|07.12.16 at 11:27 am ET|
It’s getting close to deadline time with Red Sox first-round pick Jason Groome.
The Red Sox and Groome have until Friday to come to an agreement on a deal and are said to be in the process of working to reach one. Jon Heyman reported Monday the Red Sox have offered Groome $3.5 million and a source close to the situation says that report is fairly accurate.
Groome isn’t the only player the Red Sox have left to sign. They still need to sign fourth-rounder Bobby Dalbec and fifth-rounder Mike Shawaryn with just over $5 million remaining in their bonus pool for those three players.
The slot value for Dalbec is $501,300 and the slot value for Shawaryn $375,500, but Shawaryn is seeking over the slotted value. If Dalbec signs for slotted value and Shawaryn for slightly above his, the Red Sox would have roughly $4 million to offer Groome. The slot value for Groome is $3,192,800, but it’s been well-documented he was seeking top-five money.
Negotiations are expected to pick up with Groome as early as today given how much his signing potentially impacts the other two players.
If Groome doesn’t sign, he’s committed to Chipola Junior College and could re-enter the MLB Draft next season. Then, the Red Sox could shift their focus to potentially signing 11th-round pick Nick Quintana, who is committed to the University of Arizona and visited Fenway Park last week.
It would seem highly unlikely the team could sign both Groome and Quintana.
For more Red Sox news, visit weei.com/redsox.
|07.12.16 at 10:58 am ET|
Nate Freiman has always loved baseball. As a young boy growing up in Wellesley, Freiman was so enthralled by watching the Red Sox take batting practice during a trip to Fenway Park that he told his dad and brothers, “When I’m older I want to play there.” Little did he know then, but that wish would come true.
In 2013, that memory came back to Freiman as he took the field at Fenway Park as a member of the Athletics. It was one of the many incredible moments that baseball has given him throughout his career. However, as wonderful as his baseball career has been, it also has been challenging. In his eight years as a pro, Freiman has only cracked the major leagues once and has yet to stay with one team for more than two years. Freiman, 29, now is playing with the Red Sox’ Double-A affiliate in Portland. And while some may think that Freiman’s career is winding down, he has no plans to stop playing the game he adores.
Freiman began playing baseball in the Wellesley Little League, and as he climbed the ranks, his baseball prowess became evident.
“For starters, [Freiman] was always bigger and he always threw harder,” said Mike Roberts, who played with Freiman from Little League all the way through high school. “He had an intensity and you could tell he loved the game from that age, and going through high school nothing changed — the intensity grew.”
As a senior at Wellesley High School in 2005, Freiman helped guide the Raiders to a Division 2 South Sectional championship, getting picked as the 2005 Massachusetts Gatorade Player of the Year. He would go on to play baseball at Duke, where he helped resurrect the baseball program and still holds the record for career home runs (43) and slugging percentage (.616).
Freiman was recruited to Duke as a pitcher, but in the first inning of his first game the 6-foot-8 right-hander strained a ligament in his arm.
“We planned to redshirt him because he had missed so much of his freshman year and we weren’t any good,” said then-Duke coach Sean McNally. “We were in the teeth of the ACC schedule and we would be asking a kid who last played in high school in Massachusetts to jump into the ACC. I didn’t want him to come back again and get hurt or really struggle. His dad said, ‘Hey, we aren’t in this to try to be a high [draft] pick, Nate just wants to get out there with the kids on the team and try to contribute and try to help this particular group win.’ So we put him out there and it was unbelievable.”
|07.12.16 at 10:24 am ET|
Here’s a look at the action in the Red Sox farm system on Monday.
TRIPLE-A PAWTUCKET RED SOX (47-44): No game scheduled.
The PawSox are resting during the Triple-A All-Star break and will next play on Thursday, when they kick off a four-game home series against Charlotte (White Sox).
