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Dave Dombrowski is not alone in his analysis of current trade market

06.27.16 at 11:49 am ET
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Dave Dombrowski

Dave Dombrowski

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — People want this thing fixed. But, as Dave Dombrowski pointed out early Sunday evening, it’s not an easy task.

Perhaps the easiest way to stop slipping in the American League East standings — where the Red Sox are four games out of first-place for the first time since mid-April — is simply by taking the trip to Tropicana Field. There they will find a Rays team that has lost 11 games in a row. That is then followed by third-worst team in the American League, the Angels.

But, what then?

You have to seemingly find another starter who offers the chance of pitching in a postseason game if presented the opportunity. There still needs to be a bullpen arm that would take some of the eighth-inning heat off of 41-year-old Koji Uehara. And then there is the discomfort of not knowing when your left fielders will return, and if the most important bat in your lineup (David Ortiz) can keep his foot/heel in working order for the season’s second half.

When presented the problems by the media following his team’s 6-2 loss the Rangers, Dombrowski offered a dose of reality.

“The thing you have to remember is that you have two clubs to make a deal, and most clubs, as I’ve said all along and it hasn’t changed whatsoever, really are not prepared to move towards 2017 and be in a position where they’re willing to move,” he said. “There are probably five clubs that have been looking at that all year long, and I think those five clubs are the ones that remain.”

Dombrowski added, “It’s still early. I can tell you I’ve done a great deal of work and there’s five clubs that are willing to talk about it, and it’s the same five clubs who have been at it all year. So it’s still a little early for that type of situation. We’ll see what happens.”

If you think the Red Sox president of baseball operations is alone in his thinking, he’s not. Just ask another general manager who finds himself in a similar situation.

“In this market, there’s not a lot of pitching, in general,” said Rangers GM Jon Daniels. “That dove-tails with the free agent market being as weak as it’s going to be. There just aren’t a lot of top guys who are scheduled to have their contract expire this year. We’ll see who ultimately comes available, but from our standpoint we have to get our guys healthy. We’re not going to have anybody than our own guys who are coming back.”

Sound familiar?

The lesson to be learned is right now there aren’t a lot of teams who are ready to move on from 2016, and those who are don’t have a whole lot to offer.

Last year, there was a bevy of high-end pitching trade targets whose contracts were ready to run out at season’s end. And there were even some, like Cole Hamels, whose contract still had some length but were clearly made available.

Even then the deals made before the last week of July were few and far between.

The trades made in June last year included Alejandro De Aza going to the Red Sox, the Mariners getting Mark Trumbo, reliever David Carpenter joining Washington, and the Braves lockage up Bronson Arroyo.

The first significant starter dealt? Scott Kazmir to the Astros July 23.

“Last year there were a ton of guys, which almost flooded the market where you saw guys not get traded, like Ian Kennedy,” Daniels said. “Supply and demand plays a big role.”

Right now, there’s too much of the latter and simply not enough of the former.

For now, they will have to rely on the Rays and Angels.

Monday Red Sox Farm Report: Brock Holt goes 3-for-4 with PawSox; Andrew Benintendi stays hot with Portland

06.27.16 at 11:13 am ET
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Here’s a look at the action in the Red Sox farm system on Sunday.

TRIPLE-A PAWTUCKET RED SOX (39-38): L, 9-3, vs. Scranton (Yankees)

— Brock Holt continued to show signs of improvement on his rehab assignment, going 3-for-4 with a run and a walk. Sunday’s game was his sixth start for Pawtucket and the second time he’s played nine innings in left field in a span of 24 hours. His performance came after going 2-for-3 on Saturday.

“Today was a good day, probably the best so far,” Holt told MiLB.com. “It was good to get out there on a short break after last night’s game and still feel pretty good.”

Holt is slashing .421/.522/.526 in six games with Pawtucket.

— Henry Owens got the start for Pawtucket, lasting just four innings while allowing five runs on six hits. He struck out four and walked five en route to collecting his fourth loss this season. Since being optioned to Pawtucket from Boston on May 6, Owens is 4-3 with a 4.61 ERA. The 23-year-old southpaw has tallied more walks than strikeouts in two of his last three outings.

