|John Farrell: ‘No new news’ on Jon Lester as deadline nears||07.30.14 at 11:07 pm ET|
“Jon-ny Les-ter! Jon-ny Les-ter!”
It was a spontaneous crowd tribute to a pitcher who has spent his career with the Red Sox since the team drafted him in 2002, who has spent every day of his nine-season big-league career calling Fenway Park home. It was a moment of recognition that, by the time the dust settles on the Major League Baseball trade deadline at 4 p.m. on Thursday, there’s a very real chance that Jon Lester will no longer be a member of the Red Sox.
“We were well aware of it, heard it. Wouldn’t expect anything less,” said Sox manager John Farrell after the game. “This is a fan base that is very much in tune with what we’re doing, good and bad, and I think it’s a clear sign of support for Jon.”
Lester, said Farrell, was in the dugout for the full nine innings of the Sox’ listless loss to the Blue Jays. And as of the end of the game, the manager added, there was nothing to report regarding the possibility of a trade.
“No new news or any progression of any sort to announce,” said Farrell. Read the rest of this entry »
|As talks advance, Red Sox scratch Jon Lester; Brandon Workman to start Wednesday||07.29.14 at 10:41 pm ET|
With trade winds blowing around Jon Lester, the Red Sox have scratched the left-hander from his scheduled start on Wednesday against the Blue Jays. The team will recall Brandon Workman from Triple-A Pawtucket.
“In light of all the uncertainty surrounding Jon Lester, it’s probably in everyone’s best interests that he does not make that start, so Brandon will be recalled,” Red Sox manager John Farrell said after Tuesday’s 4-2 loss to the Blue Jays. “There will be a corresponding move roster-wise at some point tomorrow.”
That corresponding move, of course, could be a trade that sends Lester elsewhere. The 30-year-old — amidst a season in which he’s 10-7 with a 2.52 ERA — represents one of the foremost chips on the market.
One general manager who has checked in with the Red Sox said that it was looking like a deal would be done either on Tuesday night or Wednesday morning. Industry sources suggest that some teams that had been involved in talks for the pitcher are exiting the running for his services, including the two AL East teams — the Orioles and Blue Jays — that had been kicking the tires on the pitcher.
UPDATE (11:19 p.m.): According to an industry source, multiple teams remain involved in negotiations about a potential Lester trade, suggesting that a deal is not yet in place.
|Red Sox cautiously optimistic Shane Victorino ready for activation on Saturday||07.19.14 at 8:17 am ET|
According to a team source, the Red Sox are cautiously optimistic that right fielder Shane Victorino will be ready for activation on Saturday against the Royals. Manager John Farrell told reporters on Friday night that Victorino would be examined at Fenway Park on Saturday to verify that he’s ready to return from the D.L.
Victorino went 1-for-4 with a double while playing seven innings in his second of back-to-back games with Triple-A Pawtucket on Friday, and he was 3-for-8 over the two games (with all three hits coming against right-handed pitchers). The 33-year-old has played in just 21 games this year, spending the majority of the year on the sidelines in two separated disabled list stints for hamstring strains, the second of which was complicated by back discomfort. Victorino is hitting .242 with a .276 OBP and .352 slugging mark, and given the fitful nature of his season, the Sox have rarely benefited from the dynamic player who impacted the game in numerous ways last year.
“We’ve missed his energy. We’ve missed his talents, his in-game decision, his instincts on the basepaths — we’ve missed a very good player for the majority of the year,” said Farrell, who added that it wouldn’t be a surprise if Victorino requires some time of readjustment at the major league level before he achieves familiar levels of production given the amount of time that he’s missed.
