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Mookie Betts comes up just short for American League MVP, loses to Mike Trout

11.17.16 at 8:57 pm ET
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Mookie Betts

Mookie Betts

Mookie Betts will have to wait his turn.

The Red Sox outfielder finished second in the American League MVP race, losing out to Mike Trout. The Angels’ 25-year-old outfielder, who now has two MVPs, out-distanced Betts, 356-311, with Trout receiving 10 more first-place votes (19-9).

Trout joins Barry Bonds as the only two players to finish first or second for five straight seasons, with the Los Angeles star having now won the award two times.

Betts’ finish marked the 13th time a Red Sox player has finished in second-place, with Jacoby Ellsbury (2011) and David Ortiz (2005) the last two players to accomplish the feat.

The only other two players to pick up first-place votes were Texas’ Adrian Beltre and David Ortiz of the Red Sox. Ortiz finished in sixth-place, with Jose Altuve, Josh Donaldson and Manny Machado placing just behind Trout and Betts. All six players were named on every one of the ballots.

Chicago’s Kris Bryant claimed the MVP for the National League, earning all but one of the first-place votes. (Washington’s Daniel Murphy finished second, narrowly edging the Dodgers’ Corey Seager.)

Betts received 17 second-place and four third-place votes.
Click here for all the voting.

Hot Stove Show: John Farrell talks contract, managing DH spot, 8th inning guy

11.17.16 at 10:57 am ET
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John Farrell. (Kim Klement/USA Today Sports)

John Farrell. (Kim Klement/USA Today Sports)

Making his first radio appearance since the Red Sox were eliminated from the postseason via a three-game sweep at the hands of the Indians in the American League Division Series, John Farrell touched on a variety of topics when appearing on the Hot Stove Show Wednesday night.

In an interview with Mike Mutnansky, John McDonald and Rob Bradford, the Red Sox manager explained his thoughts on his contract status, the plan to replace David Ortiz, and a variety of other topics.

ON HOW HE WAS TOLD HE WOULD BE COMING BACK FOR THE 2017 SEASON (THE LAST GUARANTEED YEAR OF HIS DEAL)

My contract is what it is. The terms, it’s not like it needed to be negotiated. It’s in place, and continues to be in place. My focus has always been our team and what goes on on the field. Once you sign a contract you’re out trying to do the best job you can.

DID HE EXPECT THE CONVERSATION WOULD INCLUDE PICKING UP 2018 OPTION?

It wasn’t an option, and it was if I was coming back. And when you win the AL East, you log 93 wins, we had a number of challenges as a team throughout the course of the year, so, again, I thought there probably would be a point and time when the season was over … You’re always going to have dialogue with your general manager and Dave and I have had daily conversations over the course of the year and we still do now. Our conversations are frequent. I thought there would be a time once the final our was recorded, whenever that was going to be, that we would have that type of discussion. The fact that it happened in the manner it was, knowing he was probably going to be hit once I walked out of the room, that’s the way it happened.

HOW HE PLANS ON MANAGING THE DESIGNATED HITTER SPOT

If you don’t have a DH of David Ortiz caliber you would like to be able to rotate guys through to get them off their feet while you keep their bat in the lineup just to keep guys fresh. I think a lot of people might point to Hanley as the guy who would assume or take over David’s role. But Hanley has done a very good job at first base. He’s still got a lot of years ahead of him just from a defensive standpoint. We have to pick our spots to get Hanley off his feet, but we’re not talking about somebody who is hampered in any way. He’s still capable of playing 140-plus games at first base. So we would like to keep that flexibility open and rotate guys through.

The one thing we don’t know is how the market is going to unfold … Personally, Pablo Sandoval, the work that he’s put in, I think he has a chance to impact our club in a strong way next year, and we need him to. This is a guy who has three years remaining with us and we need to make Pablo a productive player again. So the flexibility with the DH role, that would be an advantage for us.

WHAT HE IS LOOKING FOR IN AN 8TH-INNING RELIEVER

Ideally you have a guy who has the capability of closing games out. That doesn’t mean he’s been a front-line closer all ready. … When you have an eighth-inning guy that means he has put-away stuff, and he likely has a strikeout pitch … Where this pitcher comes from, it remains to be seen.

