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Red Sox Spring Training: What’s Different about the World Champs?

New York is widely regarded as the city that never sleeps, but it seems as though Boston hasn’t stopped partying since the mid-90s. While every other fan base has an offseason,  “Title Town” has gone straight from focusing on winning the Super Bowl in football to defending their World Series title in baseball.

What makes all of these Boston teams so lethal? What creates the dynasty? It all begins before the season does, and the main focus right now is on Spring Training for the defending champs. Here’s how the Boston Red Sox are getting ready as they open up at Jet Blue Park this week.

If It Ain’t Broke, Don’t Fix It

One of the biggest advantages the Red Sox have right now is a winning formula. While teams that finished under .500 last season are scrambling to acquire new talent, Boston’s biggest objective is player retention.

Here are some notable players making a return in 2019:

  • Mookie Betts: This one speaks for itself- MVP, Silver Slugger, Gold Glove right fielder, and batting champion. Betts is the center piece of the team and looks to have another amazing season
  • Chris Sale: Although his contract runs out after the 2019 season, the Red Sox still have Sale for one more year. Murmurs have also surfaced of him signing long term. Regardless, the pitcher was key in Boston’s run last year and he doesn’t seem to be regressing
  • JD Martinez: Recipient of the Hank Aaron Award, and the first player to win two Silver Sluggers in the same season. Martinez was a huge piece of the Boston playoff run, hitting a home run in the seventh inning of the final game of last year’s World Series.
  • Alex Cora: Behind any great team is a great manager. Cora will look to gain his second World Series in the same amount of years he has been a manager. Here’s what he had to say about focusing in on the 2019 season.

Here are some notable players not coming back in 2019:

Joe Kelley: Although he was the winning pitcher in game 4 of the World Series, Kelley had a bit of a shaky 2018 season, getting ejected from a game and  suspended for 6 games. He is signing with the LA Dodgers on a three year, $27 million contract.

Drew Pomeranz: AKA “Big Smooth”, Pomeranz was a non factor last season as he didn’t play in the World Series. Pomeranz signed with the San Francisco Giants on a 1 year, $1.5 million contract.

Ian Kinsler: Although only playing 37 regular season games for the Red Sox last year, Kinsler was a solid second basemen for the team and will sign with the San Diego Padres on a two year, $8 million contract.

Craig Kimbrel: Technically, there is still a chance Kimbrel returns to the Red Sox for the 2019 season. However, after rejecting a one-year qualifying offer of 17.9 million, it seems as though Kimbrel will be taking his talents elsewhere this season.

 

Spring Training will go up until late March. This is where the Boston Red Sox will assess there needs before the beginning of the 2019 Season.

 

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