— One of their players is not off as Chris Marrero, who has 16 home runs this season, relied on that power to win the Triple-A Home Run Derby Monday night. He hit 18 homers in three minutes to defeat Kyle Jensen of the Reno Aces to become the first Pawtucket player ever to win the event
“This was cool,” Marrero said. “The fans were really into it. They kept the adrenaline going.”
|07.12.16 at 9:11 am ET|
LOWELL — This wasn’t the All-Star break the Kelly family had planned.
While his Red Sox teammates were either dispersed to the All-Star Game in San Diego, or spread throughout the country on their mini-vacations, Joe Kelly spent Monday night at LeLacheur Park, home of the Single-A Lowell Spinners.
With Kelly’s wife, Ashley, showing the couple’s 5-month-old, Knox, the festivities in and around the stadium’s concourse, the pitcher could be found getting his two innings of work in while on his third rehab assignment appearance for the Spinners.
This was definitely a different scene for Kelly, and not just because of inflatable sumo wrestling suits being put to the test along the first base line in between his innings.
Kelly has re-entered the world of relieving, which, right now, represents his fastest trek back to life in the big leagues.
“It is what it is. It’s what I’m going to do now,” said Kelly, who retired all six of the Staten Island batters he faced. “Obviously there’s a need at the big league level, and that’s the role they’re going to switch me to. If I go out there and do what I did today against major league hitters again and get people out, one or two innings, helping the team win, it’s something I’m looking forward to doing.
“Relieving is fun. It’s a little bit different adrenaline rush. Obviously it’s not the big league lights, but your blood gets going a little more than it would as a starter. So that was fun to get that rush again.”
While it was only against short-season Single-A hitters, Kelly’s outing offered the kind of intrigue the Red Sox were banking on when having him make the switch.
This is a guy, after all, who barely pitched in high school, and only relieved in college. After his first pro season, St. Louis moved him into a starting role, where he remained until the Red Sox finally pulled the cord on Kelly’s spot in the rotation after totaling an 8.46 ERA in his six starts.
And while the organization would seem to be starved for both back-of-the-rotation options, and starting pitching depth, the idea of Kelly revisiting life as a high-90’s reliever with an above-average changeup and slider seemed the way to go for a bullpen that has been thrown for somewhat of a loop by the performances of Junichi Tarawa and Koji Uehara, and the injury to Craig Kimbrel.
“I wouldn’t say frustrating. But it’s a decision they made for me to go to the bullpen,” Kelly said when asked about the switch. “I still see myself as a starter, obviously. Going forward I’ll relieve, but ultimately one day I would like to get back to starting. If it helps the team wins ballgames and ultimately win the A.L. East or just get a playoff spot and I can help and contribute, it’s something I obviously want to do. I want to be up there, get people out and help the team win.”
Both Lowell manager Iggy Suarez and minor league pitching coordinator Ralph Truel remarked how more comfortable Kelly looked compared to his first two outings with the Spinners. For the first time since coming back from his groin injury, the righty decided to go exclusively out of the stretch, with both instructors commenting on the reliever’s improved resolve on each of his pitches.
While the obvious takeaway would have been the fastball he threw to end his first inning of work, registering 100 mph on the stadium display (although just 98 mph on scouts’ radar guns), it was his ability to get his change up on the inside part of the plate against right-handed hitters that truly was a difference-maker.
As Kelly pointed out, “Coming out of the bullpen in the big leagues they’re going to searching for velocity.”
Now Kelly will get a few days off before continuing the transformation with Triple-A Pawtucket. From there, his fate will be determined on performance with the PawSox, what slots open up in what has been an evolving Red Sox bullpen, and even the moves that are made at the non-waiver trade deadline.
“Obviously I’m fully healthy, but it was something I really didn’t go 100 percent into until [Monday night],” Kelly said. “It felt good. Arm feels good. Leg didn’t bother me. Felt really good.”
|07.12.16 at 1:01 am ET|
Before Jackie Bradley Jr. turned around his career last season with a monster August, agent Scott Boras found himself in a strange position — fielding calls from rival clubs inquiring about Bradley’s availability.
