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Red Sox max out 40-man roster by adding pitchers Kyle Martin, Luis Ysla

11.18.16 at 12:06 pm ET
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Luis Ysla

Luis Ysla

The Red Sox were going to make sure they didn’t lose Kyle Martin or Luis Ysla.

Both minor-league pitchers were added to the organization’s 40-man roster in order not to expose either to the Rule 5 draft. By making the moves, the Red Sox 40-man roster is maxed out at 40 players.

Here is the release sent out by the team:

Martin, 25, spent the entire 2016 season with the PawSox in his Triple-A debut. He converted each of his six save opportunities and went 3-4 with a 3.38 ERA (25 ER/66.2 IP) and 10.53 strikeouts per nine innings in 36 appearances, all in relief. Opponents were only 10-for-65 (.154) against Martin with runners in scoring position, including 0-for-10 with the bases loaded. In 17 outings from June 20 through the remainder of the season, the right-hander posted a 2.29 ERA (9 ER/35.1 IP) and held opponents to a .207 batting average (25-for-121). Selected by the Red Sox in the ninth round of the 2013 June Draft, Martin has made each of his 120 professional appearances in relief, going 15-12 with 24 saves, a 3.41 ERA (87 ER/229.0 IP), 242 strikeouts, 63 walks, and 19 home runs allowed.

Kyle Martin

Kyle Martin

Ysla, 24, made 39 of his 40 appearances in 2016 with Double-A Portland before finishing his season with a solo outing for the PawSox. He combined to go 2-5 with four saves, a 3.99 ERA (25 ER/56.1 IP), and 62 strikeouts, pitching exclusively out of the bullpen for the first time in his career. From June 1 through the remainder of the season, the Venezuelan native held opponents to a .208 batting average (26-for-125) in 24 appearances between the two clubs. Originally signed by San Francisco as an international free agent in 2012, Ysla was acquired by the Red Sox from the Giants in exchange for Alejandro De Aza on August 31, 2015. He has made four relief appearances for Margarita of the Venezuelan Winter League, his third consecutive season pitching for the club.


PITCHERS (22): Fernando Abad, Matt Barnes, Clay Buchholz, Roenis Elias, Heath Hembree, Williams Jerez, Brian Johnson, Joe Kelly, Craig Kimbrel, Kyle Martin, Henry Owens, Drew Pomeranz, Rick Porcello, David Price, Noe Ramirez, Eduardo Rodriguez, Robbie Ross Jr., Robby Scott, Carson Smith, Brandon Workman, Steven Wright, Luis Ysla.

CATCHERS (4): Bryan Holaday, Sandy Leon, Blake Swihart, Christian Vazquez.

INFIELDERS (9): Xander Bogaerts, Marco Hernandez, Brock Holt, Deven Marrero, Yoan Moncada, Dustin Pedroia, Hanley Ramirez, Pablo Sandoval, Travis Shaw.

OUTFIELDERS (5): Andrew Benintendi, Mookie Betts, Jackie Bradley Jr., Bryce Brentz, Chris Young.

Rick Porcello explains why he doesn’t plan on pitching in World Baseball Classic

11.18.16 at 11:46 am ET
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Rick Porcello

Rick Porcello

There is little doubt Rick Porcello would get an invitation to pitch in the World Baseball Classic. When you win the American League Cy Young, as the Red Sox pitcher just did, it is only natural your services would be in demand.

But according to Porcello, he will be politely declining the opportunity.

Speaking on the Dale, Holley & Thornton Show Thursday afternoon, Porcello explained why he has no intention to play for Team USA in the upcoming World Baseball Classic.

“I’m not planning to compete in that at this time,” he said. “Knowing the season I had this year, the workload I had, the toll it takes on you, I just feel like if I’m going to give the Boston Red Sox 100 percent best effort and try and go out there and duplicate the workload I put forth this year, I can’t be ready to pitch in competitive games in March.

“The other thing is the one thing that really worked for me last year was taking spring training extremely slow and just focusing on my delivery and not focusing on the results and really just concentrating on some little things that take some time to develop. I think I would be sacrificing that opportunity by competing in the World Baseball Classic. My loyalty is first and foremost to the Boston Red Sox and that’s kind of my focus. I could be completely wrong. I’ve never done it. But I’m not really willing to take the chance of not preparing well enough to have a good season for the Red Sox.”

