|12.03.13 at 9:53 pm ET|
According to a major league source, the Red Sox’ offer to Jacoby Ellsbury was ” a ways off” from the seven-year, $153 million deal that multiple outlets are reporting will make the outfielder a Yankee.
According to MLB.com, Ellsbury’s deal with the Yankees includes an option for an eighth year that could advance the deal to $169 million.
Another source suggested Ellsbury’s agent, Scott Boras, had set the bar at 7-8 years early on in the offseason, a level the Red Sox were not comfortable going to for the 30-year-old.
Currently, the Red Sox’ highest-paid player for the 2014 season is John Lackey, who will make $15.25 million. Conversely, the Yankees are slated to pay seven players $18 million or better for the ’14 campaign once Ellsbury is in the fold.
Ellsbury becomes the 14th-highest-paid player in baseball, just behind Adrian Gonzalez ($154 million).
|12.03.13 at 8:56 pm ET|
Jacoby Ellsbury has agreed to a seven-year deal with the Yankees worth $153 million, according to multiple reports. Mark Feinsand of the New York Daily News was the first to report the terms of the deal.
Ellsbury hit .298/.355/.426 with nine home runs, 53 RBIs, 92 runs and a league-leading 52 steals for the Red Sox this past season. He hit .344 during the playoffs en route to winning his second World Series with the team. Ellsbury’s best season in Boston came in 2011, when he posted a .928 OPS, hit 32 homers, drove in 105 runs and finished second in American League MVP voting.
The Red Sox will get a supplemental first-round pick for Ellsbury.
|12.03.13 at 7:13 pm ET|
According to industry sources, free agent catcher Jarrod Saltalamacchia has agreed to a three-year, $21 million deal with the Marlins, pending a physical. The 28-year-old switch-hitter is coming off a career-best season, hitting .273 with a .338 OBP and .466 slugging mark, 14 homers and 40 doubles (most ever by a Sox catcher) in 121 games.
Saltalamacchia’s agreement comes on the same day that the Red Sox reached agreement with catcher A.J. Pierzynski on a one-year, $8.25 million deal to serve as Saltalamacchia’s replacement. Pierzynski, 36, hit .272 with a .297 OBP, .425 slugging mark, 17 homers and 24 doubles (as well as one triple) in 134 games with the Rangers this year.
The Red Sox proved unwilling to go beyond two years in talks with Saltalamacchia, and ultimately preferred to go with an older catcher in Pierzynski (even if one coming off a down year in 2013) in order to maximize their options beyond the 2014 season, as the team has highly regarded Christian Vazquez and Blake Swihart in the upper levels as potential big league frontline catchers, with Vazquez having a likely big league ETA of next season. While the team valued Saltalamacchia’s significant contributions in 2013 — particularly the impact he made as a game-changing force against right-handed pitching — they wanted to avoid obstructing the path of their prospects.
For Saltalamacchia, the deal with the Marlins represents an opportunity to play close to home. Saltalamacchia went to Royal Palm Beach High School, and he lives in driving distance of both Miami’s spring training facility in Jupiter (he would often drive to Jupiter from Fort Myers the night before Red Sox spring training games against the Marlins and their spring training co-habitants, the Cardinals) and the Marlins ballpark in downtown Miami.
The multi-year deal — the first of Saltalamacchia’s career — represents a significant milestone for a player whose future was in question when he was traded from the Rangers to the Red Sox at the July 31 deadline in 2010. But with the Sox over the last three years, he emerged as the team’s primary catcher, a streaky but at times formidable offensive presence in the bottom half of the lineup who represented an important part of the team’s clubhouse culture, and who was a key part of the Sox’ 2013 title run until his postseason struggles opened the door for teammate David Ross to serve as the catcher for the final three games of the World Series.
|12.03.13 at 5:05 pm ET|
John Lackey has been voted the winner of the 24th annual Tony Conigliaro Award, presented to an MLB player “who has overcome adversity through the attributes of spirit, determination and courage that were trademarks of Tony C.”
After struggling in 2011 and then missing all of 2012 while recovering from Tommy John surgery, Lackey put together one of the best seasons of his career in 2013, posting a 3.52 ERA over 29 starts and 189 1/3 innings. Lackey then went 3-1 with a 2.77 ERA in five postseason appearances, including four starts.
