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Marlins reportedly upset with Red Sox over subpar lineup 03.07.14 at 8:53 am ET
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Jarrod Saltalamacchia was the most high-profile 2013 World Series champion playing during the Red Sox-Marlins Grapefruit League game Thursday. The problem with that? He was playing for Miami.

According to the Sun Sentinel, Marlins executives were “outraged” that the Red Sox sent a lineup that included just two players with more than one major league plate appearance. Those players were Jackie Bradley Jr. and Ryan Lavarnway.

Thursday’€™s game was considered a “super premium” ticket, meaning that fans paid between $10 and $12 more for tickets than they would during a normal weekday game. It is the only time during spring training that fans attending a Marlins home game will pay the higher price.

MLB guidelines state that during spring training a team needs to field “a minimum of four players who are regulars on the previous year’€™s major league team or who were platooned on the previous year’€™s major league team on a regular basis, or who have a reasonable chance to be regulars on the major league club’€™s squad during the upcoming season. Each of those regulars, excluding pitchers, must play a minimum of three complete innings.”

According to Boston Herald Red Sox reporter Scott Lauber, while the Marlins will not file a grievance with the league, Joe Torre, MLB’s executive vice president of baseball operations, will look into Boston’s lineup.

The Sox and the Marlins played to a 0-0 tie in the rain-shortened game.

Read More: jackie bradley jr., jarrod saltalamacchia, ryan lavarnway,
Jake Peavy on D&C: ‘I haven’t even really thought about playing in 2015′ 02.26.14 at 10:49 am ET
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Red Sox pitcher Jake Peavy joined Dennis & Callahan on Wednesday to talk about his future, his transition to Boston last summer, and comparisons between Boston and Chicago. To hear the interview, go to the Dennis & Callahan audio on demand page.

Peavy hasn’t looked beyond the upcoming season, focusing on helping the Red Sox repeat as World Series champions.

“I have no plans, I have no set plans at this point in time of my career,”€ Peavy said. “€œI’€™m crazy blessed, this will be my 13th year in the major leagues. We have all come together, once again, with one goal in mind, and that’€™s to win the World Series in 2014. We understand the process that it takes to get there and we’€™re focused daily at the task at hand, and that’€™s really all I can tell you. I haven’€™t even really thought about playing in 2015.”

When Peavy was traded to the Red Sox, he knew there were players, including Jonny Gomes, he didn’t like.

“Jonny Gomes was a guy I particularly didn’t care for, playing against,”€ Peavy said. “I didn’t — I thought it was more about him, I thought it was showmanship. I wanted Mike Napoli to button up his jersey. Just stuff from the other side. It’€™s good, I don’€™t want to like the opposition.”

On his first day at the clubhouse, Peavy tried to get there first but was beaten by Gomes, Jarrod Saltalamacchia and Dustin Pedroia.

“€œWhen I walked in this clubhouse at 12 noon, there were three players already in the clubhouse, which blew me away that on a home game these guys were there already,” Peavy said. “Pedroia was there, Saltalamacchia and Jonny Gomes were in the clubhouse. Within 30 seconds, and I’€™m not exaggerating this story, of speaking to Jarrod Saltalamacchia, he said to me, ‘We’€™re going to win the World Series.’€™ And those words came out of his mouth.”

Added Peavy: “€œWhen I said to Jonny Gomes, ‘€˜Hey Jonny, how you doing?’€™ And here’€™s the quote that everybody thinks is funny, he says, ‘€˜Aww, I’€™m doing wonderful, it’€™s just another day closer to the parade.’€™ And for a second, for a split-second, I didn’t realize what he was speaking of. You know, I hadn’t been around that lingo and that spirit that all you guys had been familiar with. … And then it hit me, this guy is talking about the World Series parade.”

While Peavy enjoyed his time in Chicago, the 32-year-old noted how Boston has a different feel to it.

“A great place, Chicago, once again, big market, great city, but just the — going to U.S. Cellular Field every day and there being [10,000], 15,000 people in it, and not much of an atmosphere,” Peavy said. “€œTo leave that and go into a place where at 12 noon, walking down the street, you feel the atmosphere and the intensity starting to build for a 7 o’clock game, even before you go to the ballpark with people speaking to you. It’€™s a different animal, it’€™s certainly a huge advantage for us as a ball club.”

