|11.06.13 at 4:32 pm ET|
ESPN’s Buster Olney joined Mut & Merloni on Wednesday to discuss the Red Sox’ offseason and the impending free agent frenzy.
With Boston not offering catcher Jarrod Saltalamacchia a qualifying offer, many have speculated that the Red Sox and free agent Brian McCann could be a match.
“Generally speaking, I can’t see them going absolutely nutty for a 30-year-old catcher who’s going to transition to DH,” Olney said. “And if the Yankees or the Phillies or the Rangers are going to go six [years] for [$]120 [million], I don’t think the Red Sox would chase them.
“However, if there are a number of offers that are within range of each other, and the Red Sox are one of those teams, there a lot of reasons why the Red Sox would consider it,” Olney said, adding, “Just knowing Brian, he was a great team guy, he fits totally into what the Red Sox built in 2013. I do think that if he feels like he can go to a good situation, and yeah it might cost him some money, I absolutely think he’d be open-minded about that.”
If Boston signs McCann, it would almost certainly spell the end of Saltalamacchia’s four-year run with the Red Sox.
“I got to believe he’s going to be somewhere else,” said Olney, who added that Saltalamacchia’s benching in the World Series could factor into the decision. “You don’t one week go from saying, ‘You know what, we’re going to play our backup catcher,’ and then say, ‘We’ll give you $50 million.’ ”
Boston did make the one-year, $14.1 million qualifying offer to shortstop Stephen Drew.
“When you talk to GMs of other teams, they just cant see other teams coming close to giving Stephen Drew a $14.1 million salary that would be close to a qualify offer,” Olney said, adding, “I think in the end, the smart play for Drew is going to be to accept a one-year deal with the Red Sox, we just don’t know if that’s something that Scott [Boras] would necessarily do.”
|11.06.13 at 3:47 pm ET|
Red Sox manager John Farrell, in an interview on WEEI’s Salk & Holley show, said that he believes that the Red Sox would be well served to bring back shortstop Stephen Drew in order to preserve the sort of depth on the left side of the infield that proved so beneficial to the team in 2013. Drew, who received a one-year, $14.1 million qualifying offer from the Red Sox on Monday, hit .253 with a .333 OBP, .443 slugging mark and 13 homers in 124 regular season games.
While Farrell acknowledged Drew’s postseason struggles, he also made clear that he continues to maintain a very high opinion of the 30-year-old, and his potential value to the club going forward.
“Our approach towards our team is always going to be one to build the greatest depth, not only to the 25-man roster but guys below that. Stephen Drew is a very good shortstop. I know there will be people who say what’s the infatuation with him based on the postseason performance. But he’s a darn good shortstop. He had a very strong year for us. He’s a left-handed hitter. Otherwise, we would have an entire right-handed hitting infield, which creates further balance in the lineup going forward,” said Farrell. “I can’t sit here today and say that he’s going to be back here. Personally, I’m hopeful he’s back. It buys us some time, whether [Xander Bogaerts] is the guy going forward next year at shortstop or if he’s at third base.”
The suggestion that Bogaerts might play third if Drew returns has obvious implications for Will Middlebrooks. But Farrell said that he envisioned the Sox being in a stronger position if they once again had Drew, Bogaerts and Middlebrooks.
“Will Middlebrooks, we recognize the up-and-down year that he had. But it’s also a guy that, 27, 28 home runs combined [in two partial big league seasons],” said Farrell. “There’s a little bit of swing and miss there. His offensive profile may be a little bit different than some of our other guys. But still, we’re always going to side on the ability to build as deep a roster as possible. If that creates a little redundancy, at least in the short-term, we’re more than accepting of that. Read the rest of this entry »
|11.06.13 at 3:15 pm ET|
Red Sox manager John Farrell, during an in-studio interview on WEEI’s Salk & Holley show, suggested that even though free agent catcher Jarrod Saltalamacchia did not receive a one-year, $14.1 million qualifying offer, the Red Sox remain very interested in bringing the 28-year-old back.
