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The Texas Rangers find their Plan B: Brandon Webb

12.26.10 at 7:20 pm ET
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According to multiple reports, free agent pitcher Brandon Webb has agreed to a one-year deal with the Rangers, with only a physical standing in the way of the acquisition being completed.

The 2006 National League Cy Young Award winner (and runner-up in ’07 and ’08) is far from the top-of-the-rotation no-doubter Cliff Lee represented, but Webb could represent significant upside for the Rangers. The 31-year-old has thrown just four innings over the last two seasons due to surgery on his right shoulder.

It is believed that Webb ultimately decided on the Rangers over the Reds.

WHAT THIS MEANS FOR THE RED SOX

In case you forgot, the Sox play the Rangers in both teams’ first series of the 2011 season, in Arlington, Texas. While it is far from a certainty that Webb will pitch in one of the series’ three games, we can look at how the sinker-baller has fared against some of the players who figure to be on the Sox’ roster when the teams meet. (Webb has never faced the Red Sox.)

Carl Crawford: 4-for-6 (.667), 2B, BB, K

J.D. Drew: 6-for-12 (.500), 2B, RBI, 2 BB, K

Adrian Gonzalez: 12-for-33 (.364), 4 2B, HR, 3 RBI, 8 BB, 6 K, GDP

Mike Cameron: 9-for-36 (.250), 2 2B, 3B, 2 HR, 7 RBI, BB, 10 K, GDP

Marco Scutaro: 0-for-2 (.000), BB, K

It will be interesting to see if Webb’s presence allows Texas to keep closer Neftali Feliz (who has allowed one run in 7 innings against the Red Sox, striking out six and walking one) in the back of its bullpen. Currently, the Rangers’ rotation also consists of C.J. Wilson, Tommy Hunter, and Colby Lewis.

Read More: Hot Stove,

Minor Details Ep. 5: The human element of being traded

12.24.10 at 2:44 pm ET
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The blockbuster deal between the Red Sox and Padres that sent Adrian Gonzalez to Boston was examined from any number of angles. Almost all of them, however, revolved around the on-field impact of the players moving to the two clubs.

But there is also a very real human component of these deals, especially in the case of a trade involving prospects with far-reaching relationships to their organization. In this episode of Minor Details, we talk to prospect Anthony Rizzo, Red Sox farm director Mike Hazen and Red Sox scout Laz Gutierrez (who details how the Sox unexpectedly discovered Rizzo in the 2007 draft) about the human relationships involved in a deal of a prospect.

We also talk to Baseball America’s Jim Callis about the state of the Sox system in light of the deal, as well as the two relievers selected from the Red Sox in the Rule 5 draft: left-hander Cesar Cabral, who was drafted by the Rays, and right-hander Daniel Turpen, who was taken by the Yankees. To listen to the episode, click here.

Previous episodes of Minor Details:

Ep. 4: Evaluating prospects and making blockbusters, with former Diamondbacks GM/Red Sox Assistant GM Josh Byrnes and former Red Sox manager Butch Hobson (who was Jeff Bagwell‘s manager in the Red Sox system when he was traded to the Astros)

Ep. 3: Red Sox catching prospects, with Sox roving catching instructor Chadd Epperson, as well as a conversation with Arizona Fall League manager Mike Sarbaugh about the Sox’ prospects in the AFL

Ep. 2: Red Sox trade chips with Keith Law of ESPN.com

Ep. 1: Baseball America’s list of the Top 10 Red Sox prospects, with Mike Hazen and Jim Callis

Read More: adrian gonzalez, Anthony Rizzo, casey kelly, cesar cabral

Dlugach outrighted to Pawtucket

12.23.10 at 1:45 pm ET
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Infielder Brent Dlugach, who was designated for assignment by the Red Sox to make roster room for Bobby Jenks, has cleared waivers and been outrighted to Triple-A Pawtucket.

The 27-year-old Dlugach hit .258 with an on-base percentage of .303 in 117 games for the Tigers’ Triple-A affiliate in Toledo in 2010. He was acquired by the Red Sox for a player to be named later or cash considerations on November 4.

Read More: Brent Dlugach, Red Sox,

Report: Adrian Gonzalez promised Sox he wouldn’t chase Albert Pujols money

12.23.10 at 12:58 am ET
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According to ESPN.com, during negotiations with his new club, Adrian Gonzalez assured the Red Sox that even though the two sides did not finalize a contract before his trade from San Diego to Boston became official, he wouldn’t allow changes in the market to alter what he was seeking in a contract. Specifically, Gonzalez told the Sox that he would not let a potential contract extension for Cardinals superstar Albert Pujols alter what he sought. Instead, Gonzalez told the club that he would continue to use the same deals his agent mentioned early in the offseason — the eight-year, $180 million deal signed by Mark Teixeira, the five-year, $125 million deal Ryan Howard has with the Phillies and the eight-year, $184 million deal that Joe Mauer has with the Twins — to guide what he saw as fair market value.

