|01.10.11 at 1:20 pm ET|
The Red Sox‘ deal for left-hander Hideki Okajima is official, according to a major league source. Under terms of the contract, Okajima will receive a base salary of $1.75 million, with incentives that could push the value of the deal to $2.3 million.
Okajima will receive $50,000 if he pitches 70 innings (a plateau he has not reached in the majors). He will receive $125,000 each for appearing in 60 games (a threshold he’s reached in three of his four big league seasons) and another $125,000 if he pitches in 65 games (something he’s done twice with the Sox). If he sets a career-high by appearing in 70 games, he would receive $250,000.
The deal was first reported by Jerry Crasnick of ESPN.com.
Okajima, an All-Star in 2007 and a key member of the Sox bullpen from 2007-09, had a career-worst 4.50 ERA in 56 appearances for the Sox last year, struggling with injuries at various points of the 2010 season before a strong September. That led the Sox not to make him a free agent rather than tender him a contract that would have made him arbitration eligible. In doing so, the Sox were able to negotiate his contract down from the $2.75 million he received last season.
|01.08.11 at 1:25 pm ET|
It’s one month until Truck Day, when the Red Sox will load team equipment for Fort Myers to signal the end of the season of baseball dormancy and the imminence of games. But the coming weeks will feature plenty of reminders that the baseball season is fast approaching.
January is filled with a busy slate of Red Sox organizational events throughout New England. Those looking to whet their baseball appetites can attend the following: Read the rest of this entry »
|01.08.11 at 10:53 am ET|
According to the New York Daily News, which cited sources familiar with the talks, Joe Torre is in talks with Major League Baseball Commissioner Bud Selig about the possibility of becoming MLB executive vice president of operations. That position has a number of responsibilities, including oversight of the VP of on-field operations and rules, a position whose former occupant, Bob Watson, frequently was at odds with Red Sox manager Terry Francona over matters ranging from the dress code for managers to the enforcement of time of game regulations.
Whomever takes over the role of executive VP of operations would be responsible for hiring Watson’s successor. Watson resigned after the 2009 season due to health concerns.
Torre has already done some work with the Commissioner’s Office, having served on a special committee for on-field matters that included managers, GMs and owners.
|01.07.11 at 5:03 pm ET|
An emerging Red Sox prospect just as easily could have been playing in the college football BCS championship game.
Brandon Jacobs was recruited to play football and baseball at Auburn, but the Red Sox drafted him in the 10th round of the 2009 draft and convinced him (with the aid of a $750,000 signing bonus) to start a baseball career. Jacobs isn’t alone.
In recent years, the Red Sox have drafted a number of players who were viewed as outstanding college football prospects and convinced them to hang up their pads in order to begin their professional careers. Ryan Kalish, Will Middlebrooks, Casey Kelly and Jacobs are among the many two-sport athletes whom the Sox drafted and paid dearly to sign. (And, of course, three-sport high school star Carl Crawford just signed a seven-year, $142 million deal to come to Boston.)
Why do the Sox pursue these sorts of players? How is their development affected by their two-sport status in high school?
To answer those questions, Minor Details was joined this week by outfielder Brandon Jacobs as well as Red Sox amateur scouting director Amiel Sawdaye to discuss the phenomenon of baseball players who were multi-sport stars.
To listen to the podcast, click here.
Previous episodes of Minor Details:
Ep. 5: The human side of the Adrian Gonzalez trade, with Padres (and former Red Sox) prospect Anthony Rizzo, Sox scout Laz Gutierrez and Sox farm director Mike Hazen. The episode also includes a discussion with Baseball America’s Jim Callis about the state of the Sox farm system following the trade for Adrian Gonzalez
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. 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
|01.07.11 at 2:37 pm ET|
Yankees general manager Brian Cashman told the Journal News that his team would not be willing to sacrifice its 2011 first-round pick to sign any of the free agents who remain on the market. With Adrian Beltre having signed with the Rangers and Carl Pavano reportedly close to an agreement to return to the Twins, the only two remaining Type A free agents (who would require a signing team to sacrifice a pick) are a pair of relievers who spent 2010 with the Rays: Rafael Soriano and Grant Balfour.
Some reports had suggested that the Yankees could pursue Soriano as a setup man. Agent Scott Boras told ESPN.com earlier in the week that Soriano — who led the AL in saves in 2010 — would be willing to set up in New York.
But while Soriano may have been willing to entertain such a notion, Cashman essentially ruled it out by stating that the Yankees would not part with the pick needed to sign the right-hander.
“I will not lose our No. 1 draft pick,’ Cashman is quoted as saying. ‘I would have for Cliff Lee. I won’t lose our No. 1 draft pick for anyone else.’
The Yankees have been fairly quiet this offseason since Lee turned down New York’s offers to sign with the Phillies. Cashman re-signed shortstop Derek Jeter and closer Mariano Rivera, and he has signed left-handed reliever Pedro Feliciano and catcher Russell Martin.
But the Yankees have not reached any deals for the cream of this year’s free agent crop. Still, Cashman suggested that it was premature to panic about the 2010 AL wild card winners.
‘We’re going to show up in Tampa, and we’re going to have a team that we’re proud of,’ Cashman told the Journal News.
|01.06.11 at 4:39 pm ET|
The Red Sox announced that spring training tickets will go on sale this coming Saturday, Jan. 8, at 10:00 a.m. Tickets will be sold at the City of Palms Park box office, on the team’s website or by calling 888-REDSOX6. Handicap accessible seating is also available by calling 877-REDSOX9. Hearing impaired patrons may call the TTY line at 617-226-6644.
For patrons in Fort Myers, there will be festivities from noon to 3:00 p.m. at City of Palms Park.
The Sox begin exhibition games on Feb. 26 with a doubleheader against Boston College and Northeastern.
|01.06.11 at 12:30 pm ET|
According to FoxSports.com, the Rangers won’t pursue free agent closer Rafael Soriano this offseason. The team’s agreement with Adrian Beltre on a six-year, $96 million deal represented its run prevention upgrade. Soriano, meanwhile, “isn’t a target of the Rangers right now,” according to the report.
That is potentially good news for the Red Sox, since Soriano is the only remaining Type A free agent on the market who received a higher ranking from the Elias Sports Bureau than Beltre. As such, if the Rangers sign Soriano, Texas’ first-round pick would go to the Rays as compensation for the loss of Soriano, with the Sox getting the Rangers’ second-round pick, around the No. 80-85 pick in the draft.
But, so long as Soriano lands somewhere other than Texas, the Sox will get the Rangers’ top pick, the No. 26 overall selection in a draft that is considered to feature exceptional depth of potential impact players, particularly in terms of the quality of college pitchers.
There are still three unsigned Type A free agents who are unsigned: Soriano, Carl Pavano and Grant Balfour. But Beltre had a higher Elias rating than either Pavano or Balfour, according to this list compiled by MLBTradeRumors.com.
The Sox are also currently positioned to receive the first-round pick from the Tigers (No. 19 overall) thanks to Detroit’s signing of free agent Victor Martinez. Though Detroit has not been connected to Soriano this offseason, Soriano was also rated higher in the Elias ratings than Beltre, meaning that if the Tigers signed the 2010 AL leader in saves, their first-round selection would go to the Rays, with their second-rounder going to the Sox.
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