|11.15.16 at 8:18 pm ET|
According to a source familiar with the negotations, four teams have currently shown the most interest in the 39-year-old outfielder/designated hitter — the Red Sox, Blue Jays, Yankees and Astros. The Rangers, once thought to be in the mix for Beltran, are not involved at this point.
The Red Sox’ interest in Beltran has been prevalent since the outset of free agency, with Dave Dombrowski looking to replace David Ortiz with a shorter-term deal than the kind of four- our five-year contract Edwin Encarnacion figures to receive.
The switch-hitting Beltran is coming off another standout offensive season, totaling an .850 OPS and 29 homers in 151 games between stints with the Yankees and Texas.
Houston has been perceived as perhaps the most aggressive suitor, although both the Blue Jays have already shown the willingness to get out in front of the free agent market with the recent signing of designated hitter Kendrys Morales to a three-year deal.
And with the Yankees seemingly willing to deal Brian McCann, who would currently figure to slot into New York’s lineup as a designated hitter, Beltran could offer a logical replacement.
It is uncertain when any team might strike a deal for Beltran, with some teams, like the Red Sox, waiting to see what the luxury tax threshold will be under the new Collective Bargaining Agreement.
|11.15.16 at 7:25 pm ET|
The Indians manager cruised to his second American League Manager of the Year award in the last four seasons, receiving 22 of 30 first-place votes. Francona last won the award in 2013.
Francona guided his team to 94 wins, claiming the American League Central Division by eight games despite the absence of top-of-the-rotation starting pitchers Carlos Carrasco and Danny Salazar down the stretch. Perhaps the Indians’ best all-around player, outfielder Michael Brantley, also played in just 11 games due to shoulder surgery.
Red Sox manager John Farrell earned two first-place votes, coming from Hal Bodley of USA Today and FanGraphs’ Eno Sarris. He also claimed three second-place votes, with nine voters putting him in third-place, putting Farrell fourth overall.
Finishing second behind Francona was Texas manager Jeff Banister (4 first-place votes), with Baltimore’s Buck Showalter placing third, also claiming two first-place votes.
Also receiving votes were the Yankees’ Joe Girardi, claiming one second-place and two third-place designations, and Scott Servais of the Mariners, who got a third-place vote from Tim Booth of the Associated Press.
In his first season as manager of the Dodgers, Dave Roberts claimed the National League Manager of the Year, earning 16 first-place votes. The Cubs’ Joe Maddon garnered eight first-place votes to finish second, while Dusty Baker of the Nationals placed third.
All voting was done prior to the postseason.
|11.15.16 at 1:33 pm ET|
Joel Hanrahan announced on MLB on TuneIn that was retiring after a seven-year major league career.
The 35-year-old reliever’s stint in Boston was a short one, having pitched in just nine games with the Red Sox before succumbing to Tommy John surgery just a month into the 2013 season.
Hanrahan was slated to become the answer to the Red Sox’ late-inning issues after a 2012 season that saw Mark Melancon and Alfredo Aceves fail to thrive in the closing role. The Red Sox would deal Melancon, Stolmy Pimentel, Ivan DeJesus and Jerry Sands to the Pirates for Hanrahan and Brock Holt prior to the ’13 season.
At the time of the deal, Hanrahan was one of the game’s best closers, having saved a combined 76 games over 2011 and ’12 while making the National League All-Star team in each season.
Throwing a fastball that lived near 100 mph, the righty left an impression on Red Sox fans, blowing through the heart of an impressive Boston lineup for two straight games in Pittsburgh, July 24-25, 2011.
Hanrahan’s short career with the Red Sox started well enough, with the closer not allowing a run in any of his initial three outings. The closer’s set-up men to start the 2013 season were Koji Uehara, Andrew Miller, Andrew Bailey and Junichi Tazawa.
But he would go on to blow his final three save opportunities, ultimately pitching what would be his final major league game, May 6, 2013.
Hanrahan did sign deals with the Tigers for 2014 and ’15, but never took the mound again, even at the minor-league level.
Melancon has, of course, gone on to become one of the game’s best closers, saving 147 of his 162 chances for Pittsburgh and Washington, totaling a 1.80 ERA. The 31-year-old is due to make an enormous pay day this offseason, joining Aroldis Chapman and Kenley Jansen as the three top relievers in the open market.
|11.14.16 at 2:21 pm ET|
According to a major league source, the Red Sox are among the most aggressive suitors for the free agent relievers. There are, however, “several teams” that are showing a similar level of interest.
The Red Sox have been intrigued by the former Kansas City closer even before last Monday’s showcase, in which Holland showed good health and a fastball that sat in the low 90’s.