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Read More: Andrew Benintendi, austin maddox, Brock Holt, darwinzon hernandez

Monday’s Red Sox-Rays matchups: Eduardo Rodriguez vs. Blake Snell

06.27.16 at 9:45 am ET
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Eduardo Rodriguez

Eduardo Rodriguez

The Red Sox will continue their road trip Monday when they send Eduardo Rodriguez to the hill in the opening game of a three-game series against American League East rival Tampa Bay. The Rays will give rookie southpaw Blake Snell the start.

Rodriguez heads into Monday’s game with a 1-2 record to go along with a 6.41 ERA and a 1.46 WHIP. The 23-year-old has started just five games in 2016 due to a knee injury, which forced him to miss the first couple of months of the season. His most recent appearance came on Wednesday in an 8-6 loss to the White Sox. The left-hander did not receive a decision after letting up three earned runs and four hits in six innings. Rodriguez also struck out a season-high seven batters while only walking two.

“You can see the velocity is back,” Red Sox manager John Farrell said. “Consistency with both sides of the plate is better, so I think everything’s coming back day by day.”

In his short career, Rodriguez has faced the Rays twice with a 4.91 ERA. In his last start vs. Tampa Bay Sept. 21 of last season, he allowed three runs, six hits and struck out four in six innings in an 8-7 Boston win.

Opposite of Rodriguez will be Snell, the Rays’ No. 1 prospect at MLB.com. He is 0-2 in just three career appearances, but his 2.40 ERA is sixth-best among major league rookies, as he has yet to allow more than two earned runs in an outing. He last pitched in a 6-0 loss to the Indians on Tuesday. The 6-foot-4 rookie allowed two earned runs on seven hits in 6 2/3 innings, but he only fanned three while walking three more.

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Read More: blake snell, eduardo rodriguez,

Dave Dombrowski: Clay Buchholz anticipated to make next start; Trades unlikely right now

06.26.16 at 7:37 pm ET
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Dave Dombrowski

Dave Dombrowski

ARLINGTON, Texas — After a lengthy meeting with manager John Farrell following the Red Sox’ 6-2 loss to the Rangers, Dave Dombrowski offered the media assembled a dose of reality.

His team’s starting pitching just finished a three-game series in which it allowed 19 runs in 12 1/3 innings, with the Red Sox falling four games back in the American League East race. And, in the latest loss, Clay Buchholz struggled once again in the No. 5 spot, allowing five runs over 5 1/3 innings.

But Dombrowski offered the fly in the ointment when it came to making a deal to help fix the problem.

“The thing you have to remember is that you have two clubs to make a deal, and most clubs, as I’ve said all along and it hasn’t changed whatsoever, really are not prepared to move towards 2017 and be in a position where they’re willing to move,” he said. “There are probably five clubs that have been looking at that all year long, and I think those five clubs are the ones that remain.”

Dombrowski added, “It’s still early. I can tell you I’ve done a great deal of work and there’s five clubs that are willing to talk about it, and it’s the same five clubs who have been at it all year. So it’s still a little early for that type of situation. We’ll see what happens.”

Some of the teams it would appear Dombrowski was referencing are the Braves, Phillies, Padres, Brewers, Reds, Rays, Diamondbacks, and Twins.

When asked if he believed some of the solutions might come internally, Dombrowski referenced the rash of injuries the organization finds itself with, both in the majors and minors.

“First of all, we’ve got nine guys on the disabled list, plus we have guys on the disabled list on the minor league level, too, that we would normally bring up,” he noted. “So we’re scuffling for positional players at this point. The depth of our lineup, that doesn’t help. So you only have so many players in the organization who are capable the big league club at a particular time.

“The problem you run into is that some of those players are anticipated to be back soon relatively soon, so you can’t go out and make a trade for some positional player and gives up one of your top prospects that somebody asks for a two-week, or a week, type of situation. Our pitching, we had a bad series pitching-wise. Most of the guys did. I don’t want to say all of them because some of the guys threw the ball well out of the bullpen. We need to pitch better, we need to play better.”

As for Buchholz, who now has a 6.31 in 12 starts, Dombrowski surmised that the righty would still be in the rotation when his next turn comes up.

“I anticipate he’ll start for us again,” he said. “I anticipate, but you’re asking me questions and we haven’t even had a chance to get showered, basically, so we still have time to sit down and visit and have all those types of discussions. But I anticipate he will.”