The super-agent doesn’t actually run a team, even if it sometimes feels that way. Speaking to the Boston Herald at the All-Star Game in San Diego, Boras on Monday described the interest level in Bradly last season before he made himself into an All-Star.
“I had six different general managers calling me, because he was just killing the ball in Triple-A,” Boras told the Herald. “And people are calling me going, ‘This guy hits the ball differently than minor leaguers.’ He’s that kind of guy, plus his defense.
“So all the general managers are calling me, ‘Can I get him? Can I get him?’ I said, ‘Why are you calling me?’ Like I run the team.”
It seemed that Bradley might become available because he had spent much of 2015 at Triple-A. But once the trade deadline passed without Bradley being moved, his career took off.
Boras told the Herald he never considered seeking a trade.
“I don’t do that,” Boras told the paper. “I don’t call teams and demand trades. It’s there, they have a contract, right? They have ownership of a player. The story is, if you’re negotiating something you don’t have control over, you don’t negotiate.”
When Bradley finished last season with an .832 OPS, Boras knew he was well on his way.
“To be honest with you, there were enough people there that had the similar vision of Jackie that we had,” Boras said. “This guy’s constitution is — when I saw him in Tampa and he knew he was going to be up for a short period of time and go back down [last summer], I wanted to make sure, I said, ‘Look, I’m telling you (other teams want to trade for you).’ He said, ‘I know, I’m not worried about it.’
“He was nicked up when he got drafted, otherwise he would’ve been a top-five pick. He said, ‘I know, I know.’ His constitution is very clear. His vision is clear. He doesn’t worry about external factors. He’s really a very self-understood player, which says a lot about why he’s doing what he’s doing.”
|07.11.16 at 10:54 pm ET|
It’s no secret the Red Sox will be seeking starting pitching at the trade deadline.
Two potential starters on the market — Julio Teheran of the Braves and Drew Pomeranz of the Padres — addressed the trade rumors surrounding them with their teams under-performing this season at the All-Star Game in San Diego and both have some connection to the Red Sox.
Teheran’s connection is simple. His former general manager Frank Wren is now the Red Sox’ senior vice president of baseball operations.
The right-hander told reporters in San Diego the two have “a good relationship.”
As for potentially being traded, he has an idea it may be coming with the Braves currently having one of the worst records in baseball.
“It’s really exciting,” Teheran said to reporters, including the Boston Herald. “But I don’t really think about getting traded or being in the postseason. Obviously I want to be in the postseason, but I want to be on the team that I signed with, the team I am on right now. And if I get traded I’ll try to do my best and get the team that I’m traded to to the postseason.”
So far this season, Teheran is 3-8, but has a 2.96 ERA. The 25-year-old doesn’t become a free agent until the year 2020.
“It feels weird,” Teheran said. “I signed with the Braves and I wanted to stay my whole career with them. But I know that’s not going to happen, or I can’t control it and it will happen anytime. You try not to think about it. I know I hear rumors everywhere. But you know, you try to concentrate and work on control every five days, be ready and be healthy to pitch and other things will take care of themselves.”
|07.11.16 at 9:36 pm ET|
Even at age 40, David Ortiz is still performing.
The Red Sox designated hitter was named to his 10th All-Star game after a very impressive first half of the season.
Ortiz is hitting .332 with 22 home runs and 72 RBIs with the homers and RBIs being the second-most in the American League.
With the way he’s performing, many fellow All-Stars don’t believe he will actually retire after this season.
“I still don’t 100 percent believe that this is it for him,” former teammate Jon Lester said to reporters in San Diego. “But I’ll guess we’ll see come next spring training. I’m just happy for him. He’s been a part of this game for a long time and been the fact of this game for a long time. I’m sure that wears on you as a person and a family guy like he is. I’m sure he’s ready to go home, but like I said, I’ll believe it come next spring training.”