Some pitchers who have already committed to playing for Team USA include Tampa Bay’s Chris Archer and Max Scherzer of the Nationals. Red Sox players believed to be participating are Eduardo Rodriguez, Sandy Leon, Xander Bogaerts, and Hanley Ramirez. David Price was listed on Team USA’s preliminary roster, but it is he hasn’t yet publicly committed to playing.

The tournament begins for Team USA March 9, with the championship game being held March 22 in Los Angeles.


Mookie Betts comes up just short for American League MVP, loses to Mike Trout

11.17.16 at 8:57 pm ET
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Mookie Betts

Mookie Betts

Mookie Betts will have to wait his turn.

The Red Sox outfielder finished second in the American League MVP race, losing out to Mike Trout. The Angels’ 25-year-old outfielder, who now has two MVPs, out-distanced Betts, 356-311, with Trout receiving 10 more first-place votes (19-9).

Trout joins Barry Bonds as the only two players to finish first or second for five straight seasons, with the Los Angeles star having now won the award two times.

Betts’ finish marked the 13th time a Red Sox player has finished in second-place, with Jacoby Ellsbury (2011) and David Ortiz (2005) the last two players to accomplish the feat.

The only other two players to pick up first-place votes were Texas’ Adrian Beltre and David Ortiz of the Red Sox. Ortiz finished in sixth-place, with Jose Altuve, Josh Donaldson and Manny Machado placing just behind Trout and Betts. All six players were named on every one of the ballots.

Chicago’s Kris Bryant claimed the MVP for the National League, earning all but one of the first-place votes. (Washington’s Daniel Murphy finished second, narrowly edging the Dodgers’ Corey Seager.)

Betts received 17 second-place and four third-place votes.
Click here for all the voting.

Hot Stove Show: John Farrell talks contract, managing DH spot, 8th inning guy

11.17.16 at 10:57 am ET
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John Farrell. (Kim Klement/USA Today Sports)

John Farrell. (Kim Klement/USA Today Sports)

Making his first radio appearance since the Red Sox were eliminated from the postseason via a three-game sweep at the hands of the Indians in the American League Division Series, John Farrell touched on a variety of topics when appearing on the Hot Stove Show Wednesday night.

In an interview with Mike Mutnansky, John McDonald and Rob Bradford, the Red Sox manager explained his thoughts on his contract status, the plan to replace David Ortiz, and a variety of other topics.


My contract is what it is. The terms, it’s not like it needed to be negotiated. It’s in place, and continues to be in place. My focus has always been our team and what goes on on the field. Once you sign a contract you’re out trying to do the best job you can.


It wasn’t an option, and it was if I was coming back. And when you win the AL East, you log 93 wins, we had a number of challenges as a team throughout the course of the year, so, again, I thought there probably would be a point and time when the season was over … You’re always going to have dialogue with your general manager and Dave and I have had daily conversations over the course of the year and we still do now. Our conversations are frequent. I thought there would be a time once the final our was recorded, whenever that was going to be, that we would have that type of discussion. The fact that it happened in the manner it was, knowing he was probably going to be hit once I walked out of the room, that’s the way it happened.


If you don’t have a DH of David Ortiz caliber you would like to be able to rotate guys through to get them off their feet while you keep their bat in the lineup just to keep guys fresh. I think a lot of people might point to Hanley as the guy who would assume or take over David’s role. But Hanley has done a very good job at first base. He’s still got a lot of years ahead of him just from a defensive standpoint. We have to pick our spots to get Hanley off his feet, but we’re not talking about somebody who is hampered in any way. He’s still capable of playing 140-plus games at first base. So we would like to keep that flexibility open and rotate guys through.

The one thing we don’t know is how the market is going to unfold … Personally, Pablo Sandoval, the work that he’s put in, I think he has a chance to impact our club in a strong way next year, and we need him to. This is a guy who has three years remaining with us and we need to make Pablo a productive player again. So the flexibility with the DH role, that would be an advantage for us.


