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Sources: Red Sox agree to deal sending Jake Peavy to Giants for minor leaguers

07.26.14 at 11:22 am ET
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The Red Sox have agreed to a deal sending Jake Peavy to the Giants for prospects. (AP)

The Red Sox have agreed to a deal sending Jake Peavy to the Giants for prospects. (AP)

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — The first shoe drops.

With the trading deadline five days away, the Red Sox made their first trade of a prospective free agent, sending right-hander Jake Peavy to the Giants. Multiple industry sources confirmed that there was an agreement to send Peavy to San Francisco pending approval from the Commissioner’s Office. The Red Sox will pick up just over half of Peavy’s remaining salary, which had roughly $5 million left.

Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com first reported the completion of the deal; Jen Royle of the Boston Herald first reported on Saturday morning that Peavy was close to being dealt.

In 20 starts this year, Peavy is 1-9 with a 4.72 ERA while averaging roughly 6 1/3 innings per outing. He’s averaging 7.3 strikeouts per nine innings — a solid rate, but his lowest since 2003 — and 3.3 walks per nine (again, his worst rate since 2003). Yet both of those numbers, even as they reflect a declining arsenal, offer a viable baseline for a starter. But he was a frequent victim of the quick strike, as his 20 homers allowed were the most in the American League. A victim of poor run support, Peavy had made 15 straight starts (dating to May 1) without earning a win — the second-longest such streak in Red Sox team history, behind only a 16-game drought endured by Jim Lonborg in 1969.

Still, Peavy delivered six or more innings in 17 of his 20 starts, with 12 quality starts on the year. Particularly if given the opportunity to pitch in a ballpark (and division) that is more hostile to home runs, there’s a chance that he could represent a competent mid- to back-end starter who can help stabilize a rotation — something the Giants (who play in one of the most pitcher-friendly parks in the majors) have been seeking while Matt Cain has been dealing with injuries.

The Red Sox, meanwhile, will create an opening in their rotation, giving them an opportunity to evaluate pitchers who appear major league-ready or close to it. Brandon Workman has already been a contributor in Boston’s rotation this year, and both Allen Webster and Anthony Ranaudo have been effective in the Triple-A Pawtucket rotation this year.

The Red Sox, according to multiple sources, are expected to get two upper levels minor league pitchers — one a right-handed reliever, one a left-handed starter — back from the Giants in return.

UPDATE: A source indicated that the Giants have agreed to send Triple-A pitchers Edwin Escobar and Heath Hembree to the Sox, pending Commissioner’s Office approval. For a breakdown of the left-handed Escobar and right-handed Hembree — both of whom ranked in Baseball America’s preseason Giants top 10 — click here.

Read More: edwin escobar, heath hembree, jake peavy,

Cliff Lee’s precedent for an improbable shoot-the-moon scenario for Jon Lester, Red Sox

07.26.14 at 10:16 am ET
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Phillies starter Cliff Lee represents an intriguing scenario for Jon Lester. (AP)

Phillies starter Cliff Lee represents an intriguing scenario for Jon Lester. (AP)

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — Jon Lester saw no reason to dismiss the idea. Get traded by the Red Sox in July, then re-sign with the club four months down the line?

“Why not?” he said in the Red Sox clubhouse after a 6-4 defeat to the Rays. “This is what I know. This is what I love.”

The idea of a player getting dealt only to turn around and re-sign as a free agent is unusual — but not unprecedented. In 1993, Rickey Henderson was sent by the A’s to the Blue Jays for Steve Karsay; Henderson helped the Jays to the second of back-to-back World Series wins, then turned around and re-signed with Oakland that offseason. In 1995, the Twins traded closer Rick Aguilera to the Red Sox for Frankie Rodriguez in July; that winter, Aguilera re-signed with Minnesota.

Yet another example of a more recent ilk may be more in line with a best-case scenario for the Red Sox and Lester. After the 2009 season, the Phillies sent left-hander Cliff Lee to the Mariners as part of a three-team deal that landed Roy Halladay in Philadelphia. One year later, teams were coming at Lee with six- and even seven-year offers. Yet even with the Yankees seemingly willing to open up the vault for Lee, the left-hander decided to return to the Phillies on a five-year, $120 million deal. Read the rest of this entry »

Read More: Cliff Lee, Jon Lester, rick aguilera, Rickey Henderson

Jon Lester says he’d be open to return to Red Sox if traded

07.25.14 at 11:01 pm ET
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ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — Red Sox left-hander Jon Lester is well aware of the significance of July 31, the trade deadline that looms over his team and could spell the end of his tenure in Boston. Yet the left-hander, after an impressive six-inning, two-run effort against the Rays that resulted in a no-decision in an eventual 6-4 loss to Tampa Bay, said he would harbor no ill-will towards the Sox if he was traded, and added that he’d be open to talking with the Red Sox about a possible return to Boston in the offseason.