From the article:

“I made a comment to Theo, ‘Make the trade happen by itself, and I promise you during the season I’ll negotiate,”’ Gonzalez said. “I’m not going to come here and be like, ‘OK, we’ll see you at free agency and see if you outbid the other teams.’ We’ll negotiate during the season. We’re going to be fair. We won’t be looking for record-breaking deals. We just want market value.

“We gave them our word that we were going to negotiate during the season in good faith. We’re not going to go in there and ask for Albert Pujols’ contract, something along those lines.”

Pujols’ presence was clearly felt at the table. The Red Sox couldn’t shake the notion that if Pujols signed a mega-deal, the shared parameters of what market value was could change overnight.

“That was one of their comments, what if he gets this humongous deal and you want to be closer to him?” Gonzalez said. “I said, ‘Trust me. What the market is today might change by then, but we’re going to negotiate based on what the market is today.”’

According to the story, Gonzalez and the Sox agreed that an extension did not need to be hammered out in order to finalize the trade. Instead, the first baseman and the club achieved an understanding of the financial parameters for a deal that Gonzalez sought, and agreed to revisit talks later, once Gonzalez’ had returned to the field in the spring following surgery to repair the labrum in his right shoulder.

The Sox currently control Gonzalez’ rights for the 2011 season, when he will make $6.3 million. While there is not yet a formal agreement for an extension, both sides stated unequivocally that they were all but certain that one would be inked before Gonzalez becomes eligible for free agency.

Read More: adrian gonzalez, Contract, Hot Stove,

Dustin Pedroia: Jonathan Papelbon is going to be fine

12.22.10 at 11:30 pm ET
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Dustin Pedroia joined The Big Show for the “Laser Show” segment on Wednesday, discussing all things Red Sox.

First up: The state of the bullpen. Pedroia was asked if the addition of Bobby Jenks might lead to a possible chemistry problem with incumbent closer Jonathan Papelbon.

“Everything is going to work fine,” Pedroia said. “Pap wants to win. And when he gets the ball in the ninth inning it’s his job to make that happen. Pap I know is kind of a colorful guy, says a lot of things, but the biggest thing on his mind is winning. I know some people don’t think so, but that’s the main thing he thinks about. The toughest job in baseball is being a closer, because you go out there and give up and we lose, everyone points the finger at one guy.”

As for what Jenks will bring to the Sox bullpen, Pedroia pointed to his own history vs. the former White Sox closer.

“I faced him in ’08 and I was hot,” Pedroia recalled. “I felt like I could get a hit off of anybody and he kind of blew me away. I just remember his fastball kind of explodes off of you. It’s kind of like Paps — it’ll stay on one plane and kind of explode at the end. And he’ll throw his cutter .. he’ll find a way to overpower you and late in the game that’s what you need.”

Dan Wheeler is another bullpen addition expected to add significant depth. Once again, Pedroia highlighted his own struggles to illustrate what Wheeler can do.

“Wheeler, I don’t think I’ve ever got a hit of him,” said Pedroia. “We might want to check the numbers [Pedroia is hitless in 10 career at-bats vs. Wheeler] off that. He’s tough.”

Pedroia also gave an update on the rehab status of his left foot, which was broken in San Francisco on June 25.

“Actually on Monday I went to Arizona State,” said Pedroia. “They have one of those Ultra G machines, they weighted treadmills. I was on that thing for 22 minutes running, doing some sprints and stuff like that. Felt great, so I’m pretty confident that I’ll be 100 percent by the time I get to spring training.”

To hear the entire interview click on The Big Show audio on demand page. To read more about the Red Sox visit the team page at weei.com/redsox.

Read More: Hot Stove,

Beyeler named manager at Pawtucket

12.22.10 at 4:55 pm ET
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The Red Sox named the 2011 field staffs for each of their six minor-league teams on Wednesday, an announcement highlighted by the promotion of manager Arnie Beyeler from Double-A Portland to Triple-A Pawtucket.

Beyeler managed the Portland Sea Dogs from 2007-10, posting a record of 282-283. He led the Sea Dogs to consecutive Eastern League playoff appearances in 2007 and 2008. He replaces Tony Lovullo, who joined John Farrell’s staff in Toronto as the first-base coach. Beyeler has managed in the minor leagues for 10 years (seven in the Boston system and three with the Texas organization) with a career record of 642-630.

