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Live chat: Talking Red Sox offseason with Rob Bradford at noon

11.06.14 at 6:12 am ET
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Join WEEI.com’s Rob Bradford for a live chat, starting at noon, to discuss all things Red Sox offseason. It’s the perfect way to storm into another Hot Stove Show, which kicks off on WEEI at 7 p.m. Thursday with Bradford, Alex Speier and Mike Mutnansky talking baseball’s team-building season.

Live Blog Red Sox live chat with Rob Bradford

Poll: Should Red Sox deal Clay Buchholz this winter?

11.05.14 at 10:04 pm ET
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WEEI’s Chris Villani feels that this winter represents the right time for the Red Sox to deal Clay Buchholz. Do you agree?

Do you think the Red Sox should trade Clay Buchholz?

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Dustin Pedroia on MFB: ‘There’s a lot of IOU’s to hand out to people’ next season

11.05.14 at 11:31 am ET
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Red Sox second baseman Dustin Pedroia, who on Tuesday was named winner of his fourth Gold Glove, checked in with Middays with MFB on Wednesday morning and said he’s feeling substantially better since having surgery on his wrist. To hear the interview, go to the MFB audio on demand page.

Pedroia had surgery on Sept. 11 to repair a tendon in his left wrist. It caused an early end to a disappointing offensive season in which he hit .278 with seven home runs and 53 RBIs. In the field, however, he continued to shine, posting a .997 fielding percentage that ranks as the best ever for a Red Sox second baseman.

“It was just frustrating,” he said of the injury that nagged him during the season. “The year before, I found a way to perform, playing nicked up. The year before it was a loose feeling — I tore that ligament in my thumb and everything just felt loose, so I was able to figure it out and let the ball travel more and just try to slap balls the other way and get hits and not try to drive the ball. This year it was more, I was restricted. I didn’t have any motion. It was so swollen and tight all year, I couldn’t get a feel of how to get through it. It was tough. I fought it all year.

“Now that it’s fixed, it’s night and day. I can already tell that. There’s a lot of IOU’s to hand out to people, so I’m pretty excited about it.”

Added Pedroia: “I feel great. I’m back to a hundred percent. I’m doing all my lifts and everything. My rehab’s going good. I’m full strength and I’m pretty excited. It’s been a long time since I’ve been myself. It’s going to be a lot of fun next year.”

Pedoria received a reported eight-year, $110 million contract in the middle of the 2013 season. There are critics who say the Sox overpaid for an aging player who has struggled with injuries of late.

“Honestly, I never put any pressure on me about that,” Pedroia said. “My job is to come out and win games. For what I do to try to help the team win, I don’t know how much they’re paying for that these days but I’m sure it’s a lot, and my contract’s a lot, so there’s not anybody that puts the amount of expectations to perform well than me.

“So, trust me, I don’t need anybody to get on me or anybody to say anything bad about me if I don’t play well. Trust me, I’m pretty hard on myself as it is. I don’t ever look at it like that. I view everything as wins and losses. And obviously when your team’s in last place, that’s how I view it as not good. I’d rather live up to wins and losses than anything else.”

The Red Sox went from last place in 2012 to World Series champions in 2013 back to last place last season. Pedroia is eager to get the Sox back to the top next year.

“I’m trying to do my job, and that’s get ready to help us any way I can to win games, because we’ve got to do that,” he said. “Because last year was pretty painful.”

For more Red Sox news, visit the team page at weei.com/redsox.

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Dustin Pedroia wins fourth Gold Glove

11.04.14 at 7:45 pm ET
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Red Sox second baseman Dustin Pedroia won his fourth career Gold Glove as the top second baseman in the American League. Pedroia became the first Red Sox infielder ever to win as many as four Gold Gloves. He’d previously been tied for the franchise record of three with Frank Malzone and George Scott. He’s the fourth Red Sox to win as many as four, joining Dwight Evans (8), Carl Yastrzemski (7) and Fred Lynn (4).

Fangraphs had Pedroia as the major league leader at second base by a considerable margin in UZR, crediting him with having saved 18.3 runs, a mark that compared favorably to finalists Ian Kinsler (13.0) and Robinson Cano (-3.8). John Dewan’€™s Plus/Minus system had Pedroia as second to Kinsler in both runs saved (17 for Pedroia, 20 for Kinsler) and defensive plays made above average (24 for Pedroia, 30 for Kinsler). But American League managers determined that Pedroia was the superior defender.