The plan for the 30-year-old, who underwent Tommy John surgery at the end of the 2015 season, is to not resume throwing for another five weeks.
Red Sox president of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski stated at the recent GM meetings that the team’s offseason priorities were to secure an eighth-inning reliever and replacement for David Ortiz, with the bullpen arm presumably coming first due to less of a financial commitment.
Because of the price tags affixed to free agent closers Mark Melancon, Aroldis Chapman and Kenley Jansen, Holland may represent the most intriguing eighth-inning option on the open market. Some of the other possibilities include Sergio Romo, Santiago Casilla, Brad Ziegler, Joaquin Benoit and Joe Blanton.
Among the teams reportedly showing interest in Holland include the Mets, Yankees, Cubs, Padres, Nationals and Mariners, although it is unclear which clubs have the same level of intent as the Red Sox.
#MLBSources: RH reliever Greg Holland will see 2-yr offers, worth $10-20M a season & lots of incentives to increase its total value.
— Matthew Cerrone (@matthewcerrone) November 14, 2016
|11.11.16 at 7:31 pm ET|
The second baseman-turned-outfielder was named by Wilson as the best defensive player in Major League Baseball for the 2016 season. The following is the press release announcing the honor:
Mookie Betts and the San Francisco Giants have been named the top recipients of the fifth annual Wilson Defensive Player of the Year and Wilson Defensive Team of the Year awards, which are given annually to the top defensive players and Club in Major League Baseball. The winners were announced tonight as part of a one-hour special on MLB Network hosted by Greg Amsinger and Eric Byrnes.
In addition to Betts, who was named the top defensive player in baseball, the following Major Leaguers were honored as the top defensive players at their respective positions: Zack Greinke (pitcher, Arizona Diamondbacks), Buster Posey (catcher, San Francisco Giants), Anthony Rizzo (first baseman, Chicago Cubs), Dustin Pedroia (second baseman, Boston Red Sox), Nolan Arenado (third baseman, Colorado Rockies), Brandon Crawford (shortstop, San Francisco Giants), Brett Gardner (left fielder, New York Yankees), Kevin Kiermaier (center fielder, Tampa Bay Rays) and Betts (right fielder, Boston Red Sox).
Betts, a first-time All-Star in 2016 and a first-time recipient of the Wilson Defensive Player of the Year award, led MLB with 32 defensive runs saved. He is the youngest player ever (24) to win a Defensive Player of the Year Award.
The Giants, who reached the Postseason as a National League (NL) Wild Card team this year, set an NL record in 2016 for the longest errorless streak in league history, spanning more than 17 games. The Giants (Posey and Crawford) were one of two Clubs with multiple 2016 award winners (Red Sox).
Of the nine players honored, five (Greinke, Rizzo, Kiermaier, Gardner and Betts) are first-time winners, with five hailing from the NL and four from the American League. Pedroia, the overall Defensive Player of the Year in 2013, earned his third award this year while Posey, Crawford and Arenado won for the second time in their careers.
Wilson, the Official Glove of Major League Baseball, has handed out the Defensive Player of the Year awards at the conclusion of each season since 2012. The winners are determined using a formula that combines traditional defensive stats with advanced metrics, as well as the data logged by the baseball experts working for the scouting service Inside Edge.
|11.11.16 at 6:15 pm ET|
Will Middlebrooks’ hometown team is taking a chance on him.
The native of Texarkana, Texas has agreed to a minor-league deal with the Rangers with an invitation to major league spring training.
Middlebrooks most recently had been with the Brewers organization, hitting just .111 in 27 at-bats with the big league club. He hit .286 with 10 homers and an .816 OPS in 68 games with Triple-A Colorado Springs.
The 28-year-old’s wife, former NESN sideline reporter Jenny Dell, took to Twitter to congratulate her husband.
— Jenny Dell (@JennyDell_) November 11, 2016
Middlebrooks, who has played four infield positions, was traded by the Red Sox to San Diego prior to the 2015 season for catcher Ryan Hanigan.
|11.11.16 at 5:39 pm ET|
According to multiple reports, free agent designated hitter Kendrys Morales has agreed to a three-year, $33 million with the Blue Jays.
Morales, a switch-hitter, figures to fill in for free agent Edwin Encarnacion, who now figures to be a longshot for a return to Toronto.
The three-year deal for the 33-year-old would seem to be a year longer than the Red Sox might have been comfortable with. President of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski stated numerous times at the GM meetings that the club was looking for a short-term deal to fill the spot vacated by the retiring David Ortiz.