If Victorino is activated, the Red Sox, according to an industry source, are expected to create a roster spot by optioning Mookie Betts back to Triple-A. Though hitting just .235 with a .278 OBP and .382 slugging mark, Betts has shown flashes of a far-reaching skill set. Yet he’s played in just 10 games in the three weeks since his promotion from Triple-A, and concerns about both the need for his playing time and a desire for Betts to gain further comfort in the outfield (where his routes are, unsurprisingly, a work in progress given that he has spent less than two months in the outfield as a pro) point to the merits of sending Betts back down.
|Source: Red Sox agree to terms with OF Grady Sizemore||01.22.14 at 6:32 pm ET|
According to multiple industry sources, the Red Sox have agreed to terms on a major league deal with outfielder Grady Sizemore. Sizemore will earn a $750,000 base salary with incentives that could increase the value of the deal to $6 million.
The former Indians three-time All-Star — who hit 33 homers and stole 38 bases in 2008 — last played in the majors in 2011, but has missed the past two years while recovering from knee microfracture surgery. When healthy, Sizemore was one of the pre-eminent five-tool players in the game, hitting .281/.372/.496 while averaging 27 homers and 29 steals a season from 2005-08. However, injuries have limited him to just 210 games in the last five years. When he last played in 2011 with the Indians, he hit .224/.285/.422 with 10 homers and no steals in 71 games. He also has a history with Sox manager John Farrell, who was an Indians assistant GM during Sizemore’s first five seasons (2002-06) in the Cleveland organization.
Still, if healthy, Sizemore makes considerable sense for a Sox team that was lacking center field depth behind Jackie Bradley Jr. and Shane Victorino. Utility men Justin Henry and Mike McCoy were slated to split center field duties in Pawtucket, and while the Sox view Bradley as being a player with a high ceiling and a long-term everyday option, he still has to prove that he is ready for such a role. Accordingly, per another industry source, Bradley will compete with Sizemore for the everyday center field job in spring training.
|Red Sox agree to two-year, $32 million deal with Mike Napoli||12.06.13 at 9:10 pm ET|
According to multiple industry sources, the Red Sox have agreed to re-sign first baseman Mike Napoli, bringing the 32-year-old back on a two-year, $32 million deal. It is believed that the Red Sox did not have the best offer to the free agent — the Rangers were thought to have a larger contract on the table — but that the first baseman decided that he wanted wanted to return to the team and city where he thrived in 2013.
Napoli originally agreed to a three-year, $39 million deal with the Red Sox last December. However, the pre-signing physical revealed a degenerative hip condition (avascular necrosis) that resulted in the contract being renegotiated as a one-year, $5 million deal that ended up bumping up to $13 million when Napoli maxed out his $8 million in playing time incentives by remaining off the DL all year. An end-of-year physical showed that his hips hadn’t deteriorated over the course of the year, putting him in position for a multi-year deal this offseason.
And on the field, Napoli did a number of things in 2013 to put himself in position to seek a substantial contract: He remained healthy, played the second most games of his career (139) and he went from being a bat-first catcher whose defensive skills were in question to a Gold Glove-caliber first baseman. Offensively, he went from a down year in 2012 (.227 with a .343 OBP and .469 slugging mark and 113 OPS+) to one very much in line with his career line in 2013 (.259/.360/.482 with a 127 OPS+).
There are still concerns in some places about the long-term risks associated with his hip condition. But given that the medical issue remained stable in 2013, it went from a dramatic uncertainty to a somewhat more normal/typical injury concern that accompanies most free agents. All of that explains why the free agent felt that it was reasonable to seek a deal that was at least comparable to the one he initially secured from the Red Sox last winter.
Yet while Napoli is believed to have had at least one three-year offer in hand, he ultimately elected to return to a city and team where he (and his imposing beard) seemed very much at home throughout 2013. And while the willingness to take a shorter term was noteworthy, this actually represents (presuming that it becomes finalized) the first multi-year contract of Napoli’s career.
Napoli celebrated with a selfie:
— Mike Napoli (@MikeNapoli25) December 7, 2013
|Sources: Red Sox replacing Jose Iglesias with Brock Holt for time being||07.31.13 at 3:03 am ET|
According to a team source, the Red Sox will be promoting infielder Brock Holt to take the place of newly traded Jose Iglesias on the team’s 25-man roster Wednesday.
