|Red Sox Minor League Notebook: What is it like being traded as a top prospect?; Patience with Trey Ball||07.30.15 at 9:11 pm ET|
With the non-waiver trade deadline coming to a close Friday at 4 p.m., more and more players will be traded on top of the ones who already have this week.
More often than not, most deals involve minor league prospects being exchanged for big league players, as one team is looking to win now and the other building for the future.
This can be a concerning time for these minor leaguers, as for some they are just getting used to playing professionally and they have only known one organization.
A lot of questions can be going through their heads. Am I not good enough? Why didn’t they want me? What does my new organization think of me? Will I ever make the majors?
All those are all legitimate questions, but ultimately it’s all about realizing baseball is a business and teams want to get better in anyway possible.
“I didn’t really realize until I was in the big leagues for a few years,” Hanley Ramirez said, who was traded as a 21-year-old in 2005 to the Marlins by the Red Sox in the deal that landed Josh Beckett and Mike Lowell. “That’s when you realize teams are just looking to win — anyway you can do it. If you have to trade a good player, sometimes you don’t want to trade that piece, but there’s a back and forth.”
Ramirez acknowledged at first he didn’t like the fact that he was traded, but once he realized he was going to play in the majors, he was all for it. The current Red Sox left fielder said at that point in his career all he was worried about was just getting a chance at playing full-time in the majors.
“You’re just looking to play in the big leagues,” Ramirez said. “At first, I was a little bit upset because coming in watching the Red Sox in the Dominican, but after that I was fine because it was my opportunity to play in the big leagues.”
Ultimately, it comes down to baseball being like any other organization in the world — a business.
“This is business. You want to win. At the same time you’re an employee and you have to deal with it,” Ramirez said.
Rodriguez, who was in Double-A at the time, said he realized at the time of the trade what the Orioles organization wanted — help at the major league level as they were looking to make a playoff run. What he didn’t get was why they picked him.
“I didn’t know how they are thinking,” Rodriguez said. “I just knew they needed a better player in the big leagues last year. That was why I think they traded me.”
|Red Sox-White Sox delayed due to rain, expected start time 8 p.m.||07.30.15 at 7:25 pm ET|
Due to rain sweeping through the Boston area, Thursday’s game will now start at 8 p.m.
Steven Wright will be opposed by Chris Sale once the game gets going.
For more Red Sox news, visit weei.com/redsox.
|Pablo Sandoval insists he hasn’t gained weight after last season||07.30.15 at 5:32 pm ET|
Following third baseman Pablo Sandoval leaving Wednesday’s game due to dehydration, manager John Farrell revealed Sandoval’s conditioning “continues to be addressed.”
Along the same lines, some scouts have said Sandoval has put on some weight this season, which has affected his defense at third base. He is listed at 5-foot-11, 255 pounds.
Sandoval was asked point-blank if he’s gained weight from after last season.
“No. I’m still the weight that I was last year the weight that I finished my season,” he said. “So I don’t get complaints about it. I have to keep working hard, yes I do, but I don’t focus about that, I focus about teamwork and try to do the best out there for my team.”
Following Sandoval’s comments, Farrell was asked the same question.
The manager said his weight fluctuates and the team is working with him on both conditioning and nutrition. Farrell did say the third baseman works hard off the field.
“The one thing we do know is there is a wide range able to fluctuate and that’s been consistent year-to-year with Pablo,” Farrell said. “I do know this, his work ethic in the weight room, his work ethic on the field is consistent. It has been since the first day he got on the field with us here. And yet there’s been challenges that we’ve became aware of over the course of his career that you’re trying to align a number of things and that’s the consistency to the work routine as well as the nutritional side of things.”
|Red Sox moves: Daniel Nava DFA’d, Tommy Layne optioned; Jonathan Aro recalled, Jean Machi activated||07.30.15 at 4:55 pm ET|
The Red Sox made a few roster moves prior to Thursday’s series finale with the White Sox, primarily to help the depleted Red Sox bullpen due to three consecutive poor starts by Red Sox starting pitching.
Daniel Nava was designated for assignment and left-hander Tommy Layne was optioned back to Triple-A Pawtucket. The corresponding moves had Jonathan Aro recalled and reliever Jean Machi activated after the Sox claimed him earlier in the week off waivers.