Ideally you have a guy who has the capability of closing games out. That doesn’t mean he’s been a front-line closer all ready. … When you have an eighth-inning guy that means he has put-away stuff, and he likely has a strikeout pitch … Where this pitcher comes from, it remains to be seen.


I think the role fits his personality.


I think we’re going to have a pretty good number of guys. (Went on to mention Eduardo Rodriguez, Sandy Leon, Xander Bogaerts, Hanley Ramirez, Criag Kimbrel, Mookie Betts, Dustin Pedroia, David Price, and Rick Porcello as possibilities.)


He’s the most prepared pitcher I’ve ever been around.

Click below to listen to the entire interview with John Farrell

Cy Young winner Rick Porcello worried about celebratory wine, not Kate Upton’s tweets

11.16.16 at 11:32 pm ET
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Moments after Rick Porcello claimed the American League Cy Young Award, an explosion took place on Twitter.

The chaos came courtesy Justin Verlander’s fiance, Kate Upton, who fired off a series of tweets critical of how the voting snubbed the Detroit ace, who finished second. (For all of Upton’s tweets, click here.)

When asked about the salvos from Upton during his conference call with the media Wednesday night, Porcello took the high road.

“I honestly don’t care,” said the Red Sox pitcher. “I’m not the one that made that decision as far as who wins the Cy Young. All I know is I’ve got a lot of people around me right now that I love very much and have been instrumental in my success in getting to this point, and on top of that we’ve got some really good bottles of wine that still need to be drank. There’s not really a concern in my mind.”

For more on Porcello claiming the AL Cy Young, click here.

Kate Upton goes crazy on Twitter after Rick Porcello, not fiance’ Justin Verlander, wins AL Cy Young Award

11.16.16 at 7:19 pm ET
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Rick Porcello won the American League Cy Young Award by five points over Justin Verlander despite Verlander getting more first-place votes, 14-8.

Verlander’s fiancée Kate Upton immediately took to Twitter and went insane. Here are some of her tweets. Visit her Twitter page for more.

Read the rest of this entry »

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Rick Porcello wins American League Cy Young Award

11.16.16 at 7:01 pm ET
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Rick Porcello won the American League Cy Young Award. (Neville E. Guard/USA Today Sports)

Rick Porcello won the American League Cy Young Award. (Neville E. Guard/USA Today Sports)

For the first time since Pedro Martinez in 2000, the Red Sox have a Cy Young Award winner.

Announced Wednesday night, Rick Porcello won the 2016 AL Cy Young Award. Porcello barely beat out Justin Verlander as Porcello had 137 points and Verlander had 132.

The five-point differential is the second closest of any election since ballots permitted voting for more than one pitcher in 1970. Verlander had more first place votes, 14-8.

Porcello went 22-4 with a 3.15 ERA, while striking out 189. The right-hander was exceptional at home as he went 13-1 with a 2.97 ERA at Fenway Park.

It is the seventh time a Red Sox pitcher has won the award. It’s worth mentioning the award is voted on before the postseason.

For more Red Sox news, visit weei.com/redsox.

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Source: Carlos Beltran’s decision may be coming down to Red Sox, 3 other teams

11.15.16 at 8:18 pm ET
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Carlos Beltran.  (Jermone Miron/USA Today Sports)

Carlos Beltran. (Jermone Miron/USA Today Sports)

It appears the Red Sox have some familiar competition for Carlos Beltran’s services.

According to a source familiar with the negotations, four teams have currently shown the most interest in the 39-year-old outfielder/designated hitter — the Red Sox, Blue Jays, Yankees and Astros. The Rangers, once thought to be in the mix for Beltran, are not involved at this point.

The Red Sox’ interest in Beltran has been prevalent since the outset of free agency, with Dave Dombrowski looking to replace David Ortiz with a shorter-term deal than the kind of four- our five-year contract Edwin Encarnacion figures to receive.

The switch-hitting Beltran is coming off another standout offensive season, totaling an .850 OPS and 29 homers in 151 games between stints with the Yankees and Texas.

