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Red Sox officially send Will Middlebrooks to Padres for Ryan Hanigan 12.19.14 at 10:53 pm ET
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The Red Sox officially announced Friday night that they are sending Will Middlebrooks to San Diego in exchange for Ryan Hanigan.

Completion of the deal was contingent on Middlebrooks passing his physical with the Padres. The 26-year-old recently said that he is still recovering from a wrist injury, although he didn’€™t view the ailment as an issue heading into 2015.

‘€œ€œI want to stay in Boston; I want to play in Boston,’€€ Middlebooks said a few weeks ago at David Ortiz‘€˜s charity golf event. ‘€œI came up here, and I know it’€™€™s pretty rare for someone to stay in one place their whole career. I understand that. But I’€™€™m still going to try. I don’€™€™t really fit the mix right now. It doesn’€™€™t seem that there’€™€™s a place for me now. But it’€™€™s a long time until April and a lot of things can happen.’€

After the Red Sox signed Pablo Sandoval, there wasn’€™t a full-time spot on the roster for the third baseman. Battling injuries the past two seasons Middlebrooks has batted .213 with 19 homers, 168 strikeouts and a .265 on-base percentage since the start of 2013.

‘€œIt’€™€™s not enjoyable to be replaced,’€€ he added. ‘€œBut like I said, I understand. I’€™€™m trying to look at the big picture for the organization, but selfishly I say, ‘€˜€˜What about me? What’€™€™s going to happen with me?’€™€™ I’€™€™m curious to see what’€™€™s going to happen.’€

The Red Sox have previously expressed interested in Hanigan (an Andover native), targeting the 34-year-old right-handed hitter to back up Christian Vazquez. Hanigan, who played with Tampa Bay last season after spending his previous seven big league seasons with the Reds, was traded to San Diego earlier this week.

Hanigan played in 84 games with the Rays, hitting .218 with five home runs. His career-high in games played came in ‘€™12, totaling 112 appearances. He carries a career .256 batting average and .694 OPS.

Sources: David Ross agrees to 2-year deal with Cubs; Craig Breslow deciding between Red Sox, Cubs 12.19.14 at 6:15 pm ET
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According to a major league source, David Ross has agreed to a two-year, $5 million deal with the Cubs.

The 37-year-old had narrowed his decision down to the Red Sox, Padres and Cubs prior to Friday. The Red Sox, however, appear to be on the verge of acquiring Ryan Hanigan from San Diego for third baseman Will Middlebrooks.

With the choice coming down to the Padres and Cubs, Ross made the move to join his former teammate Jon Lester in Chicago.

Ross battled various injuries during his two-year stint with the Red Sox, including concussions. He played in a combined 86 regular-season games with the Sox, thriving during the team’s 2013 postseason run when the backstop took over starting duties for the final two rounds.

Ken Rosenthal of FoxSports.com was first to report the agreement.

The Cubs and Red Sox seemingly have at least one more free agent showdown, with another major league source suggesting reliever Craig Breslow has narrowed his decision down to the two teams. The Red Sox declined their $4 million option on the lefty earlier this offseason.

Read More: Craig Breslow, David Ross,
Source: Red Sox close to deal sending Will Middlebrooks to Padres for Ryan Hanigan 12.19.14 at 11:24 am ET
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According to a major league source, the Red Sox are on the verge of sending third baseman Will Middlebrooks to the Padres in exchange for catcher Ryan Hanigan.

The deal appears to be contingent on Middlebrooks passing a physical with San Diego. The 26-year-old recently said that he is still recovering from a wrist injury, although he didn’t view the ailment as an issue heading into 2015.

“€œI want to stay in Boston; I want to play in Boston,”€ Middlebooks said a few weeks ago at David Ortiz‘s charity golf event. “I came up here, and I know it’€™s pretty rare for someone to stay in one place their whole career. I understand that. But I’€™m still going to try. I don’€™t really fit the mix right now. It doesn’€™t seem that there’€™s a place for me now. But it’€™s a long time until April and a lot of things can happen.”

After the Red Sox signed Pablo Sandoval, there wasn’t a full-time spot on the roster for the third baseman. Battling injuries the past two seasons Middlebrooks has batted .213 with 19 homers, 168 strikeouts and a .265 on-base percentage since the start of 2013.

“It’€™s not enjoyable to be replaced,”€ he added. “But like I said, I understand. I’€™m trying to look at the big picture for the organization, but selfishly I say, ‘€˜What about me? What’€™s going to happen with me?’€™ I’€™m curious to see what’€™s going to happen.”

