|01.03.11 at 3:33 pm ET|
Ramirez was the player the Red Sox were all set to acquire in exchange for Mike Lowell last offseason. The deal ultimately blew up when the Rangers became wary of the third baseman’s surgically-repaired hip. (It was reported at the time that the sticking point was the determination that Lowell needed thumb surgery, but that wasn’t the case. It was the hip.)
In 56 games with Triple-A Oklahoma City last season, Ramirez, a right-handed-hitting catcher, hit three home runs to go with a .286 batting average. He appeared in 28 games with the Rangers in ’10, hitting .217 with two homers.
|01.03.11 at 1:11 pm ET|
According to a major league source, the Red Sox have signed utilityman Hector Luna to a minor-league deal. The 30-year-old appeared in 27 games with the Marlins last season, hitting .138 with two home runs. The most time Luna has spent in the majors came in 2006, when he appeared in a total of 113 games with both St. Louis and Cleveland. He also had brief big-league stints with Toronto in 2007 and ’08.
In the majors, the right-handed-hitting Luna has played every position but pitcher and catcher, spending the most time at second base (103 games), followed by outfield (55), shortstop (54), and third base (46).
FoxSports.com’s Jon Paul Morosi was first to report the signing, via Twitter. For more Red Sox news, see the team page at weei.com/redsox.
|01.03.11 at 11:04 am ET|
Join WEEI.com’s Lou Merloni in talking all things Red Sox and Hot Stove Monday at noon. To participate in the live chat, click below:
|01.03.11 at 7:50 am ET|
According to MLB.com, the report out of the Dominican Republic stating that Adrian Beltre had agreed to a six-year, $96 million deal with the Rangers is premature, and that while Texas does have interest in the former Red Sox, nothing is ‘remotely imminent.’
The Rangers have continued to express interest in Beltre since the winter meetings, but, unlike some of the other teams who have pursued the free agent, don’t have a natural fit in their lineup. Michael Young is currently slated to be Texas’ starting third baseman. Rangers’ officials told MLB.com that Young, who is signed for three more years at $16 million per season, has not been approached about switching positions.
“As of right now, Michael Young is our third baseman,” Rangers president Nolan Ryan told MLB.com Sunday night. “We haven’t done anything.”
Texas chief competition for Beltre’s services figure to be the Angels, with Oakland having reportedly recently pulled its offer for a second time.
|01.02.11 at 3:02 pm ET|
A report from piodeportes.com in the Dominican Republic on Sunday morning suggested that Adrian Beltre had reached a six-year, $96 million agreement with the Rangers, pending a physical. However, Evan Grant of the Dallas Morning News (via twitter) cited a source who said that the report was inaccurate.
“Source: DR report is untrue. Rangers have no agreement with Beltre,” Grant tweeted.
Jon Morosi of FoxSports.com added (via twitter) that the “Rangers are still talking with Adrian Beltre, but there is no deal in place, source says.”
Coming off the second-best offensive season of his career, in which he hit .321 with a .919 OPS, 28 homers and 102 RBI for the Red Sox, Beltre was viewed as one of the top free agents on the market. Instead, reports suggest that teams that were interested — such as the Athletics and Angels — have pulled their offers (though the Angels reportedly remain willing to re-open talks with the 2010 All-Star), while the Red Sox’ interest in Beltre ended with their acquisition of Adrian Gonzalez.
From a Red Sox perspective, the Rangers represent something of a best-case scenario, since their pick in the first round (No. 26 overall) is unprotected, meaning that the Sox could get it if Beltre (a Type A free agent, whom a team must give up a first-round pick to sign) lands in Texas. Both the Angels (No. 17) and Athletics (No. 18) have protected first-round picks, meaning that the Sox would get no better than a second-round pick from those two clubs should they sign Beltre.
|12.31.10 at 3:56 pm ET|
According to a baseball source, the Red Sox are close to bringing back Hideki Okajima on a one-year deal. The 35-year-old Okajima, who has been with the Red Sox since 2007, was non-tendered by the team in Nov. He went 4-4 with a 4.50 ERA in 56 games last season.
The agreement would be for a major-league deal, meaning the Sox would have to make a corresponding roster move to clear a spot on the 40-man roster for the lefty.
The Boston Globe was first to report the development. For more Red Sox coverage, see the team page at weei.com/redsox.
|12.30.10 at 5:33 pm ET|
Of course Brian Fuentes would make a nice addition to the Red Sox bullpen. If the free agent were to sign with Boston, he would give the Sox something they do not currently have: An experienced left-handed reliever with a long history of dominating lefties (while also remaining reasonably effective against righties).
While pitching for the Angels and Twins in 2010, the 35-year-old held left-handed hitters to an anemic line of .128/.222/.149/.371 in 55 plate appearances (right-handed hitters had a .203/.293/.403/.696 line). He was so good against them that opposing managers would simply turn to their bench (sending up 21 pinch-hitters, 20 of them right-handed) rather than have a left-handed hitter step to the plate against Fuentes.
If the Sox were to have a perfect design for their 2011 team, it might well include Fuentes — or a pitcher like him — in the bullpen.
However, while the Sox do have interest in the left-hander (as has been reported by, among others, Jon Heyman of SI.com (via twitter) and Ken Rosenthal of FoxSports.com), their interest is of a very defined type. Specifically, at a time when the team has committed $142 million to Carl Crawford, is likely to commit in excess of $150 million to Adrian Gonzalez, passed $12 million in the direction of right-handed reliever Jenks and another $3 million to fellow righty Dan Wheeler, the Sox, according to a major league source, are “not in a position to pay a premium” for another reliever.
The Sox, according to multiple team sources, are open to what they would perceive as a good value signing — likely meaning less years and average annual value than what Fuentes is reportedly seeking. (Rosenthal said that the 35-year-old wants a multi-year deal for in excess of $5 million a year.) While there may be such a deal down the road, depending on what the market for Fuentes ultimately looks like, the pitcher’s asking price and what the team is willing to offer do not currently match up.
One other consideration that could work against Fuentes’ interest in the Red Sox: If he is to take what would be perceived as a good deal, the presence of closer Jonathan Papelbon as well as a pair of setup men who are capable of closing (Jenks and Daniel Bard) could diminish Fuentes’ interest in the Sox. Whereas a player like Adrian Beltre had an incentive to come to the Sox on a one-year deal to build his value, Fuentes might find that other teams would permit him a greater opportunity to showcase his talents for his next deal. For instance, the St. Petersburg Times is reporting that the Rays are pursuing the veteran — who led the American League in saves in 2009 — as a closer.
All of that is to suggest that, while the idea of Fuentes coming to Boston cannot be dismissed, and the Sox’ interest in adding him is genuine, the likelihood of the Sox adding him to their rebuilt bullpen seems fairly low at this moment.
Latest from Bleacher Report
- Cup of Coffee: Wilkerson keeps rolling, GCL wins semifinal
- Cup of Coffee: Gonzalez leads combined no-hitter in DSL Playoff opener
- Cup of Coffee: Asuaje leads Salem to doubleheader split
- Players of the Week, 8/18-24: Brian Johnson & Mike Miller
- Cup of Coffee: Speier helps GCL Sox clinch division title
- Marrero and Coyle headed to Arizona Fall League
- Cup of Coffee: Chavis rips first career home run in GCL Sox win
- Weekly Notes: Battle for CF heats up with new addition
- Cup of Coffee: Asuaje leads the way, Wilkerson keeps rolling
- Cup of Coffee: Johnson dominates NH, Coyle hits 14th