The move might be a temporary one depending on the Red Sox’ activity in the infield market prior to Wednesday’s non-waiver trade deadline. It is determined the team’s long-term solution will come from inside the organization, both Will Middlebrooks and Xander Bogaerts would be believed to be candidates for a promotion.
In a conference call with the media following his team’s three-team, seven-player trade — bringing Jake Peavy to Boston — Red Sox general manager Ben Cherington gave the impression no outside third base help would be arriving prior to the 4 p.m. deadline.
“Nothing planned. Nothing imminent,” Cherington said. “I think was we said before, we really feel like there are enough infielders here in the organization between Boston and Pawtucket that we can get good production from the left side of our infield. We’ll never rule anything out, but there’s certainly nothing imminent and I wouldn’t expect anything to happen by [Wednesday].”
Holt is hitting .264 with a .621 OPS in 69 games for Triple-A Pawtucket. The 25-year-old infielder played in 10 games for the Red Sox, hitting .290 with a .624 OPS in 38 plate appearances.
In the PawSox’ game Tuesday night, Middlebrooks notched a hit while continuing to show improved plate discipline. For the seventh time in the last nine games, the third baseman drew a walk.
Bogaerts went 0-for-2 in Pawtucket’s 5-4 win over Norfolk but scored a pair of runs. The 20-year-old is hitting .273 with a .909 OPS.
|Red Sox complete three-way deal with White Sox, Tigers to acquire Jake Peavy||07.30.13 at 10:42 pm ET|
According to multiple major league sources, the Red Sox have consummated a three-way deal with the White Sox and Tigers to bring right-hander Jake Peavy to Boston. While the final shape of the deal is not yet clear, shortstop Jose Iglesias is involved in it. Outfielder Jackie Bradley Jr. is not.
The Red Sox will also include other lower level minor leaguers in the deal, with one believed to be second baseman Cleuluis Rondon, currently with Short-Season Single-A Lowell. (WEEI.com reported at one point that GCL second baseman Wendell Rijo was believed to be in the deal; that proved incorrect, as the Sox are not going to deal the promising 17-year-old.)
The Sox will also acquire right-handed reliever Brayan Villarreal from the Tigers, currently on the disabled list but someone who is potentially capable of filling a void in the bullpen.
UPDATE: The deal is official. The Red Sox sent Iglesias to the Tigers for outfielder Avisail Garcia and right-hander Villareal, then sent Garcia and minor leagues Rondon, J.B. Wendelken and Francellis Montas to the White Sox for Peavy.
Peavy is 8-4 with a 4.28 ERA, 76 strikeouts and just 17 walks in 80 innings this year. He missed time earlier this year, but the issue was a broken rib rather than anything related to his shoulder or elbow. He is viewed as a potential difference-maker going forward.
“He’s had a ton of success in his career. I think if there’s one thing we wanted to do if we could pull it off, it was to add a starting pitcher for the next two months,” said Sox GM Ben Cherington. “We just felt like adding a starting pitcher was the most important thing we could do.”
One of Peavy’s former teammates is bullish on what the right-hander brings to the mound.
“Jake has been a leader in terms of his stuff and preparation and competitive nature. He’s awesome. He’s a great pitcher, great competitor. He’s adjusted himself from what he was five, six, seven years ago when he was 97 mph with a filthy slider. He has a game plan out there, he executes it and he sticks to it,” said Sox left-hander Matt Thornton, Peavy’s teammate with the White Sox until the former was dealt to the Red Sox earlier this month. “There’s one thing that will drive Jake Peavy nuts and that’s walking someone. He doesn’t care what it is in a situation. He’d rather give up a homer than walk a guy. It’s just the way he’s built. He goes out there, continues to attack people with quality stuff. It’s not like his fastball is straight or anything like that. He’s a great pitcher. He’s got great stuff, but he won’t walk people. He refuses to.” Read the rest of this entry »
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