Pitching coach Rich Sauveur will return to Pawtucket for his fourth season. An announcement regarding who will take over as hitting coach has not been made.

Kevin Boles will replace Beyeler at Portland. Boles managed Single-A Salem last season. Bruce Crabbe, who managed at Short-A Lowell last season, will assume managerial duties for Salem. Billy McMillon will manage Single-A Greenville, Carlos Febles will take over for Crabbe in Lowell and George Lombard will manage the Gulf Coast League squad.

Here is the press release:

BOSTON, MA ‘€” The Boston Red Sox today announced the 2011 field staffs for each of their six minor league teams.

The announcement of managers, coaches and athletic trainers was made by Director of Player Development Mike Hazen.

The Red Sox have added one new individual for assignment in the 2011 field staff alignment, hiring Paul Abbott as the pitching coach at Short-A Lowell.

BOSTON RED SOX 2011 MINOR LEAGUE FIELD STAFFS

Pawtucket (Triple-A, International League)
Manager: Arnie Beyeler ‘€” Moves to Pawtucket for his eighth season as a manager in the Red Sox farm system. He spent the last four years at the helm for Double-A Portland and previously managed in the Red Sox farm system at Short-A Lowell from 2000-01 and at Single-A Augusta in 2002.
Pitching Coach: Rich Sauveur
Hitting Coach: TBA
Athletic Trainer: Jon Jochim

Portland (Double-A, Eastern League)
Manager: Kevin Boles ‘€” Moves to Portland after managing last season at Single-A Salem and serving in the same capacity with Single-A Greenville from 2008-09.
Pitching Coach: Bob Kipper
Hitting Coach: Dave Joppie
Athletic Trainer: Paul Buchheit

Salem (Single-A, Carolina League)
Manager: Bruce Crabbe ‘€” Will serve as Salem’€™s manager after skippering at Lowell in 2010.
Pitching Coach: Kevin Walker ‘€” Moves to Salem after working as Greenville’€™s pitching coach in 2010. He was pitching coach for Lowell in 2009 in his professional coaching debut.
Hitting Coach: Alex Ochoa ‘€” Joins Salem after serving last season as Special Assistant in the Red Sox Baseball Operations department. He began his pro coaching career in 2009 as Boston’€™s coaching staff assistant.
Athletic Trainer: Brandon Henry

Greenville (Single-A, South Atlantic League)
Manager: Billy McMillon
Pitching Coach: Dick Such ‘€” Moves to Greenville after serving as Salem’€™s pitching coach from 2009-10.
Hitting Coach: Luis Lopez
Athletic Trainer: David Herrera

Lowell (Short-A, New York-Penn League)
Manager: Carlos Febles ‘€” Makes his managerial debut with the Spinners, where he served as a coach in 2007. He was Salem’€™s hitting coach from 2009-10 and held the same role for Single-A Lancaster in 2008.
Pitching Coach: Paul Abbott ‘€” Makes his affiliated coaching debut. He spent the past two seasons with the independent Golden League’€™s Orange County Flyers, serving as manager in 2010 and as pitching coach in 2009, and was also an assistant coach at Fullerton (CA) Junior College. A right-handed pitcher, he played 20 seasons of professional ball from 1985-2005 and spent parts of 11 seasons in the Major Leagues with the Twins (1990-92), Indians (1993), Mariners (1998-2002), Royals (2003), Devil Rays (2004) and Phillies (2004).
Hitting Coach: TBA
Athletic Trainer: Elizondo Mauricio

Gulf Coast (Rookie, Gulf Coast League)
Manager: George Lombard ‘€” Makes his managerial debut in 2011 after spending the 2010 campaign as hitting coach for Lowell.
Coach: Dave Tomlin ‘€” Will serve as a coach after managing the GCL Red Sox over the past five seasons from 2006-2010.
Pitching Coach: Walter Miranda
Hitting Coach: U.L. Washington

Read More: Arnie Beyeler, Pawtucket Red Sox, Red Sox,

Report: Angels pull offer to Adrian Beltre

12.22.10 at 8:29 am ET
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There are conflicting reports about the Angels’ pursuit of free agent third baseman Adrian Beltre. According to The Los Angeles Times, the Angels withdrew their offer to the 31-year-old, who shined in Boston in 2010. However, other reports indicate the team’s interest remains high. The rumored high offer is $70 million for five years. The Rangers also are rumored to be interested, although they don’t seem likely to match the Angels’ offer.

Read More: Adrian Beltre, Hot Stove,
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