Houston has been perceived as perhaps the most aggressive suitor, although both the Blue Jays have already shown the willingness to get out in front of the free agent market with the recent signing of designated hitter Kendrys Morales to a three-year deal.

And with the Yankees seemingly willing to deal Brian McCann, who would currently figure to slot into New York’s lineup as a designated hitter, Beltran could offer a logical replacement.

It is uncertain when any team might strike a deal for Beltran, with some teams, like the Red Sox, waiting to see what the luxury tax threshold will be under the new Collective Bargaining Agreement.

Terry Francona wins American League Manager of the Year; John Farrell gets 2 first-place votes

11.15.16 at 7:25 pm ET
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Terry Francona

Terry Francona

It was a runaway for Terry Francona.

The Indians manager cruised to his second American League Manager of the Year award in the last four seasons, receiving 22 of 30 first-place votes. Francona last won the award in 2013.

Francona guided his team to 94 wins, claiming the American League Central Division by eight games despite the absence of top-of-the-rotation starting pitchers Carlos Carrasco and Danny Salazar down the stretch. Perhaps the Indians’ best all-around player, outfielder Michael Brantley, also played in just 11 games due to shoulder surgery.

Red Sox manager John Farrell earned two first-place votes, coming from Hal Bodley of USA Today and FanGraphs’ Eno Sarris. He also claimed three second-place votes, with nine voters putting him in third-place, putting Farrell fourth overall.

Finishing second behind Francona was Texas manager Jeff Banister (4 first-place votes), with Baltimore’s Buck Showalter placing third, also claiming two first-place votes.

Also receiving votes were the Yankees’ Joe Girardi, claiming one second-place and two third-place designations, and Scott Servais of the Mariners, who got a third-place vote from Tim Booth of the Associated Press.

In his first season as manager of the Dodgers, Dave Roberts claimed the National League Manager of the Year, earning 16 first-place votes. The Cubs’ Joe Maddon garnered eight first-place votes to finish second, while Dusty Baker of the Nationals placed third.

All voting was done prior to the postseason.

To view all the voting, click here.

Former Red Sox closer Joel Hanrahan calls it quits

11.15.16 at 1:33 pm ET
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For Red Sox closer Joel Hanrahan has retired. (Kim Klement/USA Today Sports)

For Red Sox closer Joel Hanrahan has retired. (Kim Klement/USA Today Sports)

The Opening Day closer for the last Red Sox world championship team has retired.

Joel Hanrahan announced on MLB on TuneIn that was retiring after a seven-year major league career.

The 35-year-old reliever’s stint in Boston was a short one, having pitched in just nine games with the Red Sox before succumbing to Tommy John surgery just a month into the 2013 season.

Hanrahan was slated to become the answer to the Red Sox’ late-inning issues after a 2012 season that saw Mark Melancon and Alfredo Aceves fail to thrive in the closing role. The Red Sox would deal Melancon, Stolmy Pimentel, Ivan DeJesus and Jerry Sands to the Pirates for Hanrahan and Brock Holt prior to the ’13 season.

At the time of the deal, Hanrahan was one of the game’s best closers, having saved a combined 76 games over 2011 and ’12 while making the National League All-Star team in each season.

Throwing a fastball that lived near 100 mph, the righty left an impression on Red Sox fans, blowing through the heart of an impressive Boston lineup for two straight games in Pittsburgh, July 24-25, 2011.

Hanrahan’s short career with the Red Sox started well enough, with the closer not allowing a run in any of his initial three outings. The closer’s set-up men to start the 2013 season were Koji Uehara, Andrew Miller, Andrew Bailey and Junichi Tazawa.

But he would go on to blow his final three save opportunities, ultimately pitching what would be his final major league game, May 6, 2013.

Hanrahan did sign deals with the Tigers for 2014 and ’15, but never took the mound again, even at the minor-league level.

Melancon has, of course, gone on to become one of the game’s best closers, saving 147 of his 162 chances for Pittsburgh and Washington, totaling a 1.80 ERA. The 31-year-old is due to make an enormous pay day this offseason, joining Aroldis Chapman and Kenley Jansen as the three top relievers in the open market.

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