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Source: Red Sox agree to terms with OF Grady Sizemore 01.22.14 at 6:32 pm ET
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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.

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Red Sox agree to two-year, $32 million deal with Mike Napoli 12.06.13 at 9:10 pm ET
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Mike Napoli (AP)

Mike Napoli (AP)

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:

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Sources: Red Sox replacing Jose Iglesias with Brock Holt for time being 07.31.13 at 3:03 am ET
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Brock Holt

Brock Holt

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.

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Red Sox complete three-way deal with White Sox, Tigers to acquire Jake Peavy 07.30.13 at 10:42 pm ET
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The Red Sox have acquired right-hander Jake Peavy in a three-way deal with the Tigers and White Sox. (AP)

The Red Sox have acquired right-hander Jake Peavy in a three-way deal with the Tigers and White Sox. (AP)

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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Source: Alfredo Aceves was no longer considered ‘reliable’ major league contributor, depth by Red Sox; serving as own agent 07.15.13 at 1:51 pm ET
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Alfredo Aceves

Alfredo Aceves

NEW YORK — According to a team source, the impetus for Alfredo Aceves being  taken off the Red Sox’ 40-man roster was because the organization viewed him as neither a “reliable” major league contributor or major league depth.

The Sox outrighted Aceves to Triple-A Pawtucket Sunday. The righty cleared waivers, meaning all 29 clubs passed on the opportunity to claim him at no cost (except for his split contract), despite the fact that he has options remaining.

Two industry sources also confirmed that Aceves is no longer represented by agent Tom O’Connell, and is believed to be self-represented. (Aceves can receive assistance from from the Major League Baseball Players Association regarding any matter, if he chooses.)

Aceves last pitched for the Red Sox on July 9, giving up one hit over 2/3 innings of relief. With the Sox this season, the righty totaled a 4-1 mark with a 4.86 ERA. He made six starts, managing a 4.45 ERA in such a role.

The 30-year-old has made eight starts with the PawSox, going 4-2 with a 4.35 ERA.

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Red Sox place Clayton Mortensen on disabled list; Clay Buchholz expected to avoid DL 06.11.13 at 3:38 pm ET
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Clayton Mortensen

Clayton Mortensen

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — The Red Sox have placed right-hander Clayton Mortensen on the 15-day disabled list due to a right hip impingement that he has been managing since April. The 28-year-old is 1-2 with a 5.34 ERA this year with 6.2 strikeouts and 4.7 walks per nine innings this year. He threw a scoreless inning on Monday, continuing a year where he’s been outstanding on the road (1.69 ERA) while struggling at Fenway (9.42 ERA).

Mortensen said that he’s been dealing with the impingement since a series against the Orioles in early April. He appeared on April 11, taking the loss while allowing a run in 1 2/3 innings. Starting with that appearance, he has a 5.81 ERA. Prior to that, he’d allowed one run in 4 1/3 innings with five strikeouts and one walk.

With Mortensen out, Jose De La Torre has returned to the big leagues. The 27-year-old has a 2.17 ERA, 9.9 strikeouts and 5.3 walks per nine in Triple-A this year. He’s given up two runs in two big league innings.

Meanwhile, Red Sox manager John Farrell, in an appearance on MLB Network Radio on SiriusXM, suggested that right-hander Clay Buchholz may have his scheduled Friday start against the Orioles “pushed back a couple of days,” but the team expects him to avoid the disabled list. Presumably, the team will free a roster spot for a spot starter — most likely Alfredo Aceves, though Farrell also cited Allen Webster and Rubby De La Rosa as candidates — on Wednesday by returning De La Torre to Pawtucket. Read the rest of this entry »

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Everything you need to know when trying to figure out if Jackie Bradley Jr. is going to make the Red Sox 03.14.13 at 3:08 pm ET
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Jackie Bradley Jr.

FORT MYERS, Fla. — Wondering what the Red Sox are weighing when thinking about promoting Jackie Bradley Jr. to the Opening Day roster?

Here’s the deal …

Because Bradley Jr. isn’t on the 40-man roster entering the season (and has never been afforded options), his timetable is different than a player already on the 40-man when it comes to figuring out his free agent clock.

Because of his 40-man status (or lack thereof), Bradley Jr. can reach free agency after the 2018 season if he is on the major league roster prior to April 12 and remains in the big leagues for the next six seasons without going back down to the minor leagues for as many as a collective 20 days. Yet, even if he starts with the big club prior to April 12 and ends up spending the 20 or more days in the minors, free agency eligibility won’t come until after ’19.

If the Red Sox wait until April 12 (or after) to call-up Bradley Jr. then the earliest he will be able to hit free agency is after ’19.

Bradley Jr. is currently hitting .536 with a 1.343 OPS in 33 plate appearances.

Here are some more pertinent items to consider when contemplating the introduction of Bradley Jr. into the major leagues:

‪– If the season were to begin tomorrow, Bradley almost surely would not be in the big leagues, even with his spectacular spring performance to date. The jump to the majors with only 61 games of Double-A experience and no time in Triple-A represents a fairly enormous one for a position player. The team is exercising some caution while looking at Bradley’s excellent spring performance given the difficult nature of accurate evaluations in a time of year that rarely resembles what happens when the curtain lifts on the big league season.

‪– Still, while at least one team official expressed definitively that Bradley would not be on the Opening Day roster as recently as last week, other team sources have suggested in recent days that, while unlikely for now, the possibility can’t be ruled out definitively given the expected absence of David Ortiz from the Opening Day roster. Other aspects of the roster could play into that as well, of course — if there was an injury to one of the team’s starting outfielders between now and Opening Day, the likelihood of Bradley being in the big leagues on April 1 would increase considerably.

‪– Bradley will only be promoted to the big leagues when he is assured of an everyday role there. He won’t be a part-timer who platoons, serves as a bench/role player or is in some other kind of time share. So: Bradley would only be a consideration for a call-up, realistically, if he was one of the best nine players in the organization, and worthy of an everyday spot, at the end of spring training. The team won’t compromise the playing time necessary to further his development, regardless of the level at which he’ll open the year.

‪– The Sox are operating on the presumption that he will be called up at some point in 2013. Thus, while there had been some thought that, for the purposes of managing the 40-man roster, he might be kept in the minors all year (as a 2011 first-round draft pick out of college, Bradley does not have to be added to the 40-man roster for reasons of protecting him from the Rule 5 draft until after the 2014 season) in order to protect other players who will be Rule 5 eligible after 2013, that notion has gone out the window.

‪– The Sox don’t feel like burning one of three potential option years on him in 2013 (if the team should call him up to start the year and then send him down) would be an issue, since there is a consensus that Bradley will be done with the minors before (and perhaps long before) exhausting his minor league options. ‬

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