The Red Sox have previously expressed interested in Hanigan (an Andover native), targeting the 34-year-old right-handed hitter to back up Christian Vazquez. Hanigan, who played with Tampa Bay last season after spending his previous seven big league seasons with the Reds, was traded to San Diego earlier this week.

Hanigan played in 84 games with the Rays, hitting .218 with five home runs. His career-high in games played came in ’12, totaling 112 appearances. He carries a career .256 batting average and .694 OPS.

Read More: Ryan Hanigan, Will Middlebrooks,
David Ross, Craig Breslow still in mix with Red Sox 12.17.14 at 10:13 pm ET
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The Red Sox and Cubs evidently aren’t done battling for players this offseason.

According to a major league source, free agent catcher David Ross was choosing between the Red Sox, Cubs and Padres as of early Wednesday night. Reliever Craig Breslow is also narrowing his potential landing spots, with his agent having had recent discussions with both the Sox and the Cubs.

Ross, who battled injuries and concussions throughout his two-year tenure with the Red Sox, is valued by Chicago in part due to his relationship with newly-acquired ace Jon Lester. The Sox, however, view the 37-year-old as a good complement to projected starter Christian Vazquez.

The fit with San Diego might have gotten more complicated Wednesday night with the Padres’ acquisition of Ryan Hanigan in their three-way trade that also netted San Diego Wil Myers from Tampa Bay. The Padres also figure to have Tim Federowicz, who comes over from the Dodgers in the swap for Matt Kemp.

Breslow, whose $4 million option wasn’t picked up by the Red Sox following the 2014 season, has seen talks with the Sox intensify over the past few days. The lefty recently attended the winter meetings in an effort to paint the picture of what transpired in a down ’14 campaign.

The odds of the Red Sox signing their other free agent reliever, Burke Badenhop, likely diminished with the team’s trade of former Braves sinkerballer Anthony Varvaro Wednesday.

Read More: Craig Breslow, David Ross,
Shane Victorino would really love to see Cole Hamels in a Red Sox uniform 12.17.14 at 1:57 pm ET
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Cole Hamels. (Brian Garfinkel/Getty Images)

Shane Victorino wouldn’t mind seeing Cole Hamels in a Red Sox uniform next year. (Brian Garfinkel/Getty Images)

The Red Sox have added three new starting pitchers. But that’s not going to stop the Cole Hamels’ conversations.

Even with the additions of Rick Porcello, Wade Miley and Justin Masterson following Jon Lester‘s jump to the Cubs, there is some thought the Red Sox will still be exploring the market for a proven No. 1 starter. There has been whispers of Washington’s Jordan Zimmerman and Cincinnati’s Johnny Cueto.

But perhaps the loudest scuttlebutt regarding the possible acquisition of an ace has involved Hamels.

Red Sox outfielder Shane Victorino, a former teammate of Hamels with the Phillies, is all for the idea of his team making such a move.

“I’€™ll take Cole Hamels in a heartbeat as one of our starters,” Victorino said by phone. “I know he’€™s been there. I know what kind of guy he is. I know what kind of pitcher he is. When he takes that ball he wants to win. He comes across as this nonchalant guy, or laid back. But when it’€™s time to go, Cole Hamels is one of the most prepared, hard-working guys I’€™ve been around.”

Hamels (who does list the Red Sox as one of the teams on his no-trade list) went on MLB Network Radio over the weekend and expressed his desire to join a winner, saying, “For whatever city is going after winning, I think that could definitely change every perspective and every desire, because that trumps everything — winning.”

Acquiring Hamels, however, figures to be a feat for any interested team.

If the Red Sox were to make a move on the soon-to-be 31-year-old lefty, it would not only presumably cost a few of the team’s top prospects, but because of the no-trade issue the Sox would likely be forced to pick up the $20 million option on Hamels’ deal. In all, the club would be committing $110 million over five years.

As far as Victorino is concerned, the payout would be worth it.

“I don’€™t see any reason why you wouldn’€™t want to put him in a Red Sox uniform if it’€™s possible,” the outfielder said. “To me the biggest thing, being around long enough, if ever I’€™m in a position to build a winning team, I don’€™t understand why people fixate on the word ‘€œprospect.’€ People get fixated on prospects. Well, this guy has all the upside in the world. Has Cole Hamels done it? Yes. So why not go get Cole Hamels at whatever expense is needed. Do you want to keep some of the farm system? Yes, I understand that. Part of an organization comes from within. The Lester’s, the Pedroia’s, the Papelbon’s, the guys who were brought up through the system, got a few championships, and then unfortunately as times goes on guys move. I agree 100 percent it’€™s important to have a good minor league system. I agree with that. Some of these prospects who are being thrown around, who knows if they are going to be that guy.”

