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Why Red Sox are taking chance on two-time All-Star Carlos Quentin

02.08.17 at 2:34 pm ET
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Carlos Quentin (Kim Klement/USA Today Sports)

Carlos Quentin (Kim Klement/USA Today Sports)

There are two ways to look at the Red Sox signing Carlos Quentin to a minor-league contract. (This was first reported by Fan Rag Sports.)

This is a two-time All-Star who once hit 36 home runs and carries a career .831 in his nine major league seasons.

But then there is the current reality that comes with the 34-year-old.

Quentin last appeared in the majors in 2014, playing in just 50 games with San Diego. Having battled knee injuries and lack of productivity, he hasn’t been seen in professional baseball circles since opting out of his minor-league deal with the Twins last spring training.

The righty-hitting outfielder did play in the Mexican League last season, hitting .211 with a .770 OPS in 21 games.

So, why bother?

For one, the Red Sox’ Triple-A outfield depth isn’t great. They have Bryce Brentz and Rusney Castillo to go along with minor-league free agents Brian Bogusevic and Junior Lake. Quentin, however, will not be in big league camp in spring training, so he certainly doesn’t appear to be leap-frogging the aforementioned group.

Then there is the hope that Quentin’s upside somehow emerges. It is interesting to note that Red Sox scout Eddie Bane reported back that the outfielder has lost 40 pounds, which can only help in terms of evaluating a healthy player.
(For all of Quentin’s career statistics, click here.)

How Red Sox have avoided situations like current lost Tom Brady game jersey debacle

02.08.17 at 10:07 am ET
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The Red Sox have avoided situations like Tom Brady and the Patriots find themselves after losing the quarterback's jersey. (Photo courtesy Boston Red Sox equipment Twitter account)

The Red Sox have avoided situations like Tom Brady and the Patriots find themselves after losing the quarterback’s jersey. (Photo courtesy Boston Red Sox equipment Twitter account)

As elated as Tom McLaughlin was after the Patriots’ Super Bowl win Sunday night, the news he discovered Monday morning made the Red Sox’ home clubhouse manager cringe.

Tom Brady’s game jersey had gone missing.

“It’s horrible,” McLaughlin said by phone from Fort Myers, Fla.

“To me it’s disappointing that it was somebody who was cleared, an employee or someone with a pass of somebody who knows better,” he added. “It’s really disappointing. I’m sure everybody involved feels horrible about it. You try as hard as you can not lose that jersey, but other guys have valuable things in their locker that are just as easily accessible as somebody’s jersey. It’s disappointing.”

McLaughlin, who is headed into his 32nd season with the Red Sox, fully understands the challenges that go with securing all uniforms, equipment and other potential memorabilia after championship-clinching games.

So, with all the chaos that has come with with various celebrations over the years, have the Red Sox fallen victim to a scenario similar to the one involving Brady?

“We’ve been lucky. There hasn’t been. Not that I can remember,” McLaughlin said. “After a clinching game the guy that has a hat or something might be a guy that doesn’t care about it. But nothing that stands out to me that has turned up missing that we couldn’t find, or that we misplaced for a few hours.

“It’s just a vigilance thing. I don’t know if you can ever be 100 percent guaranteed that you’re not going to lose something.”

According to Yahoo! Sports, the Brady jersey was taken during a 15-minute window, sometime between when the quarterback entered the locker room and attended his post-game press conference. (To read the entire story, click here.)

“During that closed period, the only individuals inside were Patriots players, team officials and employees, family of New England executives, NFL employees and security,” Charles Robinson writes in the piece.

McLaughlin points out that the Red Sox have developed a process immediately after clinching games, which starts with proactively taking care of anything and everything in the dugout. The need for such an approach has only increased with the big business that comes with some of the items in question.

Brady’s uniform jersey, for instance, has been valued at about $500,000.

“I think we’ve tried to be a lot more thorough because game-used memorabilia is such a big business now. When a game ends, getting that stuff protected, bats, hats, gloves, helmets,” he said. “All that stuff on the bench as they’re running on the field is wide open for anybody who might slip through security. So you have to clear that stuff and get that stuff put away and locked up. In our case we have an area behind the dugout. Take a lot that stuff off before they get up so it.”

The search for Brady’s jersey continues, with the Houston police and Texas Rangers both getting involved. And until the mystery is solved, McLaughlin will carry the kind of uneasiness only those in his industry can understand.

“It’s just terrible,” he reiterated.

Red Sox continue to load up on former first-round picks as backup plans, signing Mike Olt

02.07.17 at 11:07 am ET
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Mike Olt

Mike Olt

First there was Matt Dominguez and Brian Bogusevic, and now comes Mike Olt.