Added Peavy: “Sometimes we don’€™t feel like playing. I hate to say that. You get run down, you get tired. You get home late, you turn right around, you play in a few games, then you have to wake up at 8:30 in the morning and get there and play a day game. You get beat down, you get run down. When you step out into the atmosphere that Fenway Park always brings, you can’€™t help but be ready to go.”

Read More: Boston Red Sox, Dustin Pedroia, jake peavy, jarrod saltalamacchia
Jarrod Saltalamacchia on M&M: ‘I was upset’ about Red Sox’ lack of interest 12.10.13 at 2:30 pm ET
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Former Red Sox catcher Jarrod Saltalamacchia joined Mut & Merloni on Tuesday morning to discuss his offseason negotiations with Boston, his decision to sign with the Marlins, and the reports that he had a falling out with Sox manager John Farrell this offseason.

Jarrod Saltalamacchia

Jarrod Saltalamacchia

Despite showing an interest in returning to Boston in 2014, Saltalamacchia ultimately signed a three-year, $21 million contract with the Marlins on Dec. 3.

“It’s real tough. You don’t want to just go to different teams, regardless of if its free agency, trades, it doesn’t matter,” Saltalamacchia said. “You don’t want to continue to move around, especially if you’ve got a wife and kids. … I was upset. I was trying to get something done with [Boston] for a couple of years now. I was open to negotiations during the season [and] spring training. It didn’t matter.

“But, they just wanted to wait, and I kind of had no choice but to test the free agent market, and unfortunately I’m not coming back, but I get a chance to go and be with a lot of young, good pitchers that are really just starting to begin their careers, and it’s going to be exciting to be a part of it.”

A sticking point in the negotiations reportedly was the length of the contract, as Boston has shown to be hesitant in signing catchers to long-term deals with prospects such as Christian Vazquez and Blake Swihart in the minor leagues.

I was open to two years as well, but obviously, as a player, you want to have that stability,” Saltalamacchia said, adding: “Three years is big. You don’t want to have to go back into the free agent market after two years. … It had something to do with it, but ultimately it was a decision that me and my family had to make.”

There was a report that Saltalamacchia developed a strained relationship with manager John Farrell, who chose to give David Ross more action in the World Series. Saltalamacchia said it’s not true that he had not been in touch with Farrell after the season.

“I don’t think so,” Saltalamacchia said. “He texted me probably two weeks or a week into the offseason. … I don’t feel like we did any less talking than we did during the season or during the offseason last year. I don’t think that’s too accurate.”

A.J. Pierzynski is expected to take over behind the plate for the Red Sox in 2014 after signing a one-year deal last week. Pierzynski, who turns 37 later this month, hit .270 with 17 home runs in 134 games with the Rangers in 2013.

“I respect the heck out of A.J. That’s a guy who, on the other side, you hate him obviously because he’s such a competitor and you’re like, ‘Man, that guy just gets on your nerves or whatever,’ but up until I actually met him for the first time, it’s like a lot of players you watch on the other side, you don’t feel the same way until you meet the guy, and then you’re like, ‘Wow, I was completely wrong,’ and that’s how A.J. is to me,” Saltalamacchia said.

Added Saltalamacchia: “No matter what you say about the guy, he’s out there playing his 130-140 games every year. … The guy goes out there and plays and gives it everything he’s got.”

To listen to the interview, visit the Mut & Merloni audio on demand page. For more Red Sox news, visit weei.com/redsox.

Read More: Boston Red Sox, jarrod saltalamacchia, Miami Marlins, winter meetings
John Farrell discusses offseason on Salk & Holley: Red Sox ‘jolted’ by Jacoby Ellsbury deal 12.04.13 at 10:47 pm ET
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John Farrell

John Farrell

Red Sox manager John Farrell, in an appearance on WEEI’s Salk & Holley show, acknowledged that Red Sox players were “jolted” by the news of Jacoby Ellsbury‘s seven-year, $153 million deal with the Yankees, particularly given that word of Ellsbury’s signing came on the same day that the Red Sox elected to sign A.J. Pierzynski, thus opening the door for the departure of Jarrod Saltalamacchia, who signed a three-year, $21 million deal with the Marlins on Tuesday.