Closing Time: Hole gets deeper for Clay Buchholz, Red Sox after loss to Rangers

06.26.16 at 6:13 pm ET
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Clay Buchholz struggled once again in his loss to the Rangers Sunday. (Tim Heitman/USA Today Sports)

Clay Buchholz struggled once again in his loss to the Rangers Sunday. (Tim Heitman/USA Today Sports)

ARLINGTON, Texas – Things continue to trend in the wrong direction for Clay Buchholz and the Red Sox.

The pitcher the Sox were not only relying on to fill the fifth spot in their rotation, but, in the short term, help relieve a taxed bullpen, came up short once again. Buchholz allowed five runs over 5 1/3 innings, leading to a 6-2 loss for the Red Sox at the hands of the Rangers.

The outing marked the seventh time in 12 starts that Buchholz has allowed five or more runs, with his ERA as a starter now standing at 6.31.

The loss drops the Red Sox four games out of first place in the American League East for the first time since April 12.

It seemed miraculous that Buchholz lasted as long as he did after suffering through a horrific first inning. The Sox starter kicked off his outing at Globe Life Park by allowing the first six Texas batters to reach via four singles and a pair of walks.

Buchholz escaped the first giving up three runs after leaving the bases loaded via fly out to left field off the bat of No. 9 hitter Bryan Holaday.

The righty has now allowed 13 earned runs and 21 hits in his 12 first innings this season.

“Velocity has been up a little bit. I feel good with basically all my pitches,” said Buchholz. “It’s the pitches that you miss with that beat you, and I missed a couple of times today, but there weren’t very many hard-hit balls, as far as the misses go. I feel good. I’ve got to keep going and hopefully the results change.”

The Sox starter settled down to allow just one hit over his next four innings. But in the sixth inning, after a throwing error from shortstop Xander Bogaerts on Adrian Beltre’s grounder, Prince Fielder rocketed a line-drive into the right field corner and over the 349-foot sign for his seventh homer of the season.

“He’s tired. He needs a day,” said Red Sox manager John Farrell of Bogaerts, who has made three errors in the last four games. “No other way to put it. He’s been going pretty much every game and we need to find him a day to get off his feet.”

After a trip to the mound from manager John Farrell, Buchholz would stay in to get Rougned Odor on a ground out to second. But a subsequent walk to Elvis Andrus ended the starter’s day, forcing the Red Sox bullpen to final eight outs. For the series, Sox relievers were forced to pitch 12 2/3 innings.

For the three-game series, the Red Sox starters allowed 19 runs (13 earned) in 12 1/3 innings.

For a complete recap of the series finale, click here.

WHAT WENT WRONG

– Farrell’s plan to intentionally walk Nomar Mazara with two outs and Shin-Soo Choo at third base backfired. Playing the notion that reliever Heath Hembree would fare better against Adrian Beltre, considering righty hitters were hitting just .132 against the hurler. Beltre responded by ripping an RBI single into left field, increasing the hosts lead to five.

WHAT WENT RIGHT

– Bryce Brentz hit his first major league home run, a solo blast in the sixth inning that cut the visitors’ deficit to two at the time.

Red Sox lineup: David Ortiz sits, Bryce Brentz at DH

06.26.16 at 1:17 pm ET
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David Ortiz

David Ortiz

ARLINGTON, Texas – With lefty Martin Perez on the mound for the Rangers, David Ortiz is starting the Red Sox’ series finale against Texas on the bench. Filling in for Ortiz at DH will be Bryce Brentz, with Ryan LaMarre getting the start in left field.

Manager John Farrell told reporters before the game that Ortiz needs a maintenance day, but that he’ll be available to pinch hit. The big DH is hitting .335 with a league-leading 30 doubles and 1.109 OPS.

“As we’ve had to manage his heels and ankles and feet situation, it was a recommendation to have the day off,” Farrell said. “He’s available to pinch hit and I would hope and anticipate he to stay ready for all three games in Tampa.”

Here is the Red Sox lineup with Clay Buchholz pitching for the visitors:

Mookie Betts RF
Dustin Pedroia 2B
Xander Bogaerts SS
Hanley Ramirez 1B
Jackie Bradley Jr. CF
Bryce Brentz DH
Travis Shaw 3B
Sandy Leon C
Ryan LaMarre LF

For all the matchups, click here.

