FORT MYERS, Fla. — Matt Barnes said the Red Sox are a “very good” team despite trading 2018 AL MVP Mookie Betts and No. 3 starter David Price.

“Listen, Mookie and DP were phenomenal players and still are phenomenal players, but you look around our team and we’ve got a bunch of All-Stars and a bunch of phenomenal players that we still feel like we’re going to compete for a championship,” Barnes said.

The Red Sox’s odds to win the World Series dropped to 33 to 1 after the news of the Betts trade, per Boston began the offseason at 12 to 1.

Jackie Bradley Jr. also is confident the club can compete for the postseason. He’s ready for the Red Sox “to move forward.”

“Because we don’t care what anybody says,” Bradley said when asked why he’s confident. “We’ve gotta go out there and play the games. You don’t know who’s going to win. Go out there, perform, take care of your business because you can always guess who’s going to win, but that’s the point of playing the game.”

The Red Sox selected both Betts and Bradley in the same draft (2011). They made their way through the farm system together.


“We’ve been roommates since we first got drafted together,” Bradley said. “We’re pretty close. We’re like brothers. Sometimes in this game that we play, people go in a different course. And that’s OK.”

Bradley has talked with Betts since the trade.

“I personally don’t know what he’s feeling,” Bradley said. “I’ve talked with him and things like that. But I think he’s just ready for his journey.”

THERE WILL be a Jeter playing for the Red Sox organization in 2020. On Monday, the Dodgers completed a trade sending shortstop Jeter Downs, along with two other players, to Boston in exchange for Red Sox right fielder Mookie Betts and left-hander David Price.

It’s no coincidence that Downs’ first name links him to Yankees legend and National Baseball Hall of Fame inductee Derek Jeter, according to the Boston Globe.

“When he came into the major leagues (in 1995), he was the name,” Downs explained to’s Mark Sheldon in 2017. “He was the thing. He was shining. It was ‘Jeter this, Jeter that.’ It was actually my mom’s idea. My brother got Jerry from my dad (Jerry Sr.). It was my mom’s turn to pick a name since I was a second child. She just fell in love with Jeter and the way he played, his humbleness, how he carried himself on and off the field.”


Downs is doing his best to live up to his namesake. “I try to do the right thing on and off the field, whether it’s baseball-related or out with friends or helping somebody out on the street,” Downs said, per the Boston Globe. “It’s kind of ironic that I have the name because that’s exactly the person I model myself after.”

MLB Network’s Jon Heyman reports the Red Sox have every reason to be high on Downs, whose future appears to be at second base, since Xander Bogaerts is locked in at shortstop after signing a seven-year, $132 million extension in April.

BRANDON WORKMAN was one of the Red Sox’ best stories last season as he emerged as the team’s closer and one of the best relievers in baseball. But with mostly the same bullpen, he isn’t expecting anything and isn’t sure if he’ll return to that closer role.

“That’s not my call,” he said.

Either way, it figures to be a big season for Workman, who is scheduled to hit free agency next winter. But asked if he’d like to get that addressed now, he wasn’t worried about it.

“I’m just focused on getting ready for the season,” Workman said. “This time last year, I was trying to make the team. So, I’m just going to do my best to get ready and have a good year.”

EDUARDO RODRIGUEZ, Boston’s last unsigned arbitration-eligible player, said Monday that he has an arbitration hearing set for Wednesday in Arizona as he and the team decide what his 2020 salary will be. The Red Sox have reached deals with all of their other arbitration-eligible players this offseason, including coming to terms with Andrew Benintendi over the weekend on a two-year deal to avoid arbitration.

Rodriguez is looking to make $8.975 million, while the Red Sox filed at $8.3 million.

“We’re going there (Tuesday), I think the hearing is Wednesday and see what happens after that,” Rodriguez said.

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