“We all know what’s coming next week. We can only do one thing, that’s take one game at a time, show up tomorrow and try to win tomorrow,” said Lester.

As for the possibility that he might be traded, Lester seemed unfazed.

“Been there. I’ve been traded, been given back. I don’t think anything, especially in Boston, can surprise you,” Lester said, alluding to the deal that would have sent him to the Rangers (along with Manny Ramirez) in exchange for Alex Rodriguez — a swap that was nixed by the Players’ Association. “We all understand where we’re at. We understand it’s a business. And [GM Ben Cherington] and ownership have to do what’s right for this organization and if that means, whoever it may be, is traded for prospects or other guys or whatever, that’s just part of the business. We all understand it. I’ve been through it a couple times at a younger age. If that’s where they want to go with it, that’s fine. No hard feelings. Hopefully come November I’ll be right here and won’t have to worry about it.”

Asked whether that meant he was open to re-signing with the Sox even if traded, Lester didn’t hesitate.

“Yeah, why not? I mean, this is what I know. This is what I love,” said Lester. “Like I’ve said plenty of times, this is where I want to be. And if they trade me I completely understand. No hard feelings. I know what they have to do for their organization and if that involves me, so be it. If it doesn’t I’ll keep running out there every five days and pitching. And hopefully in November we get something done. Or October, whenever it is.”

Regardless of whether he is traded, Lester said that his approach to his profession will remain unchanged.

“I can’t worry about trade deadline or contracts or anything like that,” said Lester. “Prepare for that the best I can and if I’m pitching in this uniform, great, I’ll go out there and compete and do the best I can.”

Closing Time: In potential Boston swan song, Jon Lester pitches well but Red Sox lose to Rays, David Price

07.25.14 at 10:18 pm ET
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Jon Lester took a no-decision in his pitching matchup with David Price. (AP)

Jon Lester took a no-decision in his pitching matchup with David Price. (AP)

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — Was this the end for Jon Lester?

The longtime ace of the Red Sox held his own in a toe-to-toe of the two most intriguing candidates to be dealt this month, but while Lester left the game with a 3-2 lead in the hands of his teams, it did not last. The Rays erupted for four runs in the seventh against the Red Sox bullpen, claiming a 6-4 victory that left the Sox nine games below .500 and amidst a four-game losing streak.

The siren of “sell, sell, sell” is blaring ever louder for the Sox, and it becomes ever more intriguing to wonder whether a team that appears to have virtually no shot at contention might move numerous assets at the trade deadline — including Lester.

WHAT WENT WRONG FOR THE RED SOX

Junichi Tazawa had the worst outing of his relief career. The right-hander, entrusted with a 3-2 lead with a runner on first base and one out in the bottom of the seventh inning, endured the following four-batter sequence: walk, RBI single, walk, three-run double. He did recover to retire the final two batters of the seventh, which qualified as an “other than that, Mrs. Lincoln…” sort of postscript. The outing represented the first time that Tazawa had walked multiple batters in a relief outing, and the first time since September 2009 that Tazawa had been charged with as many as three runs in a game (and the first time he’d given up such a total in fewer than three innings of work).

– The Red Sox endured costly sloppiness afield. There were three misplays.

The first two were not costly. Jonny Gomes botched a catchable ball and turned it into a double. Xander Bogaerts, meanwhile, ranged to his left to attempt a bare-handed play of a ball hit right at Brock Holt. Bogaerts couldn’t get the handle on it, thus permitting Ben Zobrist to get an infield single on a routine grounder — a play that suggested that Bogaerts is still trying to figure out his clock at third base.

But in the bottom of the seventh, Jonny Gomes botched a single in shallow center, permitting Cole Figueroa to score from second without a throw. Had Gomes fielded the ball cleanrly, there’s a good chance Figueroa would have either encountered a close play at the plate or been held.