“We needed the space to get two fresh arms here,” manager John Farrell said. “Unfortunately for Daniel, whose story is an incredible one, the path that he’s traveled, there were some extended period of success for him here, but as opportunity diminished and the productivity was inconsistent the decision to designate him to make room was made.”
Nava was hitting .152 in 29 games with the Red Sox this season. He battled a thumb injury for most of the season, which Farrell said had an impact on his performance. Nava’s story is a unique one as he didn’t even make his college team at Santa Clara University. The Red Sox paid Nava’s Independent Ball team $1 for his rights back in 2007.
The switch-hitter made his major league debut in 2010 and became the fourth player in MLB history to hit a grand slam in his first major league at bat and the second to do it on the first pitch.
Things have gone downhill for him following the 2013 season where he hit .303 and played a major part in the Red Sox winning the World Series. Last season he hit .270 overall, but this was after spending time in Triple-A. Then this year, it’s been a struggle, partly because of the thumb.
“There were a couple of things,” Farrell said of his struggles. “I think at the beginning of ’14 there was some fundamental differences that maybe had him with a little bit more of an uphill path that when he went down to Pawtucket he was able to correct and came back last year and had a solid second half of the year for us. This year I thought he maintained some of those fundamental changes, but yet the production wasn’t there. As a result the opportunities started to diminish. There’s no question the thumb (injury) had an effect on his ability to repeat his swing. Those things combined never really allowed him to stay on track and him be the consistent hitter he was in 2013.”
|Closing Time: Red Sox can’t overcome 5-run first inning in loss to White Sox||07.28.15 at 10:07 pm ET|
Joe Kelly’s first inning Monday night was bad — allowing four runs — putting the Red Sox in a quick 4-0 hole.
But, Tuesday night was even worse as Wade Miley allowed five first-inning runs, digging the Red Sox a hole they couldn’t dig out of in their 9-4 loss to the White Sox on the night Pedro Martinez‘s number was retired before the game.
Martinez wouldn’t have liked what he saw, as after striking out the leadoff batter, Miley allowed the next five batters to reach, all of which scored, as the White Sox took a 5-0 lead before the Red Sox even stepped to the plate.
The big blow came on a two-run Geovany Soto double, which scored two runs. Emilio Bonifacio followed with an RBI double for the fifth run of the inning.
“Not a lot of command in the first inning,” Miley said. “A lot of fastballs in the middle of the plate and not a good effort me making adjustments in that first inning. I probably had a couple opportunities to minimize the damage and didn’t do a very good job of it.”
Miley settled down, firing four scoreless innings until a freak play in the sixth ended his night.
With two outs in the sixth inning and the White Sox carrying a 5-2 lead, Jose Abreu launched a first-pitch fastball to deep right-center field. Mookie Betts raced back to catch the fly ball, but after two steps hurdled his body over the right field fence.
The outfielder tumbled into the Red Sox bullpen, landing on his head and neck. While the ball trickled out of Betts’ glove after landing on the ground, Abreu was initially called out. But after an umpires’ review, the call was over-turned, giving the White Sox slugger his 16th homer and the visitors’ a two-run lead.
Making matters worse, Betts was forced to leave the game and was tested for a possible concussion.
Miley went 5 2/3 innings allowing seven runs on 10 hits, while walking three and striking out five.
The Red Sox cut into the White Sox’ lead in the second inning on a Pablo Sandoval two-run homer the other way. That was all the Sox could get against White Sox starter Jeff Samardzija until a meaningless two runs in the ninth.
The right-hander went 8+ innings allowing four runs on seven hits, walking one and striking out three.
In relief of Miley, Justin Masterson allowed a towering homer to Soto in the seventh and another run in the eighth. He allowed two runs over his 3 1/3 innings of relief.
The Red Sox have now dropped two straight games and are 2-9 since the All-Star break.
Here is what went wrong (and right) in the Red Sox’ win:
|John Farrell: ‘Guys are fully aware that the deadline is fast approaching’||07.28.15 at 5:31 pm ET|
It’s no secret there will be more Red Sox players traded in the coming days.