ON JOE KELLY AS A LATE-INNING RELIEVER

I think the role fits his personality.

ON WHO MIGHT PARTICIPATE IN THE WORLD BASEBALL CLASSIC

I think we’re going to have a pretty good number of guys. (Went on to mention Eduardo Rodriguez, Sandy Leon, Xander Bogaerts, Hanley Ramirez, Criag Kimbrel, Mookie Betts, Dustin Pedroia, David Price, and Rick Porcello as possibilities.)

ON RICK PORCELLO

He’s the most prepared pitcher I’ve ever been around.

Click below to listen to the entire interview with John Farrell

Cy Young winner Rick Porcello worried about celebratory wine, not Kate Upton’s tweets

11.16.16 at 11:32 pm ET
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Moments after Rick Porcello claimed the American League Cy Young Award, an explosion took place on Twitter.

The chaos came courtesy Justin Verlander’s fiance, Kate Upton, who fired off a series of tweets critical of how the voting snubbed the Detroit ace, who finished second. (For all of Upton’s tweets, click here.)

When asked about the salvos from Upton during his conference call with the media Wednesday night, Porcello took the high road.

“I honestly don’t care,” said the Red Sox pitcher. “I’m not the one that made that decision as far as who wins the Cy Young. All I know is I’ve got a lot of people around me right now that I love very much and have been instrumental in my success in getting to this point, and on top of that we’ve got some really good bottles of wine that still need to be drank. There’s not really a concern in my mind.”

For more on Porcello claiming the AL Cy Young, click here.

Kate Upton goes crazy on Twitter after Rick Porcello, not fiance’ Justin Verlander, wins AL Cy Young Award

11.16.16 at 7:19 pm ET
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Rick Porcello won the American League Cy Young Award by five points over Justin Verlander despite Verlander getting more first-place votes, 14-8.

Verlander’s fiancée Kate Upton immediately took to Twitter and went insane. Here are some of her tweets. Visit her Twitter page for more.

Read the rest of this entry »

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Rick Porcello wins American League Cy Young Award

11.16.16 at 7:01 pm ET
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Rick Porcello won the American League Cy Young Award. (Neville E. Guard/USA Today Sports)

Rick Porcello won the American League Cy Young Award. (Neville E. Guard/USA Today Sports)

For the first time since Pedro Martinez in 2000, the Red Sox have a Cy Young Award winner.

Announced Wednesday night, Rick Porcello won the 2016 AL Cy Young Award. Porcello barely beat out Justin Verlander as Porcello had 137 points and Verlander had 132.

The five-point differential is the second closest of any election since ballots permitted voting for more than one pitcher in 1970. Verlander had more first place votes, 14-8.

Porcello went 22-4 with a 3.15 ERA, while striking out 189. The right-hander was exceptional at home as he went 13-1 with a 2.97 ERA at Fenway Park.

It is the seventh time a Red Sox pitcher has won the award. It’s worth mentioning the award is voted on before the postseason.

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

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Source: Carlos Beltran’s decision may be coming down to Red Sox, 3 other teams

11.15.16 at 8:18 pm ET
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Carlos Beltran.  (Jermone Miron/USA Today Sports)

Carlos Beltran. (Jermone Miron/USA Today Sports)

It appears the Red Sox have some familiar competition for Carlos Beltran’s services.

According to a source familiar with the negotations, four teams have currently shown the most interest in the 39-year-old outfielder/designated hitter — the Red Sox, Blue Jays, Yankees and Astros. The Rangers, once thought to be in the mix for Beltran, are not involved at this point.

The Red Sox’ interest in Beltran has been prevalent since the outset of free agency, with Dave Dombrowski looking to replace David Ortiz with a shorter-term deal than the kind of four- our five-year contract Edwin Encarnacion figures to receive.

The switch-hitting Beltran is coming off another standout offensive season, totaling an .850 OPS and 29 homers in 151 games between stints with the Yankees and Texas.