Mike Napoli was 0-for-4 with a pair of strikeouts against Price.

WHAT WENT RIGHT FOR THE RED SOX Read the rest of this entry »

Red Sox pregame notes: David Ortiz ‘fit and ready’; no trade high alert; Stephen Drew accepts platoon

07.25.14 at 8:07 pm ET
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David Ortiz did not want to miss a chance to face Rays lefty David Price. (AP)

David Ortiz did not want to miss a chance to face Rays lefty David Price. (AP)

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — Miss a rematch with David Price? David Ortiz, standing in the walkway between the Red Sox clubhouse and the dugout, simply shook his head slowly. Wasn’t going to happen.

Though the Red Sox designated hitter had to leave Thursday’s game in the middle of his at-bat due to a spasm roughly in the middle of his back, Ortiz — after seeking pregame treatment and doing some early swinging in the cage — declared himself, in the words of manager John Farrell, “fit and ready to go tonight. … He called me once we got to the hotel [on Thursday night] and said make sure you don’€™t count me out for tomorrow quite yet, knowing he’€™d come here tomorrow and get some work done. And here we are.”

With Ortiz ready to occupy his customary third spot in the lineup, that meant he would again be poised to face off with Rays starter David Price, the left-hander who had taken offense to Ortiz’s deliberate tour of the bases following an ALDS homer and who responded in kind by drumming Ortiz when the two teams faced off at Fenway Park on May 30. Despite that history, however, as of two hours before first pitch, the Red Sox hadn’t heard from Major League Baseball regarding any high alert status (or warnings) for the contest.

“We haven’€™t heard anything and I don’€™t anticipate anything,” Farrell said.

 OTHER RED SOX NOTES Read the rest of this entry »

David Ortiz back in Red Sox lineup to face David Price

07.25.14 at 4:14 pm ET
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David Ortiz is back in the Red Sox‘ lineup, allowing he and David Price to renew their rocky relationship Friday night in the first game of a three-game set against the Rays in St. Petersburg.

Ortiz had tweaked his back on a checked swing Thursday in an 8-0 loss to the Blue Jays and left the game mid-at-bat.

Price and Ortiz have made headlines for their on-field and off-field feuds this season, with Price hitting Ortiz back in May and the two exchanging words about one another through the media since.

Boston’€™s lineup is as follows:

1. Brock Holt, SS
2. Dustin Pedroia, 2B
3. David Ortiz, DH
4. Mike Napoli, 1B
5. Johnny Gomes, LF
6. Shane Victorino, RF
7. Xander Bogaerts, 3B
8. Jackie Bradley Jr., CF
9. David Ross, C
SP ‘€” Lester

For more Red Sox news, visit weei.com/redsox.

Will teams in David Price sweepstakes instead turn to Jon Lester?

07.25.14 at 2:58 pm ET
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Jon Lester could suddenly be viewed by teams as the ultimate prize of this year's trade deadline. (AP)

Jon Lester could suddenly be viewed by teams as the ultimate prize of this year’s trade deadline. (AP)

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — The Red Sox and Rays may both assume residence at the bottom of the American League East, but the contrast in the dwellings of the team teams is currently stark.

With three straight losses on their way out of Toronto, the Red Sox‘ last-place standing in the division is becoming more and more rigidly defined by the day. The flicker of optimism about potential contention inspired by the team’s eight wins in nine games has yielded to the reality that it’s so very difficult for a team that has shown only rare bursts of strong play to reassert itself in the playoff hunt. The Sox are 9 1/2 games back in the division, and it feels like they’re 95 games back, as ever winning two out of every three remaining games would net the team just 87 wins — a longshot for the second wild card, let alone the division.

The Rays, meanwhile, are surging. They are 25-11, and so even though they are just 2 1/2 games ahead of the Red Sox, they are hitting their stride in a fashion that validates the widespread view of Tampa Bay as the class of the division. Their seven-game deficit in the division somehow seems like a small fraction of what the Red Sox face.

And so it is that the Friday night pitching matchup of ace left-handers David Price and Jon Lester may represent a pendulum swing with repercussions to be realized throughout baseball. As the Rays surge, they seem increasingly inclined to hold onto Price unless they can command a ransom for an elite pitcher who is under team control for the duration of this season and then all of 2015. Read the rest of this entry »

Read More: David Price, Jon Lester,
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