The Morales deal might push along the market for Carlos Beltran, who is one of the options also being considered by the Red Sox. The 39-year-old Beltran is appreciably older than Morales, but does offer slightly more offensive consistency and potential defensive flexibility.
In 151 games, the switch-hitting Beltran totaled a .850 OPS with 29 home runs. Morales played in 154 games, hitting 30 homers while finishing with a .790 OPS. The Astros and Rangers are known to also have serious interest in Beltran.
Complicating things somewhat for the Red Sox is their uncertainty when it comes to the new competitive balance tax threshold, which has yet to be set due to the impending new collective bargaining agreement. Dombrowski noted Thursday that the Red Sox were trending toward filling their need for an eighth-inning reliever before the DH spot due to the difference in money to be allocated for each position.
Dombrowski also hinted that the days of having a full-time DH are a thing of the past. (For more on that, click here.)
|11.11.16 at 11:57 am ET|
It didn’t take long to fill the Red Sox’ vacant bench coach position.
According to Gerry Callahan of the Kirk & Callahan show, the Red Sox will hire Gary DiSarcina to be their new bench coach. The position was open after Torey Lovullo left to manage the Diamondbacks last week.
DiSarcina is no stranger to the Red Sox as he managed the Lowell Spinners from 2007-09 and was the organization’s infield coach in 2010. The former big leaguer then went out West to be a GM assistant with the Angels, the team his spent his entire 12-year major league career with, from 2011-12 before coming back to Boston to manage the PawSox in 2013.
The Massachusetts native has spent the last three season on-field with the Angels, as he was their third base coach in 2014 and 2015, before shifting to first base this past season.
Having managed the PawSox in 2013, he’s familiar with a few of the Red Sox’ young players, including Xander Bogaerts.
Billerica’s Gary DiSarcina is coming home. A source says he’s gonna be the @RedSox new bench coach. Excellent choice.
— Gerry Callahan (@GerryCallahan) November 11, 2016
|11.11.16 at 10:25 am ET|
Mookie Betts had a tremendous 2016 season and he did it while not being 100 percent healthy.
The team announced Friday morning Betts underwent successful right knee arthroscopy, chondroplasty, and a loose body removal yesterday. The procedure was performed by Head Team Orthopedist Dr. Peter Asnis at Massachusetts General Hospital.
He is expected to make a full recovery and be ready for spring training.
Betts finished the season hitting .318 with 31 homers and 113 RBI.
The right fielder also won a Gold Glove this week and is a finalist for the AL MVP award.
For more Red Sox news, visit weei.com/redsox.
|11.10.16 at 1:55 pm ET|
Dave Dombrowski, who exchanged quick pleasantries with former Red Sox general manager Ben Cherington as both exited, will now fly to Oklahoma to visit with his daughter before heading back to his 4 Yawkey Way office.
The question now is how quick Dombrowski will act on his to-do list?
The president of baseball operations said he has talked to every team in major league baseball while in Arizona, but still doesn’t know if the Red Sox will be getting their two targets — eighth-inning reliever and designated hitter — via trade or free agency.
But one reality that surfaced is the timetable for filling in the two positions. Because the new collective bargaining agreement hasn’t been finalized, the Red Sox don’t know what the new competitive balance tax threshold will be. What that means is that Dombrowski doesn’t know the level to which the team can spend before being taxed.
With that in mind, Dombrowski insinuated that finding the reliever might be first in line.
“Perhaps, because I think you’re talking about perhaps a different financial situation where it may not be the same impact on the CBT,” he said when asked if the relief pitcher would be the first acquistion.
Dombrowski also cited the unknown tax threshold when talking about being able to find his DH candidate on a preferred short-term deal.
“I do think it’s possible, but I also don’t know if it’s necessarily going to be a short, immediate type of situation,” he said in regards to finding the right player at the preferred price. “There might have to be some patience involved in that because a lot of guys fit that type of description. I also am not really pushing that as much because of the simple situation, we don’t know what the CBT situation is and the rules we’re playing under in the basic agreement. It’s really hard to push this some of those things until you really know what rules you’re playing under.”
As for how the Red Sox will acquire these players, Dombrowski said he doesn’t have a read on which route might be more realistic for either position. Last year he flat-out said his top-of-the-rotation starter would be coming via free agency after trading for closer Craig Kimbrel just a few days after the GM meetings.
“We aren’t aggressively looking to move any of our players,” Dombrowski said. “It’s not one of those situations where you’re sitting there and you’re saying, ‘I have to make this move, I have to make that move.’ We do have depth, but the depth we have we like, too.”
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