Houston has been perceived as perhaps the most aggressive suitor, although both the Blue Jays have already shown the willingness to get out in front of the free agent market with the recent signing of designated hitter Kendrys Morales to a three-year deal.

And with the Yankees seemingly willing to deal Brian McCann, who would currently figure to slot into New York’s lineup as a designated hitter, Beltran could offer a logical replacement.

It is uncertain when any team might strike a deal for Beltran, with some teams, like the Red Sox, waiting to see what the luxury tax threshold will be under the new Collective Bargaining Agreement.

Terry Francona wins American League Manager of the Year; John Farrell gets 2 first-place votes

11.15.16 at 7:25 pm ET
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Terry Francona

Terry Francona

It was a runaway for Terry Francona.

The Indians manager cruised to his second American League Manager of the Year award in the last four seasons, receiving 22 of 30 first-place votes. Francona last won the award in 2013.

Francona guided his team to 94 wins, claiming the American League Central Division by eight games despite the absence of top-of-the-rotation starting pitchers Carlos Carrasco and Danny Salazar down the stretch. Perhaps the Indians’ best all-around player, outfielder Michael Brantley, also played in just 11 games due to shoulder surgery.

Red Sox manager John Farrell earned two first-place votes, coming from Hal Bodley of USA Today and FanGraphs’ Eno Sarris. He also claimed three second-place votes, with nine voters putting him in third-place, putting Farrell fourth overall.

Finishing second behind Francona was Texas manager Jeff Banister (4 first-place votes), with Baltimore’s Buck Showalter placing third, also claiming two first-place votes.

Also receiving votes were the Yankees’ Joe Girardi, claiming one second-place and two third-place designations, and Scott Servais of the Mariners, who got a third-place vote from Tim Booth of the Associated Press.

In his first season as manager of the Dodgers, Dave Roberts claimed the National League Manager of the Year, earning 16 first-place votes. The Cubs’ Joe Maddon garnered eight first-place votes to finish second, while Dusty Baker of the Nationals placed third.

All voting was done prior to the postseason.

To view all the voting, click here.

Former Red Sox closer Joel Hanrahan calls it quits

11.15.16 at 1:33 pm ET
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For Red Sox closer Joel Hanrahan has retired. (Kim Klement/USA Today Sports)

For Red Sox closer Joel Hanrahan has retired. (Kim Klement/USA Today Sports)

The Opening Day closer for the last Red Sox world championship team has retired.

Joel Hanrahan announced on MLB on TuneIn that was retiring after a seven-year major league career.

The 35-year-old reliever’s stint in Boston was a short one, having pitched in just nine games with the Red Sox before succumbing to Tommy John surgery just a month into the 2013 season.

Hanrahan was slated to become the answer to the Red Sox’ late-inning issues after a 2012 season that saw Mark Melancon and Alfredo Aceves fail to thrive in the closing role. The Red Sox would deal Melancon, Stolmy Pimentel, Ivan DeJesus and Jerry Sands to the Pirates for Hanrahan and Brock Holt prior to the ’13 season.

At the time of the deal, Hanrahan was one of the game’s best closers, having saved a combined 76 games over 2011 and ’12 while making the National League All-Star team in each season.

Throwing a fastball that lived near 100 mph, the righty left an impression on Red Sox fans, blowing through the heart of an impressive Boston lineup for two straight games in Pittsburgh, July 24-25, 2011.

Hanrahan’s short career with the Red Sox started well enough, with the closer not allowing a run in any of his initial three outings. The closer’s set-up men to start the 2013 season were Koji Uehara, Andrew Miller, Andrew Bailey and Junichi Tazawa.

But he would go on to blow his final three save opportunities, ultimately pitching what would be his final major league game, May 6, 2013.

Hanrahan did sign deals with the Tigers for 2014 and ’15, but never took the mound again, even at the minor-league level.

Melancon has, of course, gone on to become one of the game’s best closers, saving 147 of his 162 chances for Pittsburgh and Washington, totaling a 1.80 ERA. The 31-year-old is due to make an enormous pay day this offseason, joining Aroldis Chapman and Kenley Jansen as the three top relievers in the open market.