After inking Dominguez and Bogusevic to minor-league deals to compete at third base and outfield, respectively, the Red Sox have agreed to terms with another former first-rounder, Mike Olt, to serve as depth at both first and third base.

The 28-year-old Olt was the 49th overall pick in the 2010 draft, having spent last season in Double- and Triple-A with the Padres organization. The righty hitter has played in 135 major league games, hitting .168 with a .580 OPS.

Olt last played in the big leagues in 2015 with the White Sox, totaling 24 games at both first and third base.

The former UConn star figures to join Dominguez and Josh Rutledge has right-handed-hitting, third base options if Pablo Sandoval struggles against left-handed pitching.

At one time, Olt had been considered a top prospect, entering the 2012 season as Baseball America’s 22nd overall minor-leaguer. He would ultimately serve as one of the key elements in the Rangers’ trade with the Cubs for Matt Garza.

Want some hope Red Sox still have pitching prospects? Start paying attention to Roniel Raudes

02.03.17 at 12:56 pm ET
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Roniel Raudes. (Photo courtesy Greenville Drive)

Roniel Raudes. (Photo courtesy Greenville Drive)

It’s Jason Groome and then a pretty steep cliff.

At least that’s the perception of what the Red Sox have to work with in terms of legitimate potential top of the rotation, minor-league pitching talent.

The 16th (Michael Kopech) and 25th (Anderson Espinoza) ranked prospects in all of baseball, according to MLB.com, used to be in the conversation, but now are long gone. What’s left for the Red Sox is a heavy reliance on last year’s first-round pick, Groome, making it big.

But there is one name that might merit a second glance: Roniel Raudes.

Few have ever heard of the just-turned-19-year-old. But think about where you might have been the first time Espinoza became a talker. So, if you want to seem ahead of the curve, there are worse ideas that to jump on the Raudes bandwagon.

The leap of faith might not be as easy as it was with Espinoza for the sole reason that Raudes doesn’t throw as hard. The righty, who was the second-youngest player in the South Atlantic League last season (just 3 months older than Espinoza), is built on smarts, a good mix of pitches, and, perhaps most impressive, fearlessness.

“He’s not afraid,” said Red Sox assistant general manager Eddie Romero. “He gives up a home run and it’s like nothing happened. That’s a great trait.

“I know those guys [Raudes and Espinoza] really got along well. I think there was a healthy competition between the two. They picked each other’s brain. Espinoza was the power pitcher and got more of the buzz. Raudes was the more conventional guy, changing speeds and throwing strikes. But I do think they learned a lot of from each other. We never thought he was in the shadows. We just thought we had to young guys with good arms and a lot of upside.”

What makes Raudes good now — coming off a season in Single-A Greenville where he went 11-6 with a 3.65 ERA — is what drew the Red Sox to him after first seeing the Nicaragua native pitch as a 14 year old in a tournament in Chihuahua, Mexico.

“He was a really skinny, right-handed kid on the mound. He was dominant,” remembered Romero, who was joined by scouts Todd Claus, Rafael Mendoza and Manny Nanita in originally tracking Raudes. “He was going after guys. He was extremely competitive. He wasn’t throwing all that hard, maybe 80-82 mph, which for that age wasn’t bad. But he was a really skinny kid who competed really well.

“One of those things where he didn’t show the power stuff but he could really stuff. That competitive really stood out and had a good feel for spinning a breaking ball. And he always, always, even from the first time we saw him, would throw strikes. He would come in and go after the three and four hitter, where a lot of time you can avoid those guys in those tournaments. But he went right after him. Everybody loved the kid.”

The meetings between the Red Sox talent evaluators would always lead to a hope that Raudes — whose uncle, Julio Pavon Raudes, played in Triple-A with the Giants — could join the Red Sox. Thanks to a signing bonus of $250,000 ($1.55 million less than Espinoza), that became a reality.

“He fell into the right price range because some people were concerned about the physicality, or lack of it. We felt comfortable with it,” Romero said. “We knew we were going to have a chance to sign him just because of the level of interest we had shown.”

Raudes hasn’t let the Red Sox down.

The first real sign that life as a pro baseball player wasn’t going to throw Raudes for a loop came when he started and won the title-clinching game in the Gulf Coast League as 17-year-old.

The pitcher’s personality and panache (he implements a bizarre maneuver with his hands and head while getting into the set position, as can be witnessed on the video below) continues to serve his well. WIth Greenville in 2016, Raudes struck out 104 over his 113 1/3 innings, waling just 23.

“I’ve never seen this kid pitch scared,” Romero said. “It’s always a crystal ball your looking into, but he gives himself a shot by mixing pitches, and throwing strikes. It’s not overpowering stuff, but he goes right after guys. We really like him.”