Farrell said that he heard from a number of players — he estimated about a half-dozen — who were curious about the developments.

“Because Jacoby and Salty hit the airwaves that they both signed, it was, OK, are we bringing any guys back? That was part of the question,” said Farrell. “I said, ‘Absolutely, we’re in the works. We’re in the process.’ … That’s where [GM Ben Cherington] is doing the best he can with the two remaining guys, with [Mike Napoli] and [Stephen Drew], we’re going to do anything we can to bring both guys back.”

Farrell touched on a number of offseason topics facing the Sox. To listen to the complete interview, click here. Some highlights:

On learning about Ellsbury’s deal: “I did get a text message last night saying, hey, he’s heading in for a physical, it sounds like it’s done. Then the news broke on the numbers and, my gosh, congratulations to Jacoby. We’ll miss him. He’s a very good player, had a great run here, granted, missed some time because of some serious injuries he went through. But he played through a lot last year for us. The foot breaking. The left thumb that was in a lot of pain towards the end of the year. But you know what? He deserved the right to see what his market was, and obviously it’s a big one.”

On the challenge of replacing Ellsbury: “Losing Jacoby Ellsbury, those players don’t come along very often, evident by the contract he got in New York. … To say how much we’ll miss him will be dependent on what we do with the roster before next spring training — whether we stay internal and look at our overall team, what we’re capable of, that’s probably the answer — not specifically one player compared to Jacoby. … Read the rest of this entry »

Read More: A.J. Pierzynski, Brandon Workman, jackie bradley jr., Jacoby Ellsbury
GM Ben Cherington: ‘Market got past’ where Red Sox were comfortable retaining Jacoby Ellsbury at 4:52 pm ET
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Jacoby Ellsbury (AP)

Jacoby Ellsbury (AP)

Red Sox general manager Ben Cherington suggested that, while the Red Sox “would have loved” to retain Jacoby Ellsbury through free agency, the asking price ultimately reached a point where the team wasn’t comfortable doing so. He suggested that the fact that the center fielder — whom the Sox selected in the first round of the 2005 draft — ended up with the Yankees was not a huge surprise.

“There has been a bunch of dialogue with Jacoby or more specifically with [Ellsbury's agent, Scott Boras] really since the season ended and the players left town. I met with Jacoby before he left Boston. Since then, I’ve been talking more to Scott. When you get into free agency with a player of Jacoby’s caliber, you know going in that there’s probably a handful of spots that he can end up. Certainly New York is always going to be one of those potential spots.

“It’s not altogether surprising that’s where it ended up. We wish Jacoby well. He was obviously a really good player here during the time he was in Boston. He was a big part of two World Series teams. We would have loved to keep him. But we felt like there was an area, a range we were willing to go to and the market just got past that. So we wish him well and will continue to work on our offseason plans as we try to build the best team we can for next year.”

Cherington suggested that the Sox have not yet identified how they will go about replacing Ellsbury. He spoke highly of prospect Jackie Bradley Jr. as one possible option to replace Ellsbury in center, but suggested that the team will continue to explore other options this offseason. Read the rest of this entry »

Read More: A.J. Pierzynski, jackie bradley jr., Jacoby Ellsbury, jarrod saltalamacchia
Johnny Damon on M&M: Jacoby Ellsbury ‘will do great in New York’ at 12:28 pm ET
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Johnny Damon is mulling whether to return to the Red Sox after his former club claimed him on waivers on Monday. (AP)

Johnny Damon, like Jacoby Ellsbury, starred with the Red Sox before leaving for the Yankees as a free agent. (AP)

Johnny Damon appeared on Mut & Merloni on Wednesday and discussed the Yankees’ reported signing of Jacoby Ellsbury while revealing details of his own departure from Boston.