The Red Sox began the award in 1990 in memory of Conigliaro, whose promising career was cut short when he was hit in the face by a pitch in 1967, causing a severe eye injury.
Lackey is the third Red Sox player to win the award, joining Bret Saberhagen in 1998 and Jon Lester in 2007.
|12.03.13 at 1:18 pm ET|
ESPN’s Chris Singleton joined Mut & Merloni on Tuesday morning to discuss the Red Sox’ reported acquisition of free agent catcher A.J. Pierzynski on a one-year deal.
A two-time All-Star, Pierzynski hit .272/.297/.425 with 17 home runs last season with the Rangers. Pierzynski has been one of the most durable backstops in the league over the course of his career, as he’s played in at least 120 games in each of the last 12 seasons. Pierzynski has had success in Boston, as the 36-year-old has a career batting average of .322 at Fenway Park.
“I don’t love it, by any means,” Singleton said of the deal. “I thought going to Texas was a pretty good situation. … With the Red Sox, it just didn’t click for me. … I’m not saying it’s going to be a bad fit, but just knowing A.J. for a long time, he’s a guy that I’ve grown to like and I have respect for definitely what he’s done on the field. … He battles at the plate, and especially in late innings, when he just gives you some tough at-bats. That’s great.
“The biggest question … is clubhouse chemistry and how do things flow. … We know that A.J. can have a bit of an abrasive personality or way about him, and seeing what the Red Sox pulled together … It’s just one of those things where you’re like, ‘All right, hmm, let’s see how this kind of works.’ I’m not big on it. I’m not saying it’s going to sink the ship, but I definitely don’t love it.”
While Pierzynski should be a solid presence in the batter’s box, questions have been raised about his impact on the Sox clubhouse, as Pierzynski’s abrasive attitude has rubbed many players the wrong way over the years.
“Instead of the big blow that’s just an outburst, let’s say like guys we’ve seen in the past that have had issues, let’s say a Milton Bradley or somebody like that — it’s not like that,” Singleton said. “It’s more of a daily, kind of just going to eat at you. Sometimes it’s good, because players need a little bit of an edge or to be a little angry, but I think over time it can be hard for a team to absorb that over time.”
While Pierzynski should be an upgrade defensively over Jarrod Saltalamacchia and can call a good game behind the plate, David Ross remains the top defensive catcher on the roster.
“Just look at last year, how many times did Yu Darvish have near no-hitters and A.J. was behind the dish?” Singleton said. “That says something. … I think he can be solid and good, but it’s just a matter of will he keep that up, because he’s a hitting catcher.”
|12.03.13 at 12:46 pm ET|
Outfielder Ryan Kalish, who on Monday became a free agent after the Red Sox declined to tender him a contract in order to free a spot on their 40-man roster, said on Monday night that he felt only gratitude towards the organization that drafted him in 2006 and with whom he’d spent his entire professional career. While Kalish said that he didn’t know what to expect from free agency, he suggested that he would keep an open mind regarding the Red Sox.
“I’m not sure where this will go, but the Red Sox mean a lot to me,” said Kalish. “That’s not something that I’m going to take lightly.”
Kalish said that he is feeling better now — almost four months removed from a second surgical procedure on his neck — than he has in years, and he remains optimistic that he can reclaim the promise that he showed when he was last healthy in the big leagues as a 22-year-old in 2010. Regardless of whether his next move is a minor league deal or a big league contract, the 25-year-old sees reason for enthusiasm about the possibilities in front of him.
“I’m just ready to go out there and play — whether it’s in the major leagues right away or if it’s in Double-A. I don’t care. I don’t care at all. I’m just ready to compete again, I’m ready to play, and I think it’s there, man. I really do,” said Kalish. “I’m just kind of excited to see where this goes,” he added. “I’m feeling myself come back from that frail, fragile person that I felt I was. Right now, I’m getting the athleticism back. I was just with my family and we were playing tennis and just having a good time together. It’s starting to come back and I’m really excited to try and get out there and improve my health wherever that may be.”
For more from Kalish, click here.
|12.03.13 at 12:32 pm ET|
The Red Sox have agreed to a one-year, $8.25 million deal with catcher A.J. Pierzynski, a move that effectively ends the Red Sox tenure of Jarrod Saltalamacchia. At the heart of the decision was the Sox’ preference to sign a starting catcher on a short-term deal of one or two years, rather than fulfilling Saltalamacchia’s desire for a contract of three or more years.
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