Lester wasn’t the only one. Young superstar Mike Trout doesn’t believe it either, especially with the numbers he’s putting up.
“I don’t think Big Papi is going to retire,” Trout said to reporters. “I keep telling him that. With those numbers, I wouldn’t.”
Manny Machado wants him to keep playing, but not for the Red Sox, instead for his team the Orioles.
“Hopefully our owners can throw some dollar signs at him,” he said.
This is the 15th consecutive season Ortiz has hit at least 20 home runs, but he slugger firmly believes he made the right decision announcing he will retire after this year.
For more Red Sox news, visit weei.com/redsox.
|07.11.16 at 7:30 pm ET|
The surgery was successful, but the prognosis didn’t change.
The Red Sox announced that closer Craig Kimbrel’s left knee arthroscopy and partial medial meniscectomy at Mass. General Hospital was a success.
The recovery time, according to the team, remains at 3-6 weeks.
Kimbrel injured his knee Friday while running toward a ground ball in the outfield during Red Sox’ batting practice.
|07.11.16 at 2:21 pm ET|
10. Jim Rice goes 2-for-4 with a solo blast, 1983
To begin a seven-run third inning, Rice hit a rocket to left field en route to a 13-3 victory, snapping a 13-game losing streak for the American League. Rice was upstaged by former teammate and future Red Sox Hall of Famer Fred Lynn, who was in the middle of his tenure with the Angels. Lynn hit the first grand slam in All-Star Game history later in the third inning and won the All-Star Game MVP award to cap off his nine straight All-Star appearances.
9. Josh Beckett helps Red Sox win home-field advantage, 2007
After giving up a leadoff double to Jose Reyes, Beckett retired six straight, including Ken Griffey Jr., to get the win in the 2007 All-Star Game. The win for the American League gave home-field advantage to the Red Sox in that fall’s World Series, when they swept the Rockies to win their second title in four years.
8. J.D. Drew wins ASG MVP deep behind enemy lines, 2008
Drew made the only All-Star Game appearance of his career at Yankee Stadium, and it was a memorable one. During the bottom of the seventh, Drew sent a low fastball deep into right field for a two-run, game-tying home run, silencing the bleacher creatures and winning the All-Star Game MVP award. Drew’s home run also helped this All-Star Game go into extra innings, where it became the longest All-Star Game of all time at four hours, 50 minutes.
|07.11.16 at 1:58 pm ET|
While there was a possibility Red Sox starter Steven Wright might start the All-Star Game — having overtaken Cleveland’s Danny Salazar for the American League ERA lead (2.68), A.L. manager Ned Yost chose to give Chicago’s Chris Sale the starting nod Tuesday night.
Sale was 14-3 with a 3.38 ERA in the first half, totaling 123 strikeouts and just 26 walks.
Also of note was the placement of Red Sox players in the starting lineup, with David Ortiz getting the opportunity to hit cleanup, and Xander Bogaerts in the five-hole. Mookie Betts hits seventh, and Jackie Bradley Jr. finds himself hitting ninth while playing left field.
Here is the American League lineup:
Jose Altuve 2B, Mike Trout CF, Manny Machado 3B, David Ortiz DH, Xander Bogaerts SS, Eric Hosmer 1B, Mookie Betts RF, Salvador Perez C, Jackie Bradley Jr. LF.
Getting the start for the National League will be San Francisco’s Johnny Cueto, who managed to go 13-1 with a 2.47 ERA in the first half.
Here is National League manager Terry Collins’ lineup: Ben Zobrist 2B, Bryce Harper RF, Kris Bryant LF, Wil Myers DH, Buster Posey C, Anthony Rizzo 1B, Marcell Ozuna CF, Carlos Gonzalez LF, Addison Russell 2B.
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