A pair of Red Sox outfielders who were Gold Glove finalists did not win the award. Yoenis Cespedes fell short of Royals left fielder Alex Gordon, while Jackie Bradley Jr. lost out to Orioles center fielder Adam Jones.

Mike Napoli undergoes sleep apnea surgery

11.04.14 at 5:43 pm ET
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The Red Sox announced that first baseman Mike Napoli underwent successfully surgery to address his sleep apnea on Tuesday morning. The procedure was performed at Mass. General Hospital by Dr. Leonard Kapan, chief of oral and maxillofacial surgery. Napoli will stay in the hospital in the immediate aftermath of the procedure but is expected to be released later this week.

‘€œI’€™ve been dealing with sleep apnea for a long time, my whole career,’€ Napoli wrote in a text to WEEI.com last month. ‘€œI’€™ve tried numerous things and none of them worked. Dental mouth piece, CPAP machine, medicines ‘€¦ It’€™s just gotten to the point where I have to get this done.’€

Napoli, who turned 33 last week, hit .248 with a .370 OBP, .419 slugging mark and 17 homers in 119 games in 2014, the first of a two-year, $32 million contract he signed with the Sox as a free agent after the 2013 campaign.

Report: Yankees will not pursue Jon Lester, Max Scherzer, James Shields, Pablo Sandoval

11.04.14 at 10:59 am ET
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It’s no secret the Red Sox will be very active this offseason in their pursuit of free agents.

Usually the Yankees are as well, but according to a N.Y. Daily News report, the Yankees have no plans to target four free agents the Red Sox could be potentially going after — Jon Lester, Max Scherzer, James Shields and Pablo Sandoval.

The report says the Yankees are interested in bringing back two of their own free agents in pitcher Brandon McCarthy and third baseman Chase Headley. Since they were traded to the Yankees during the season both players cannot be offered a qualifying offer. McCarthy went 7-5 with a 2.59 ERA in 14 starts after being traded to the Yankees from the Diamondbacks, while Headley hit .262 with six home runs and 17 RBI in 58 games after coming over from San Diego.

The reason why the Yankees might be shying away from those four big-names is the $450 million the team spent on Masahiro Tanaka, Carlos Beltran and Jacoby Ellsbury as free agents last offseason.

For more Red Sox news, check out weei.com/redsox.

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Terry Francona agrees to 2-year contract extension with Indians

11.04.14 at 8:56 am ET
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Former Red Sox manager Terry Francona was under contract with the Indians until following the 2016 season, but now he will be around a little longer as the Indians and Francona have agreed to a two-year contract extension through 2018. The contract also includes club options for 2019 and 2020.

Francona has managed the Indians for two seasons and led them to a 92-70 record in 2013 before falling in the Wild Card play-in game. He did win the 2013 American League Manager of the Year Award. This past season the Indians finished with a 85-77 record, but missed the playoffs. He now has 1,206 career wins, the fourth-most wins among active big league managers.

The Indians are the third team Francona has managed. He spent four years with the Phillies from 1997-2000 before spending eight seasons and winning two World Series titles with the Red Sox from 2004-11.

Here are Francona’s thoughts on the extension:

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Red Sox lose infielders Carlos Rivero, Jonathan Herrera

11.03.14 at 4:21 pm ET
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Jonathan Herrera

Jonathan Herrera

The Red Sox parted with a pair of utility depth options on Monday, as Carlos Rivero was claimed on waivers by the Mariners and Jonathan Herrera (who finished the year on the disabled list due to surgery to remove bone chips from his elbow) was outrighted off the 40-man roster, a move that will make him a free agent as of 5 p.m. on Monday.

Rivero, signed to a minor league deal last offseason, spent the final five weeks of the year in the big leagues. He stepped to the plate just eight times, going 4-for-7 with two doubles and a homer as well as a walk, giving him a career .571/.625/1.286 line with a 1.911 OPS — the highest career OPS in major league history by a player with at least six plate appearances. Though he played just third base in the big leagues, Rivero played shortstop, third and left field in the minors for the Sox with Double-A Portland and Triple-A Pawtucket this year.