Read More: Cole Hamels, Shane Victorino,
Ben Cherington talks Rick Porcello trade, plans for Red Sox going forward 12.11.14 at 1:59 pm ET
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Ben Cherington

Ben Cherington

SAN DIEGO — The only thing that could stop Ben Cherington’s activity at the winter meetings? The plea over his plane’s loudspeaker to power down all electronic devices.

The Red Sox general manager punctuated his stay at the Manchester Hyatt with a flurry of pitching acquisitions, although Cherington was only prepared to discuss one — trading Yoenis Cespedes, Alex Wilson and Gabe Speier to Detroit for pitcher Rick Porcello — by the time he ventured to the airport.

Along with Porcello, according to sources, Cherington was on the verge of completing a trade for pitcher Wade Miley in exchange for pitchers Allen Webster and Rubby De La Rosa, while also coming to terms with free agent hurler Justin Masterson on a one-year, $9.5 million with incentives.

A source also confirmed that the Red Sox met with free agent pitcher James Shields at his San Diego-area home.

Here is what Cherington had to say before leaving the meetings:

On discussions involving Cespedes: “Many. Going back to the beginning of the offseason and GM meetings. I’ve said before, there were plenty of scenarios where we were keeping him. We were not looking to trade Yoenis Cespedes, but as we got into the offseason and looked at what the alternatives were and the need to build a rotation and the depth we have in the outfield, we feel good about the outfield group that we have. We just felt like it made sense. And Detroit’s getting a good player. I expect him to have a very good year for them.”

On the outfield logjam with Shane Victorino, Mookie Betts and Rusney Castillo: “Yeah, well, I think it’s those three guys. With those three guys, we feel confident we’ll figure out a solution that works. I don’t think we feel like we need to do it right now. Obviously in Mookie’s case, he’s the youngest of the group. he came up and played very well and looked like he’s going to be more than capable of playing center or right or any other positions potentially. Castillo’s a natural center fielder and has looked really good defensively in Arizona and Puerto Rico now that he’s down there. Obviously we made an investment in him and believe in him as a player. And then obviously Victorino is a huge part of the team and the best right fielder in baseball in 2013 and went through a tough 2014 because of injuries. If he’s recovered, and we expect him to be recovered, he can be a very good player. I just think it’s something we’ll figure out as we get closer to the season. We feel like, as you guys all know, center and right, both really important positions. We feel like between the three of them, we’ll come up with a good solution. And then certainly Craig gives us protection at both corners, first base. And so we feel like we have some options and some offensive depth that we were able to consider trading Cespedes because of that.”

Read the rest of this entry »

Read More: ben cherington, rick porcello,
Dodgers, Giants informed they are out of Jon Lester sweepstakes 12.09.14 at 9:56 pm ET
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SAN DIEGO — The field is narrowing.

According to a major league source, both the Giants and Dodgers have been informed by Jon Lester that he is no longer being considered as possible landing spots.

Giants assistant general manager Bobby Evans — who told reporters earlier Tuesday that his team was “in the backseat” when it came to the services of Jon Lester — informed the media Tuesday night that Lester had informed San Francisco that it was no longer being considered an option by the free agent pitcher.

Later in the evening, the LA Times reported that the Dodgers were also no longer being considered by Lester.

It is believed that Lester is making a decision between the Red Sox and Cubs.

Check back for more …

Source: Still not at stage for Jon Lester to receive final offers; Red Sox meet with agents 12.09.14 at 5:35 pm ET
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SAN DIEGO — According to a major league source, as of Tuesday evening, Jon Lester‘s representatives were not at the point where they were prepared to offer their client a presentation of final offers from the four teams involved.

The source goes on to clarify that Lester’s agents, Sam and Seth Levinson of ACES, met with the Red Sox earlier Tuesday. With the involvement of ownership groups from all teams slowing the process, there was still a strong possibility no decision would be made the pitcher until Wednesday.

In the mix for Lester’s services with the Red Sox are the Dodgers, Giants, and Cubs.

Source: Jon Lester’s decision could be pushed to Wednesday 12.09.14 at 3:36 am ET
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SAN DIEGO — According to a major league source, Jon Lester‘s decision as to which team he will sign with may drag on into Wednesday.

