|10:05 AM PT11:05 AM MT12:05 PM CT1:05 PM ET13:05 ET17:05 GMT1:05 10:05 AM MST12:05 PM EST12:35 PM VEN21:05 UAE12:05 PM CT, September 28, 2019
Fenway Park, Boston, Massachusetts Attendance: 36,414
Red Sox, Orioles meet with changes on horizon
If it wasn't already apparent the Boston Red Sox are set for big changes after this season, their owners made it abundantly clear in speaking with reporters at Fenway Park on Friday.
"If you don't reset (the competitive balance tax), there are penalties," John Henry said, confirming the team would cut payroll. "So, we've known for some time now we needed to reset as other clubs have done."
Such a reset will present opportunities for others to fill the void left by departing players. The man on the mound Saturday will get the chance to make his case as the Red Sox resume their three-game series with the visiting Baltimore Orioles.
Right-hander Jhoulys Chacin (3-11, 5.81 ERA) will get his final chance to prove to Boston he would be worth bringing back for a look in 2020. Baltimore will counter with rookie left-hander John Means (11-11, 3.54).
Chacin, the Milwaukee Brewers' Opening Day starter this season, has shown flashes since joining the Red Sox (83-77) on a minor league deal in August, though he still has a 6.00 ERA in 12 innings with Boston. His last time out, he held the Tampa Bay Rays hitless over his first three innings before ultimately allowing four runs over 3 2/3 innings.
Chacin has faced the Orioles only twice, giving up three runs over six total innings. A good outing could go a long way toward keeping him in the mix next year, with the Red Sox potentially having an opening in the rotation with Rick Porcello set to become a free agent.
Porcello, costing $20.625 million against the cap this season, is one of several high-earning players that could leave the team this offseason. Boston's toughest choice comes with trying to keep designed hitter J.D. Martinez, who has an opt-out, while also affording to extend or give Mookie Betts a raise.
"We think he is one of the great players in baseball. Hopefully there is a meeting of the minds going forward," Red Sox chairman Tom Werner said of Betts, who can become a free agent after next season.
The Orioles (53-107), meanwhile, still have their eye toward the distant future as they continue their rebuild. They perhaps found a diamond in the rough when they claimed Renato Nunez off waivers from the Texas Rangers last year -- the 25-year-old hit his 30th home run of the season in Baltimore's 4-1 win over Boston on Friday.
"It was always in the back of my mind," said Nunez. "Like I always say, I'm just trying to help my team win. I did that today, and that's all I want. ... I got my 30. I'm really happy."
Means, an All-Star this year, is also a key piece of the puzzle, and he's proving such with a strong finish to his first full season. He has three quality starts in four turns this month, holding the Seattle Mariners to one run over seven innings last weekend.
Means has done some of his best work against the Red Sox, against whom he is 2-1 with a 2.35 ERA in four meetings in 2019.
--Field Level Media
Updated September 28, 2019