Read More: David Ortiz, David Ortiz heels, David Ortiz injury, Red Sox

Sunday Red Sox Farm Report: RHP Sean O’Sullivan goes 7 shutout innings for PawSox; Brock Holt 2-for-3 in rehab assignment

06.26.16 at 10:33 am ET
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Here’s a look at the action in the Red Sox farm system on Saturday.

TRIPLE-A PAWTUCKET RED SOX (39-37): W, 7-3 vs. Scranton/Wilkes-Barre (Yankees)

— Starter Sean O’Sullivan pitched seven shutout innings, allowing just four baserunners on three singles and a double to win for the fourth time in five June starts. Playing in front of a season-high 10,247 fans at McCoy Stadium, the 28-year-old right-hander struck out six and did not walk a batter in improving to 6-2 with a 2.79 ERA and 1.11 WHIP in 11 Triple-A games this season.

“It was really just about getting ahead in the count,” O’Sullivan told MiLB.com. “I tried to use all my pitches and luckily I was able to throw everything for strikes and fortunately they hit some balls hard right at our defense.”

— Right fielder Henry Ramos went 3-for-4 and collected four RBIs, on two run-scoring singles and a deep two-run home run to right field in the sixth.

“From that left side, he’s got some impact to right field,” manager Kevin Boles said of the switch-hitter. “We’ve seen him manage his at-bats, he can drive the ball; he does a lot of things well.”

Ramos, 24, is hitting .323/.338/.516 with two home runs an 10 RBIs in 17 games with the PawSox since being promoted from Double-A Portland.

— Brock Holt, continuing his rehab assignment as he works his way back to Boston following a concussion, played all nine innings in left field. He went 2-for-3 with two walks and two RBIs, and he picked up an outfield assist in the fourth inning.

“I feel better,” Holt said after his fifth game in Triple-A. “It’s just been about getting out there and getting more at-bats.”

Said Boles: “Brock played well and got tested in a lot of different ways. He had some pretty good at-bats, and you can tell it’s a professional AB when he goes up there.”

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Read More: Brock Holt, daniel mcgrath, Sean O'Sullivan, tzu-wei lin

Sunday’s Red Sox-Rangers matchups: Clay Buchholz vs. Martin Perez

06.26.16 at 9:23 am ET
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For the final game of the Red Sox-Rangers series on Sunday afternoon, the Sox will count on Clay Buchholz, while the Rangers will turn to left-hander Martin Perez.

Buchholz is 3-7 in 16 games this season (11 starts) with a 5.83 ERA and a 1.408 WHIP. Buchholz has been enduring a tumultuous season. His start last Tuesday was his first since May 26 after being demoted to the bullpen. In that outing against the White Sox, the 31-year-old right-hander gave up a home run on the first pitch of the game, but he settled down to pitch five innings, giving up three runs on four hits, including two home runs, and one walk with five strikeouts in a 3-1 Boston loss. In all but two of Buchholz’s starts this year he has given up at least one home run.

“The stuff was good,” Buchholz said after the outing. “I felt like the ball was coming out of my hand. I threw some good pitches in full counts that I needed to throw. I walked one guy, but it wasn’t necessarily a bad walk, in my mind. I prepared as much as I could for this start, and my body felt good out there. I feel strong. We’ll see what happens again five days from now.”

Buchholz is 1-5 in seven career starts against the Rangers with a 4.10 ERA and a 1.320 WHIP. His last start vs. Texas came last season when Buchholz went 7 1/3 innings, giving up three runs (two earned) on five hits and two walks with four strikeouts.

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Read More: Clay Buchholz, Martin Perez,

Closing Time: Steven Wright, Red Sox derailed by Rangers

06.26.16 at 1:23 am ET
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Xander Bogaerts consoles Steven Wright after exiting in the fifth inning Saturday night. (Kevin Jairaj/USA Today Sports)

Xander Bogaerts consoles Steven Wright after exiting in the fifth inning Saturday night. (Kevin Jairaj/USA Today Sports)

ARLINGTON, Texas – In the hot, windy air of Globe Life Park Saturday night, Steven Wright misplaced his magic.

