win more games than the Red Sox in 2020?
Before you get your hopes up, this won’t be a battle for a playoff spot. The Yankees and Rays are the two best teams in the AL East and should finish the season accordingly.
The race for 3rd
In 2019 the Boston Red Sox went 84-78 compared to the Jays’ record of 67-95. Since then, both teams have gone in different directions. Toronto has improved their roster, especially the starting rotation.
Coming into the offseason, the Jays’ front office was under a lot of pressure from fans to improve around the young core that broke out in 2019. With this being said, they deserve credit for doing just that. Adding Hyun-Jin Ryu, Tanner Roark, and Chase Anderson helps solidify a rotation that struggled last year.
If the young core continues to improve and the rotation holds their own, the Jays can fight for .500. Some people have listed Toronto as a sleeper for the second wild card spot. I think that’s optimistic, but reaching a win total in the 80s is certainly a possibility. The second wild card spot in 2019, Tampa Bay, won 96 games in 2019. The season will have gone better than expected if Toronto comes close to that in 2020.
We all know what losing Betts will do to Boston but Alex Verdugo will help soften that blow. Verdugo isn’t going to put up MVP level numbers like Betts has but he will find success playing in the AL East.
What we don’t know is the impact of the Alex Cora situation. With only 50 days until Opening Day the Red Sox have yet to name a new manager. Will Boston remain competitive in the AL East with a late hire and a roster trying to retool on the fly? Only time will tell.
The Jays will take a step forward in 2020. The young core will determine how big of a step that will be. If Ryu stays healthy and the likes of Vladimir Guerrero Jr., Bo Bichette, and Cavan Biggio build upon their rookie campaigns, the Blue Jays can finish over .500.
Projected Record: 83-79
Boston will take a step back this year, but not a drastic one. Losing Betts’ 6.8 WAR is going to hurt, there is no way around it. They must replace Cora sooner than later as the culture in Boston needs a new direction.
Projected Record: 81-81
Disagree? Comment down below with your projected records.
Statistics via baseball-reference.com
Follow @ColeDonnachie on Twitter