Ellsbury, who won two World Series with the Red Sox, reportedly agreed to a seven-year, $153 million contract with New York on Tuesday night. Damon, after spending four seasons as Boston’s center fielder and claiming a World Series with the Sox, also signed with the Yankees once his Boston contract expired in 2005.

“I respect the way [Ellsbury] plays. I know there were tons of comparisons with me when he came out of college, and there’s plenty of comparisons now, too,” Damon said. “I know he’s a good kid, he needs to stay healthy, I think he will do great in New York.

“I’m sure if Boston wanted to do six, seven years, he probably would have stayed. But Boston’s looking out for themselves. Sometimes when you get burned by certain contracts, like the [Carl] Crawford thing, it scares you some, and rightfully so. Boston is going to continue to make the right decisions.”

Asked about what Ellsbury will go through as he switches sides in the rivalry, Damon said: “I think the toughest thing for Jacoby is going to be going back to Boston, and everything leading up to it. What do you think the fans are going to do — are they going to cheer you or are they going to boo you? He’s going to answer that question so many times, and probably every time he goes back for the next seven years. I think that was the hardest thing.

“Everywhere you go people are Red Sox fans. I’ve been on deserted islands and a Red Sox fan popped up and started telling me how big of a fan they are. Red Sox fans are avid and passionate and it’s incredible. Jacoby’s going to find out how many Red Sox fans are out there now, just telling him how they respected his game, but also, ‘How could you go to the Yankees.’ But seven years, [$]153 [million], that’s a lot of loot.”

After signing with New York before the 2006 season, Damon said he had something to prove when he played against his former team.

“For me, it was about trying to show them that first year,” he said. “I was so upset that I didn’t re-sign with Boston. I bought a house, they told me to buy a house, I did, and then they don’t sign me, and I’m kind of like, ‘Oh, boy, this is not good.’ … This was after the World Series. I talked to Theo [Epstein] and he said I would be there for a long time. Then again, Theo the next year said, ‘You’re having too good of a year. You’re overpricing yourself to keep playing in Boston.’ … And I wasn’t going to take a few pitches looking to get the average down and get the numbers down.

“Unfortunately, I did have a great year. But if I had a worse year they would have just let me go and said he’s done. I had too good of a year, and I ended up going to New York.”

Read the rest of this entry »

Read More: A.J. Pierzynski, Jacoby Ellsbury, jarrod saltalamacchia, Johnny Damon
Buy high or buy low? A.J. Pierzynski vs. Jarrod Saltalamacchia 12.03.13 at 11:38 am ET
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Jarrod Saltalamacchia is coming off the best year of his career. A.J. Pierzynski is coming off one of his worst. And so, naturally, the Red Sox moved on from the former to sign the latter.

A.J. Pierzynski (AP)

A.J. Pierzynski (AP)

The decision wasn’t made in a vacuum. The Red Sox hold catching prospects Christian Vazquez and Blake Swihart in tremendously high regard, with a sense that both have futures as major league starters, with Swihart representing a potential All-Star. The projected 2015 big league ETA of Vazquez and 2016 projection for Swihart’s big league readiness left the Sox in a position where a deal of no more than two years represented the ideal scenario to avoid a catching bottleneck.

As such, Saltalamacchia’s quest for a three-year deal represented an imperfect fit for the Sox. That said, the one-year deal for Pierzynski also represents a less-than-ideal scenario for the Sox, who are now somewhat exposed at catcher beyond the 2014 season, given that the team’s two anticipated big league catchers (Pierzynski and David Ross) both will be 37 years old in 2014 and both will be free agents after next year. If Vazquez struggles in 2014, then the Sox could be left to scramble to create another catching bridge. (Though it’s worth noting that a number of team officials view Dan Butler as a solid major league-ready catcher with a long future as a backup who is expected to open the year in Triple-A with Vazquez.)

Still, in order to accommodate that preference, the Sox look like a team that has made a willing decision to take an offensive step back in 2014. After all, Saltalamacchia was clearly and significantly the more productive of the two players last season. Read the rest of this entry »

Read More: A.J. Pierzynski, blake swihart, christian vazquez, Dan Butler
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