Start paying attention. Raudes might make you (and the Red Sox) look really smart.

David Ortiz will have No. 34 retired by Red Sox in June, assuming he stays retired

01.26.17 at 12:03 pm ET
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David Ortiz

David Ortiz

The Red Sox announced on Thursday plans to retire David Ortiz’s No. 34 on Friday, June 23 before a game against the Angels.

Ortiz, who retired after a landmark 2016 season, is a 10-time All-Star who helped lead the Red Sox to World Series titles in 2004, 2007, and 2013.

The team had already announced its intentions to retire his number before his final regular-season game.

Ortiz will join nine other Red Sox greats on the right field facade at Fenway Park: Bobby Doerr (1), Joe Cronin (4), Johnny Pesky (6), Carl Yastrzemski (8), Ted Williams (9), Jim Rice (14), Wade Boggs (26), Carlton Fisk (27), Pedro Martinez (45). Jackie Robinson’s No. 42 is retired by Major League Baseball.

Will Ortiz stay retired, however? Martinez doesn’t think so. The Red Sox great told Trenni & Tomase last weekend at Foxwoods that he believes Ortiz will return mid-season.

“I still believe David is going to give it another try,” he said.

Read More: David Ortiz, Red Sox retired numbers,

With Drew Pomeranz signing, Red Sox one agreement away from keeping arbitration streak alive

01.25.17 at 4:28 pm ET
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Drew Pomeranz

Drew Pomeranz

The Red Sox have agreed to terms with starting pitcher Drew Pomeranz.

The immediate impact of the agreement is that the Red Sox starting pitcher will be making $4.45 million for the 2017 season. He asked for $5.7 million, while the team filed at $3.6 million.

But what the deal also means is that the Red Sox have drawn closer to keeping their streak of not going to an arbitration hearing alive. All that is left is to lock up relief pitcher Fernando Abad.

The last time the Red Sox went to an arbitration hearing it was 2002 when they won their case with pitcher Rolando Arrojo. Since then, they’ve come close a few times, but never actually made it in the room.

In 2007 Wily Mo Pena the was sitting outside of the room when a settlement was hatched. In ’12, David Ortiz actually ventured to the Vinoy Hotel in St. Petersburg, Fla. for his hearing only to agree upon a deal for he midpoint of what he was asking and what the club was offering four hours prior to the hearing.

Pomeranz has one more year of arbitration-eligibility before having a chance to go on the free agent market following the 2018 season.

Newest Red Sox Steve Selsky comes from one of most athletic families you’ve ever seen

01.25.17 at 3:30 pm ET
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New Red Sox Steve Selsky. (Jeff Curry/USA Today Sports)

New Red Sox Steve Selsky. (Jeff Curry/USA Today Sports)

The Red Sox had a spot on their 40-man roster, so they figured Steve Selsky might be a good way to fill it. That’s why they claimed him off waivers Wednesday.

The 27-year-old has some versatility, playing both first base and the outfield, while more than holding his own in his only go-round at the major league level. Appearing in 24 games with the Reds last season (playing exclusively in the outfield), Selsky hit .314 with an .810 OPS.

The righty hitter has some pop, while showing an ability to add value against left-handed pitching. Versus southpaws in Triple-A last season, Selsky hit .330 with a .990 OPS. Included in his last-season run with the Reds was a five-hit game.

And while many would say Selsky has done pretty well for himself making it the majors after being selected in the 33rd round of the 2011 draft, his success in professional sports shouldn’t come as too much of a surprise.

Selsky’s father, Steve, was drafted into professional baseball and played in the White Sox organization, while his mother, Lou Ann. was a member of the 1980 USA National Volleyball Team. His oldest sister, Stesha, played volleball at the University of Michigan, while his twin sister, Samantha, was a two-time All-American volleyball player at the University of Dayton.

And just for good measure, Selsky’s wife, Brittany, played soccer for the University of Arizona, where he played his collegiate baseball.

Rick Porcello talks life since winning Cy Young Award, reaction to Kate Upton tweets

01.25.17 at 9:27 am ET
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bradfosho2Kate Upton’s tweets didn’t faze Rick Porcello.

That’s the message the Red Sox pitcher passed along when appearing on the Bradfo Sho podcast, talking about how how life has been since the moment he won the 2016 American League Cy Young Award.

Porcello not only describes the behind-the-scenes drama that led to his family jumping on him upon hearing the Cy Young announcement, but also the impact (or lack thereof) from Upton going on a Twitter rampage immediately after finding out her boyfriend, Justin Verlander, hadn’t won. (For more on the Upton tweets, click here.)