Source: Red Sox among most aggressive in pursuit of Greg Holland

11.14.16 at 2:21 pm ET
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Greg Holland. (John Rieger/USA Today Sports)

Greg Holland. (John Rieger/USA Today Sports)

The Red Sox recognize Greg Holland might be a really good fit. But they also have come to understand there are other teams that feel the same way.

According to a major league source, the Red Sox are among the most aggressive suitors for the free agent relievers. There are, however, “several teams” that are showing a similar level of interest.

The Red Sox have been intrigued by the former Kansas City closer even before last Monday’s showcase, in which Holland showed good health and a fastball that sat in the low 90’s.

The plan for the 30-year-old, who underwent Tommy John surgery at the end of the 2015 season, is to not resume throwing for another five weeks.

Red Sox president of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski stated at the recent GM meetings that the team’s offseason priorities were to secure an eighth-inning reliever and replacement for David Ortiz, with the bullpen arm presumably coming first due to less of a financial commitment.

Because of the price tags affixed to free agent closers Mark Melancon, Aroldis Chapman and Kenley Jansen, Holland may represent the most intriguing eighth-inning option on the open market. Some of the other possibilities include Sergio Romo, Santiago Casilla, Brad Ziegler, Joaquin Benoit and Joe Blanton.

Among the teams reportedly showing interest in Holland include the Mets, Yankees, Cubs, Padres, Nationals and Mariners, although it is unclear which clubs have the same level of intent as the Red Sox.

Mookie Betts named best defensive player in baseball

11.11.16 at 7:31 pm ET
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Mookie Betts. (Kim Klement/USA Today Sports)

Mookie Betts. (Kim Klement/USA Today Sports)

Of all the honors bestowed on Mookie Betts thus far, this might be the most impressive.

The second baseman-turned-outfielder was named by Wilson as the best defensive player in Major League Baseball for the 2016 season. The following is the press release announcing the honor:

Mookie Betts and the San Francisco Giants have been named the top recipients of the fifth annual Wilson Defensive Player of the Year and Wilson Defensive Team of the Year awards, which are given annually to the top defensive players and Club in Major League Baseball. The winners were announced tonight as part of a one-hour special on MLB Network hosted by Greg Amsinger and Eric Byrnes.

In addition to Betts, who was named the top defensive player in baseball, the following Major Leaguers were honored as the top defensive players at their respective positions: Zack Greinke (pitcher, Arizona Diamondbacks), Buster Posey (catcher, San Francisco Giants), Anthony Rizzo (first baseman, Chicago Cubs), Dustin Pedroia (second baseman, Boston Red Sox), Nolan Arenado (third baseman, Colorado Rockies), Brandon Crawford (shortstop, San Francisco Giants), Brett Gardner (left fielder, New York Yankees), Kevin Kiermaier (center fielder, Tampa Bay Rays) and Betts (right fielder, Boston Red Sox).

Betts, a first-time All-Star in 2016 and a first-time recipient of the Wilson Defensive Player of the Year award, led MLB with 32 defensive runs saved. He is the youngest player ever (24) to win a Defensive Player of the Year Award.

The Giants, who reached the Postseason as a National League (NL) Wild Card team this year, set an NL record in 2016 for the longest errorless streak in league history, spanning more than 17 games. The Giants (Posey and Crawford) were one of two Clubs with multiple 2016 award winners (Red Sox).

Of the nine players honored, five (Greinke, Rizzo, Kiermaier, Gardner and Betts) are first-time winners, with five hailing from the NL and four from the American League. Pedroia, the overall Defensive Player of the Year in 2013, earned his third award this year while Posey, Crawford and Arenado won for the second time in their careers.

Wilson, the Official Glove of Major League Baseball, has handed out the Defensive Player of the Year awards at the conclusion of each season since 2012. The winners are determined using a formula that combines traditional defensive stats with advanced metrics, as well as the data logged by the baseball experts working for the scouting service Inside Edge.

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