It was originally believed that the time it would take for Lester to pick a team wouldn’t stretch beyond Tuesday. But, because of the involvement of ownership for multiple interested teams, the process has been slowed.

The source suggests that there is still the possibility that an agreement is in place Tuesday, although it would likely be later in the day.

As of Tuesday morning, the Red Sox were very much in the mix for Lester’s services, with the Cubs, Giants and Dodgers also making strong plays for the free agent pitcher.

Monday, Red Sox manager John Farrell expressed optimism regarding the return of his ace pitcher, telling the assembled media at the winter meetings, “I think we’€™re still confident that we can sign Jon. He’€™s obviously still going through this free agency process. As we came into this offseason, there were a couple spots in the rotation that we needed to add to and address. We’€™re in the midst of that right now. We’€™re still optimistic that he’€™ll be in a Red Sox uniform. There’€™s a lot of history between the Red Sox and Jon. We obviously have a strong desire to bring him back, and yet hopefully this is coming to a little bit of a head here.”

Multiple sources continue to suggest that Lester likely won’t take the highest offer if he deems another team to be a better fit.

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

Read More: Jon Lester,
Ben Cherington on Jon Lester: ‘I haven’t been told we’re out, so I assume we’re not out’ 12.08.14 at 9:28 pm ET
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Ben Cherington

Ben Cherington

SAN DIEGO — Striking a measured tone, Red Sox general manager Ben Cherington met with the Boston media Monday night at the winter meetings to discuss the latest in regards to his team’€™s pursuit of free agent pitcher Jon Lester.

Cherington, who said he had no scheduled meetings with Lester’€™s agents Monday night but did expect to talk to them at some point, couldn’€™t offer any clues as to what path Lester might take, simply saying he expected the pitcher to choose a team soon.

As for a report earlier in the day that suggested the Red Sox were not one of the finalists for Lester (which the pitcher’s agent, Seth Levinson, called “absolutely untrue”), Cherington said, “I haven’t been told we’re out, so I assume we’re not out.”

Here are some of the highlights from the get-together with GM:

The latest on Lester

“With regards to Lester, we respect that he’€™s got a decision that’€™s going to be made and we assume that will be sometime soon. We’€™ve been involved and had a chance to talk to him at length on numerous occasions. It sounds like he’€™s getting closer to a decision. Aside from that, I don’€™t know any more than that. I think we’€™ve never looked at it like Plan A, B, C, D. We’€™ve looked at it like we need to build a rotation so we have to be in all sorts of stuff and we have been on all sorts of stuff all offseason, or to this point in the offseason. There’€™s probably, between free agent possibilities and trade possibilities, 15, 20 starting pitching scenarios we’€™ve talked about and worked on so obviously not all those are going to land and more of those won’€™t land than will land. We just have to stay involved and keep working and work as hard as we can to get the ones to land that make the most sense. I don’€™t see it as a Plan A, B or C. I see it as we’€™re trying to build a good rotation and we’€™ve got to look at every possibility to do that.”

Did you expect Lester’€™s decision to come sooner than it has?

“You know, I guess there was some speculation earlier in the offseason that it might get done sooner, before the winter meetings, so here we are in the winter meetings. On the other hand, as you guys know, most bigger deals don’€™t happen before the Winter Meetings, so probably not surprising that we’€™re here.”

Are you being held up making other moves because of Lester’€™s process?

“No, we really don’€™t. I think we’€™re in a position where we have position player strength and depth. We have resources, we have some financial flexibility. There’€™s all sorts of different ways to build the pitching staff. We’€™ve been able to pursue all kinds of things. Don’€™t feel constrained, other than just trying to find a deal that makes sense. That’€™s the constraint ‘€“ it’€™s not one guy or the other. We’€™re just still working towards deals that make sense.”

Does your budgeted number for the free agent change?

“You have to to some degree. That number can move over time. All sorts of things can factor into what you’€™re going to do whether trade or free agent. It’€™s not necessarily static, circumstances can change which might lead you to change your position even in the context of an offseason, if one thing happens it might affect another so yes there has to be a line. Every team does that. I think it can be different for every team. I don’€™t believe one thing has to make sense for everyone, something might make a lot of sense for one team and not as much for another based on their particular situation. You have to figure out what makes sense for us.”

Regarding the reported meeting between principal owner John Henry and Lester

“There was a report that there was a meeting with John Henry. We’€™d like to be able to do some of these things without that kind of thing getting out but that got out. We’€™ve had opportunity we’€™ve needed to meet with Jon and meet with Seth and give them all the information we can give them.”

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