“Nothing really,” said Porcello when asked if there was any fallout from the Upton tweets. “I went about my day like I normally would have, regardless of what Kate had to say. Like I said that night, I was enjoying that moment with my family and I don’t think anything was going to get in the way of that. It’s a tough decision. There are three guys who are deserving of wining. But at the same time, I’m not the one who picks the award. It was one of those things where we enjoyed it and didn’t really think too much of it.

“You expect it to be emotional. When you want to win something, there’s always disappointment that’s going to set in. The reactions and that sort of stuff, I’ve always been someone who has focused on my things and my family. That’s sort of where I was at.”

Porcello also discusses other ways his life has changed since winning the Cy Young, including not being able to avoid some awkward plane conversations.

CLICK HERE TO LISTEN TO THE ENTIRE RICK PORCELLO INTERVIEW

Car crashes take lives of Royals pitcher Yordano Ventura, former Red Sox prospect Andy Marte

01.22.17 at 11:32 am ET
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Tragedy struck the baseball world early Sunday morning.

According to multiple reports, a pair of car crashes in the Dominican Republic early Sunday morning took the lives for Royals pitcher Yordano Ventura and former Red Sox prospect Andy Marte. The two were reportedly separate incidents.

Ventura was considered one of the most promising young starting pitchers in the American League, going 11-12 with a 4.45 ERA in 32 starts with the Royals in 2016. The 25-year-old went 14-10 with a 3.52 ERA in 2014, and 13-8 with a 4.08 ERA the following season.

The right carried one of the best fastballs in the league, ranking second in the majors in 2014 for hardest average heater among MLB starters. His performance in 2014 resulted in the Royals signing him to a five-year, $23 million extension.

Marte, who was 33 years old, never played for the Red Sox, but was part of one of the organization’s most memorable trades in recent years.

Prior to the 2006 season, the third baseman was traded to the Red Sox from the Braves in exchange for shortstop Edgar Renteria. At the time Marte was considered the ninth-best prospect in baseball, and immediately became the Red Sox’ top minor-leaguer.

Just more than a month later, however, Marte would be dealt by the Red Sox to the Indians in a trade that brought back Coco Crisp. He would go on to 308 major league games with Atlanta, Cleveland and Arizona, emerging in the big leagues for the last time in 2014 with the Diamondbacks.

Marte played for KT Wiz of the Korean Baseball League in 2016, and was in the midst of participating in the Dominican Winter League this offseason.

Pedro Martinez on Trenni & Tomase: ‘I still believe David [Ortiz] is going to give it another try’ and return to baseball

01.21.17 at 9:58 pm ET
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Pedro Martinez

Pedro Martinez

Still dreaming of David Ortiz rejoining the Red Sox? Perhaps this will make you feel better — Pedro Martinez believes it’s going to happen.

Speaking on the Trenni & Tomase program on Saturday from Foxwoods, where the Red Sox were holding their Winter Weekend, Martinez made it clear that he’s 100 percent skeptical of Ortiz’s decision to retire, and believes it’s only a matter of time before he laces up his cleats again.

“David says he’s retired,” Martinez said. “But I still believe David is going to give it another try. I don’t know why I have that feeling that David might want to do that. I just don’t see David, having the type of season that he had, and having the success that he was still having, sitting at home wasting it. David is too smart. I still believe David is going to feel the little itch of coming back to spring training.”

What gives Martinez such confidence in this bold prediction, which flies in the face of literally everything Ortiz has said since announcing his retirement before last season?

“Because imagine, I’m one of his closest friends,” Martinez said. “And I’m going to have to come to spring training, so he’s going to be left in the Dominican alone. I know that he needs some time off. If he stays at home with his wife, his kids, it’s going to get boring sooner or later, and I believe he’s going to come over.

“I think the toughest thing is going to be when he finds himself with so much time, and not having a regimen to follow,” Martinez added. “That’s going to be really difficult for David, a man that’s used to swinging the bat 500 times a day, mingling with his friends and teammates and all that. It’s just going to be difficult.”

Martinez knows how hard it is to walk away. He retired after pitching in the 2009 World Series for the Phillies and was a first-ballot Hall of Famer five years later.

“[Ortiz] always laughs when I tell him that comfy is not that simple,” Martinez said. “To just sit at home and see every other player, every other friend you have go away, and then you’re sitting at home and not having something to do, it’s really difficult to deal with.”

So what Martinez is saying is there’s a chance, then? He’s not closing the door on Big Papi pulling on No. 34 again?

“No. No, I’m not,” he said. “And I won’t. Until the year goes by, I won’t.”

Read More: David Ortiz, pedro martinez, Red Sox,
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