For just the second time this season, the Red Sox’ starter allowed more than three runs, this time giving up seven (4 earned) over just 4 2/3 innings. Wright’s hiccup helped result in a momentum-stopping, 10-3 loss to the Rangers.

“I had a tough time throwing the knuckleball for a strike,” Wright said. “I felt like I couldn’t throw a good one over the plate. I had to rely a lot of my fastball. When I do that, it’s usually not going to be a good day for me. The defense made some great plays. … It could have been a lot worse. It’s one of those days where, if you go against a team like this, as good as they are and you don’t have your good stuff, it makes for a long day. I couldn’t throw a knuckleball to save my life today, so it was a tough day.”

The outing pushed Wright’s ERA to 2.18. It also gave Red Sox starters a 7.83 ERA this time through the rotation.

The Red Sox reside three games in back of first-place Baltimore in the American League East, and one game ahead of third-place Toronto.

Wright gave up some of the game’s biggest hits — Mitch Moreland’s two-run single, Elvis Andrus’ three-run triple, and an RBI hit from Adrian Beltre — on fastballs.

The loss proved to be an all-around uninspiring night for the Red Sox, with the Rangers’ pivotal five-run fifth inning being helped along by errors from Xander Bogaerts and Hanley Ramirez.

Click here for a recap of the Red Sox’ loss.

Closing Time note

– David Ortiz received a belt buckle and pair of cowboy boots as a retirement gift from the Rangers before the game.

WHAT WENT WRONG

– Ian Desmond became just the fifth hitter to take Wright deep, blasting leadoff homer over the center field wall in the fourth inning. The home run was Desmond’s 13th of the season and tied the game at 1-1.

– The Red Sox finished the fifth inning with a major squander, with Dustin Pedroia grounding into a 5-4-3, inning-ending double play with the bases loaded. It kept the Sox in a one-run hole.

– Bogaerts made his sixth error on the season on Shin-Soo Choo’s routine grounder to lead off the home half of the fifth. Later in the frame, Ramirez made another miscue on what should have been an inning-ending grounder off the bat of Rougned Odor, loading the bases. One batter later, Andrus cleared the bases with a triple.

– With the bases loaded and two outs in the fourth inning, Moreland took advantage of a Wright fastball by rifling it into right field for a two-run single, breaking a deadlock. It was the first hit against Wright this season with the bases loaded in eight plate appearances.

– Robbie Ross Jr., who followed Wright, struggled a bit, allowing two runs on three hits over 1 2/3 innings.

WHAT WENT RIGHT

– After striking out the first four Red Sox hitters he faced, Texas starter A.J. Griffin’s first-pitch fastball to Ramirez was sent over the right field wall to give the Sox an early lead. It was Ramirez’s fourth homer in his last 11 games.

– Jackie Bradley Jr. saved a run in the second inning, making a shoe-top catch of Andrus’ shallow fly ball. The two-out grab prevented Rougned Odor from coming in from second base and tying the game.

– Bryce Brentz showed his defensive ability for the second straight night, making back-to-back running catches to rob both Mitch Moreland and Robinson Chirinos in the third inning.

– Mookie Betts produced once again, this time coming up with a bases-loaded single, scoring Bradley Jr. He is now 3-for-6 with the bases full on the season.

Rangers attempted to trade for Steven Wright

06.25.16 at 11:24 pm ET
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Steven Wright

Steven Wright

ARLINGTON, Texas — Steven Wright certainly wasn’t considered one of the hotter properties this offseason.

He was his first full major league season, one which ended early due to a concussion. So, by the time the Hot Stove season hit, Wright represented a 31-year-old knuckleballer who had never started more than nine games. He was also out of options.

But that didn’t stop the Rangers from targeting Wright.

“We asked about him this winter and they did not want to move him,” said Rangers general manager Jon Daniels.

While credit goes to Texas for identifying Wright as a potential pitcher of value, Daniels noted that the Red Sox deserve praise for not giving up on the pitcher.

“No. Cheap pitching. Versatile guy,” said Daniels when asked if he was surprised the Red Sox didn’t let Wright go. “We didn’t know he was going to do this or we would have tried harder.”

As it turned out, Wright had his worst outing of the season Saturday night against the Rangers. The Sox starter allowed seven runs (4 earned) over 4 2/3 innings, raising his ERA to 2.18.

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