With the Red Sox 13 games back of the Yankees in the AL East and 12 games below .500, there will be some movement as the team begins to shift its focus towards 2016.
Manager John Farrell noted there is a little different feel than last year, as there were many names rumored in trade talks — notably Jon Lester. There isn’t that one premier player or rumor this year.
“The difference between this year and last year is I think you see a lot of rumors surrounding individual names, precipitating in trades,” Farrell said. “That rumor hasn’t been nearly as strong surrounding guys last year. It is that time of year. Guys are fully aware that the deadline is fast approaching. I don’t think it’s as prevalent in the minds of the guys here and the lack of that rumor. If there’s anything that is kind of leaning that way, we try and give guys a heads up as best possible, but that’s not the case.”
One player who has been rumored in trades after Shane Victorino was dealt yesterday is Mike Napoli. After struggling much of the season, the first baseman has turned it around of late. Over his last 10 games he’s hitting .355.
“It’s something that’s out of my control,” Napoli said of possibly being dealt. “I come here, work hard every day to get myself better. Go out there, play hard and try to help us win that day. It’s something I don’t really think about. I come here and get my work in and do what I can.”
The Red Sox first baseman did speak of how much he loves Boston, but didn’t want to get into much about how sad he would be if traded.
“I don’t know. I guess I’ll answer that if it happens,” he said. “I love this place. I bought a place here, I live here. Love this city, love the people here. I’ve really enjoyed it. If that time comes, I’ll touch on my thoughts then.”
With the Victorino trade on Monday, Farrell himself admitted it says the team is focusing now on the future. The manager didn’t want to get into what that would mean for the team overall until after Friday’s deadline has passed.
“I think it’s probably best we get through these next few days,” Farrell said. “It’s kind of a mark on the calendar that you — I think there are some things that are obvious and if it affects an individual then that’s when a sit down 1-on-1 comes down a little more regularly.”
OTHER RED SOX NOTES
|Red Sox claim reliever Jean Machi off waivers, Clay Buchholz transferred to 60-day disabled list||07.28.15 at 4:53 pm ET|
It’s clear the Red Sox need to add to their bullpen and they got that process started Tuesday.
The Red Sox claimed right-handed pitcher Jean Machi off waivers from the Giants and to make room for him on the 40-man roster, Clay Buchholz (shoulder) was transferred to the 60-day disabled list.
The expectation even before the transfer to the 60-day DL was that Buchholz would pitch in September. He is eligible to return Sept. 9.
“Yeah, once the PRP injection was had, that was adding some time,” manager John Farrell said. “Now when you start to map out the down time following the injection, the initial flat ground throwing program, the mound progression, rehab starts, we’re into September.”
Farrell still expects Buchholz to pitch again this season and wants him to as a positive note heading into next season.
“Still [do], and I think it would be important for all involved to go into the offseason with some game activity under his belt,” he said. “I think that would give some peace of mind to Clay going into the offseason as well as everyone else.”
Machi was designated for assignment on July 20. In 33 outings for the Giants this season, all in relief, he went 1-0 with a 5.14 ERA and 22 strikeouts, making 23 scoreless appearances.
“An opportunity to take a look at a guy that will pitch out of the middle for us,” Farrell said. “We know it’s been about eight days since he’s been designated so there’s a little bit of time here where we’ve got to get back on the mound. Someone who has had two strong years prior to this one. Like I said, it’s an opportunity to take a look at someone.”
In 122 appearances between 2013 and 2014, the first two full seasons of his major league career, the native of Venezuela ranked 10th among National League relievers (min. 100.0 IP) with a combined 2.49 ERA.
Farrell said he didn’t have any reports as to why there was a dip in numbers this season.
“I don’t have a whole lot of reports,” he said. “I was first made aware of it last night that we had some interest. When the waiver period expired today we were awarded the claim. I don’t have any specifics as to why performance is down from the last two years.”
|MLB Trade Deadline: Phillies reportedly asking for clubs’ best offers on Cole Hamels by Wednesday||07.28.15 at 1:05 pm ET|
According to Jayson Stark of ESPN, the Phillies are notifying teams with interest in lefty Cole Hamels that they would like to receive their best offers by Wednesday. Hamels is scheduled to start Thursday, but there’s a chance he is dealt before then. Friday is the non-waiver trade deadline.
