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Red Sox News & Links: So Long Justin Turner?

Plus, the the passing of a bullpen stalwart

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Boston Red Sox v Baltimore Orioles Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images

On Friday, we heard news that Justin Turner declined to exercise an option that would keep him in Boston one more year. Regardless of whether he wants to stay here, there was never any doubt that he would do this, as he’s worth significantly more on the open market than what the option would have paid him, and the purpose of constructing his contract in this manner was to essentially reduce last year’s CBT liability. But if the Sox want him back (and he’s a reaaallllly good fit, considering the Sox need both right-handed power and someone to backup the corner infield spots) they’ll have to pay up, as his list of suitors reportedly already includes the NL Champion Diamondbacks. (Chris Cotillo, MassLive)

The man making the decision about Turner will, of course, be new Chief Baseball Officer Craig Breslow, who was introduced last week. Alex Speier has the inside story of how the hiring process went down. (Alex Speier, Boston Globe)

Now that he’s here, his relationship with Alex Cora is going to be put under a microscope, particularly in light of (1) perceived friction between Cora and Breslow’s predecessor, Chaim Bloom, and (2) ownership’s clear loyalty to the field manager. (Jen McCaffrey, The Athletic)

Justin Turner isn’t the only player with a 2024 option who will be headed to free agency. The Sox declined to exercise an option for Joely Rodriguez, who was expected to play a big role in the bullpen last season, but spent much of the year injured. (Chris Cotillo, MassLive)

And in sadder news, we note the passing of Dick Drago, a key member of the Red Sox bullpen on some outstanding teams in the mid-to-late 70s. (Peter Abraham, Boston Globe)