Boston Red Sox Roster
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The Boston Red Sox avoided salary arbitration with third baseman Rafael Devers on Friday by agreeing to a one-year, $4.575 million deal, according to a person with knowledge of the deal. The 24-year-old broke out in 2019 with a .311 average, 32 home runs and 115 RBI while leading the league with 54 doubles and 359 totals bases. However, Devers hit just .263 in the shortened 2020 season and committed a league-high 14 errors. Boston avoided arbitration with left-hander Eduardo Rodriguez ($8.3 million), right-handers Matt Barnes ($4.5 million), Ryan Brasier ($1.25 million) and Austin Brice ($870,000) and catcher Kevin Plawecki ($1.6 million) back in December.
The Boston Red Sox could trade outfielder Andrew Benintendi soon, but it won't be to the Miami Marlins, according to an industry source. Other teams that have checked in on Benintendi include the Texas Rangers, Houston Astros and Oakland Athletics. The Pittsburgh Pirates could also be a fit. He's entering the back half of a two-year, $10 million deal and will be arbitration-eligible for the third and final time before the 2022 season. The former first-round draft pick struggled mightily at the plate in the shortened 2020 season and has compiled a below-average 95 OPS+ since the start of the 2019 season. A change of scenery might be the best thing for the 26-year-old after he slashed an ugly .103/.314/.128 in just 14 games last year. Savvy fantasy managers will be looking to capitalize on Benintendi's reduced cost in 2021 in hopes that he can bounce back at the plate.
The Miami Marlins have interest in trading for Chicago Cubs catcher Willson Contreras. With the team currently projected to start the 2021 season with a platoon of Jorge Alfaro and Chad Wallach behind the plate, catcher is one of Miami's biggest needs. Miami is also one of several teams engaged with the Boston Red Sox in trade discussions for outfielder Andrew Benintendi. He's entering the back half of a two-year, $10 million deal and will be arbitration-eligible for the third and final time before the 2022 season. The Cubs would be looking for some young talent in return for Contreras, which the Marlins can offer. The 28-year-old is under team control for two more seasons and remains one of the top-hitting catchers in baseball. Benintendi hit just .103/.314/.128 over 14 games in 2020, but he's still only 26 years old and could be in line for a bounce-back season, in Boston or elsewhere.
The Boston Red Sox are in serious trade talks with multiple teams regarding outfielder Andrew Benintendi as they look for more prospects with emphasis on pitching and the outfield, according to multiple sources. Nothing is imminent, however. Benintendi slashed .282/.359/.447 with 38 home runs, 78 doubles and 42 stolen bases in 333 games from 2016-18, but he took a step back in 2019 and played in just 14 games in 2020 due to injuries. The 26-year-old has two seasons remaining on his current deal before he can reach free agency, and he's due to make $6.6 million in 2021. The former top prospect hit just .103 with a .442 OPS in his 14 games during the shortened 2020 season. The left-handed hitter will come at a nice discount for fantasy managers this year who will be hoping for a bounce-back campaign, in Boston or elsewhere.
Boston Red Sox manager Alex Cora said that relief pitcher Matt Barnes is currently penciled in as the team's closer for the 2021 season. The 30-year-old right-hander had nine saves in 13 tries last year, with most of them coming after the club traded Brandon Workman to the Phillies. "If the season started tomorrow and we had the lead in the ninth inning and we haven't used Matt in the seventh or eighth, I'd flip him the ball," Cora said. "Matt Barnes is one of the best relievers the last few years in the big leagues and I have total trust he can do the job." Barnes had a 4.30 ERA and 1.39 WHIP and will have some low-end fantasy closer value as the leader for the job heading into spring training. He avoided arbitration two weeks ago by signing a one-year, $4.4 million deal.