Hamels is fresh off his no-hitter against the Cubs last Saturday. For the season, the 31-year-old is 6-7 with a 3.64 ERA.
|Red Sox teammates will miss Shane Victorino: ‘It will be tough seeing him go, selfishly’||07.28.15 at 12:48 am ET|
Shane Victorino had a vital presence in the Red Sox clubhouse all for three seasons he spent with Boston, even during the last two he saw minimal playing time in due to nagging injuries — that was the well-respected type of leader he was.
Although his Red Sox teammates know being traded is part of the business, it’s still hard seeing a player they like so much leave.
“He was a great guy,” pitcher Justin Masterson said. “Gave us some great stuff. Brought a lot of energy, from Hawaii. It was just fun to have him around. It will be tough seeing him go, selfishly. But in one sense for him, we’re kind of struggling here and he’s going to a place that is in first place.”
“Shane is a guy I played against for a long time with the Phillies, with the Red Sox. A valuable clubhouse guy,” catcher Ryan Hanigan added. “One of the best right fielders in the game. A good friend of mine and it’s tough. It’s part of this business obviously, but he’s going to missed I’m sure by the city of Boston. Anaheim is getting a good guy, for sure.”
Even though the right fielder was hitting .245 playing in 33 of 100 games due to injury this season, he was still a player most in the clubhouse looked up to.
Victorino will now play for his fourth career team. He spent his rookie season with the Padres, the next eight with the Phillies, before 53 games with the Dodgers in 2012 after being traded, followed by his last three years in Boston.
Masterson has been traded at the deadline a few times, so he knows what it’s like. The pitcher said it can be tough at first, but as a player you love being traded to a contender.
“It feels great,” Masterson said of being traded to a first-place team. “Once everything is set and done, you get to your spot, it feels great. But, it’s also hard because you have a lot of good things going on. He’d been here for a few years, have some nice things, [you’re] comfortable. Things that no matter where you go it’s hard to build those back up. That will be tough and hard on him. I love him so I wish him the best.”
|John Farrell: Shane Victorino felt special bond with Boston, gave ‘heart and soul’ on field||07.28.15 at 12:17 am ET|
Normally that would be looked at as all positives, but not for Victorino, who even with the struggles of the 2015 Red Sox was “disappointed” to be traded away.
The gritty right fielder felt a special bond with the city of Boston, especially after winning the 2013 World Series in his first year in a Red Sox uniform where his “Three Little Birds” walkup song became so famous.
“He was disappointed,” manager John Farrell said. “He didn’t want to leave in general and yet leaving — the one thing about Vic whether in Philadelphia he became very attached to Philadelphia. In similar ways he felt very attached to Boston. He’s a unique player in that sense in that he feels a bond in which the city he plays. He gives his heart and soul when he walks on the field. He takes a lot of pride in the uniform he wears for a particular city and that was the case here in a Red Sox uniform.”
Just like general manager Ben Cherington said earlier in the night, Farrell said he didn’t think the 2013 World Series win would have happened without Victorino.
“No and I think you’d say that probably about a number of players,” Farrell said. “Shane was a vital cog in our offense, certainly a Gold Glove defender in right field. Arguably played right field as well as anyone who wore a uniform. He brought energy every day. A very instinctual player. He was a main reason we won that World Series.”
The right fielder had a slash line of .294/.351/.451 with 15 home runs and 61 RBIs in that 2013 season. In the playoffs he was most known for his World Series in Game 6 of the ALCS against the Tigers.
For Farrell and the Red Sox, moving on from a player like Victorino signifies the team has turned its attention towards the future as Rusney Castillo will now get regular at-bats in right field.
“Unfortunately the trade signifies a player that helped us win a World Series two years ago and when you take one of those players off this roster, you’re kind of building towards the future and that’s disappointing,” Farrell said. “We’ll miss Vic. Vic went through a lot of physical challenges here and yet every time he was on the field he gave everything he had. I’ll miss him personally, but he’s got a chance to go to a contender.”
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