“Absolutely he has a future here. We’re engaging with him and I know [Red Sox GM Ben Cherington] has talked to his agent frequently here, not just as free agent season has opened up but throughout the course of the remainder of the year and through the postseason,” said Farrell. “In this case, if people are understanding of the qualifying offer, it doesn’t put a drag on his market. In some ways, it may benefit Salty a little bit more than the other three guys where you’ve got to give up a first-round draft choice.
“Salty had a great year when you consider how he turned around to, I think, become a more complete player,” he continued. “A guy that went from 24 home runs and high-teens doubles to 41 doubles and 13, 14 home runs, he raised his average about 40 points. He used the whole field a whole lot more consistently. He did a great job incorporating the game plan that [pitching coach] Juan Nieves and [bullpen coach] Dana Levangie put out and constructed for him. He had a very good year, and his best year as a player is also timely as he enters free agency.”
|11.06.13 at 11:59 am ET|
Red Sox manager John Farrell will be in studio with Salk & Holley on Wednesday at 2:30 p.m. and will take calls from WEEI listeners.
Farrell on Wednesday was named a finalist for American League Manager of the Year as voted on by the Baseball Writers’ Association of America. Farrell took a Red Sox team that finished last in the AL East in 2012 and led it to 97 wins and a World Series championship in his first season as manager in Boston.
Former Sox manager Terry Francona (Indians) and Bob Melvin (Athletics) also were named as finalists for the award, for which voting took place at the end of the regular season. The winner will be announced next week.
|11.05.13 at 11:27 pm ET|
According to Dustin Pedroia, the second baseman is slated to have surgery on the torn ulnar collateral ligament in his left thumb Nov. 12. The procedure will be performed by Dr. Donald Sheridan in Arizona.
Sheridan — who has operated on Pedroia multiple times — has suggested to the player that the procedure might include the grafting of a ligament from another part of his body (perhaps from the wrist). If the graft is executed, Pedroia suggested he will be able to return to activities with his thumb in 6-8 weeks.
“It’s not a big deal,” said Pedroia from his Arizona home (while watching the movie ‘The Natural’). “It would be just a couple of more weeks.”
Pedroia said he is scheduled to meet with Sheridan Nov. 11, at which point he will receive the doctor’s findings after examining the most recent MRI.
The second baseman injured the thumb while diving into first base Opening Day in New York. Pedroia managed the ailment with the help of the team’s training staff, ending up playing in a total of 176 games between the regular season and postseason. He finished the 2013 campaign hitting .301 with a .787 OPS, missing just two games.
“Every day is different,” he said during the Red Sox’ last road trip of the regular season. “However you feel that day, that’s what you have to try to do on the field. If something hurts, you have to try and be smarter and get another pitch to hit. Like last year, if I couldn’t hit a ball in, I wouldn’t swing at it. You have to be smart, figure out how to play and be the best you can.
“There have been times in the past where I’ve taken more of chance to drive the ball. This year I haven’t really taken that many chances. You haven’t really seen me take a huge swing on a 2-0 pitch, where in years past I would take that chance trying to hit a home run. I’ve just tried to stay within myself, get on base and play the game.
“If you’re an everyday player, nobody is 100 percent. You’re going to have something, so you have to figure out how to perform within your ability and play well.”
ESPNBoston.com was first to report the surgery’s scheduled date.
|11.05.13 at 9:34 pm ET|
According to Jarrod Saltalamacchia’s agent, Jim Munsey, the Red Sox have reached out to the catcher in an attempt too show the team’s interest in potentially re-signing the 28-year-old.
The Red Sox and Saltalamacchia’s representative touched base later in the day, Monday, after the team decided not to extend the catcher a qualifying offer. He had expressed some frustration earlier in the day while appearing on the Bradford Files podcast, wondering why the Sox hadn’t yet touched base regarding the parameters of their interest.
Saltalamacchia has received interest from multiple teams since becoming eligible for free agency.
The backstop is coming off his best all-around season, finishing with an .804 OPS, 14 home runs, 40 doubles and a .273 batting average. He also made noticeable strides defensively, dropping his catching ERA to under 4.00 (3.86 for the first time in his career).
Tim Dierkes of MLB Trade Rumors was first to report the contact between Saltalamacchia’s camp and the Red Sox.
|11.05.13 at 3:54 pm ET|
The view of the parade route from the WEEI duck boat.
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