Rk Player OPS PA From To Age G AB H 2B 3B HR BB SO BA OBP SLG
1 Carlos Rivero 1.911 8 2014 2014 26-26 4 7 4 2 0 1 1 0 .571 .625 1.286
2 Keith McDonald 1.788 11 2000 2001 27-28 8 9 3 0 0 3 2 2 .333 .455 1.333
3 Zach Britton 1.750 8 2011 2014 23-26 119 8 5 1 0 1 0 1 .625 .625 1.125
4 Hal Haydel 1.667 6 1970 1971 25-26 35 6 3 1 0 1 0 2 .500 .500 1.167
5 Ray Rippelmeyer 1.667 6 1962 1962 28-28 18 6 3 1 0 1 0 1 .500 .500 1.167
6 Dan Kerwin 1.611 9 1903 1903 28-28 2 6 4 1 0 0 2 0 .667 .778 .833
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Play Index Tool Used
Generated 11/3/2014.

Herrera was acquired last winter in a deal with the Rockies for left-hander Franklin Morales. He was expected to serve as a utility backup, with the switch-hitter offering the team a left-handed alternative to spell Xander Bogaerts (short), Dustin Pedroia (second) and Will Middlebrooks (third). In sporadic playing time, Herrera hit .233/.307/.289 in 104 plate appearances. With the emergence of Brock Holt, Herrera was optioned to Pawtucket in the summer. He played well in Triple-A, hitting .309/.350/.382 in 13 games, but didn’t play after leaving a game on July 26 due to what proved to be bone chips in his elbow that required season-ending surgery in August.

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Red Sox change course, conduct private workout for Yasmany Tomas

11.03.14 at 4:58 am ET
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After initially deciding not to conduct a private workout for Yasmany Tomas, the Red Sox ended up partaking in an exclusive viewing of the Cuban outfielder, Sunday.

According to a major league source, the workout — which was held at the Red Sox Academy in the Dominican Republic — was executed partly out of convenience, with Tomas needing a place in the area to continue his preparation.

Following the workout, Tomas’ agent, Jay Alou, tweeted out a photo of his client:

The likelihood of the Red Sox becoming of a major player for the 23-year-old still appears slim. There is some concern in the organization regarding Tomas’ swing-and-miss totals while playing in Cuba, and the right-handed hitter would seem to offer even more duplication for an already crowded outfield.

The Phillies are consistently mentioned as one of the teams most interested in Tomas.

Red Sox outfielder Rusney Castillo had high praise for his former Cuban teammate when asked out Tomas’ skill-set in September.

“He’s a really high quality baseball player, and a really good person,” Castillo told WEEI.com through translator Adrian Lorenzo prior to the Red Sox’ series finale against the Pirates. “He’s got a ton of power. For his physique, he actually moves pretty well. He’s pretty quick for a big guy.”

For more on Castillo’s analysis of Tomas, click here.

Red Sox decline option on Craig Breslow

10.31.14 at 2:28 pm ET
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The Red Sox announced that they’ve declined their $4 million option for the 2015 season on left-handed reliever Craig Breslow. The 34-year-old went 2-4 with a 5.96 ERA in 60 relief appearances this season, a marked departure from a six-year stretch that had established him as one of the most consistent left-handers in the game, with a 2.82 ERA while averaging 62 innings and 65 games a year. It was that track record that led the Sox to sign Breslow to the first multi-year deal of his career, a two-year, $6.25 million deal that included the 2015 option.

Breslow proved a pivotal part of the Sox bullpen in 2013, posting a 1.81 ERA in the regular season and then seven scoreless innings in the first two rounds of the postseason before he faltered in the World Series, retiring just one of the seven batters he faced in three appearances, at a time when he was running on fumes. That October run undoubtedly had a lingering toll in 2014, with Breslow frustrated by his inability to perform to his customary levels.

“I’ve never before had to play the last game of such a miserable season,” Breslow said on the final day of the season. “There were a lot of firsts this year. I’ve never struggled like this at any point of my career. I’ve never had a full season that ended up like this, especially one that had significant expectations going on. The best part of this season is that it’s done. …

“I’m not looking for sympathy. I recognize that in my mind, and I think quite pragmatically, 2014 was the complement to 2013. I wouldn’t undo any of that. I would gladly make that sacrifice. As much as this stinks, being able to contribute to a team that won a World Series is something that guys play for 20 years and never get a chance to do,” he added. “I think it’s kind of like I had the ultimate high of highs last year and the ultimate low of lows last year and in 2015 I’ll go back to being the same guy I was for six of the last seven years.” Read the rest of this entry »

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