|Ben Cherington on Jacoby Ellsbury, Cody Ross, Jerry Sands and the market for pitching||12.05.12 at 8:19 pm ET|
NASHVILLE, Tenn. — It’s been a relatively quiet day on the trade rumor front for the Red Sox, to the point where the most interesting items to come out of GM Ben Cherington‘s nightly media session at the winter meetings related to activity of the first couple of days.
Foremost, while Cherington did not discuss the agreement that the team reached on Tuesday with outfielder Shane Victorino, he did make clear that in the aftermath of a signing that gives the Sox a second potential center fielder, he is not looking to trade Jacoby Ellsbury.
“You answer the phone and take the calls and listen to ideas. Our expectation is Jacoby will be here and be our center fielder,” said Cherington. “[Dealing Ellsbury] is not our intent. We’re expecting Jacoby to have a really good year in 2013 and be a huge part of what we’re doing.”
As for the level of interest in his center fielder, Cherington said, “I wouldn’t comment specifically. We have a number of guys who are really valued by other teams, so weve been asked about a number of guys. We’re not looking to move guys off our roster. We’re looking to add talent to the roster, not move guys off at this point. We’ll see. You’ve got to listen and learn and have the conversation. We wouldn’t be doing our jobs if we didn’t at least have the dialogue and gather the information and see what other teams are interested in doing.”
Secondly, Cherington said that he met with a player during team meetings. Colleague Rob Bradford confirmed that Cherington and manager John Farrell met with outfielder Josh Hamilton on Monday.
A few other notes:
— Though Cherington said that he hasn’t talked to outfielder Cody Ross since signing Victorino, he didn’t rule out the possibility of bringing back the corner outfielder who performed so well in Boston last year on a one-year, $3 million deal.
“We’re open-minded about it. See where it goes,” the GM said. “I guess that any time you potentially add a player of sort of significant commitment dollar-wise, it makes it a little bit tougher to add more, but I don’t want to rule anything out. We’re still looking to improve the team.”
|Red Sox Minor League Roundup: A long-awaited triumph for Pawtucket; power shows from Bryce Brentz, Jerry Sands||09.09.12 at 9:17 am ET|
It’s part of the nature of the beast for a team perennially in contention. When rosters expand in September, top minor league talent is scraped from the Triple-A team and deposited in the big leagues to offer season-ending reinforcements, at the expense of success at the top minor league level.
Even in 2012, when the Red Sox saw their hopes of competing for a playoff spot at the big league level in September go up in smoke in August, the raid on Pawtucket had been considerable. Lineup standouts like Mauro Gomez, Ryan Lavarnway, Jose Iglesias and Pedro Ciriaco were all summoned to the majors before the end of the Triple-A regular season.
Yet Pawtucket kept winning, getting particularly strong pitching performances from relatively unheralded extras — largely minor league free agent signings — to push its way into the postseason. And on Saturday, behind a dominant from 38-year-old Nelson Figueroa — who allowed one run on two hits in eight innings while punching out eight — the PawSox claimed their first playoff series win since 2003. The team’s 7-1 victory gave it a 3-1 series win over the Yankees‘ Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre affiliate, with Pawtucket now advancing to the Governor’s Cup Finals, in search of its first International League title since 1984.
TRIPLE-A PAWTUCKET: 7-1 WIN AT SCRANTON/WILKES-BARRE (WIN BEST-OF-FIVE PLAYOFF SERIES, 3-1)
— Bryce Brentz put the finishing touches on an outstanding playoff performance by going 2-for-3 with a double and a walk. He was 6-for-14 with two doubles and two homers in the series, collecting an extra-base hit in each of the four playoff contests. He had a double to center and a single to right, showing an impressive ability to hit the ball to all fields during the season. That ability is not something that necessarily came naturally to Brentz, who once explained his evolution as a hitter in these terms: Read the rest of this entry »
|Red Sox, Dodgers appear close to blockbuster sending Adrian Gonzalez, Josh Beckett and Carl Crawford to LA for prospects||08.25.12 at 7:38 am ET|
The incentive for the Red Sox to steam forward in a sweeping roster overhaul — a potential blockbuster sending first baseman Adrian Gonzalez, right-hander Josh Beckett and outfielder Carl Crawford along with utility infielder Nick Punto to the Dodgers in exchange for first baseman James Loney and multiple prospects — is fairly evident. While a major league source said that a deal is not expected on Friday night, it does appear to be gaining momentum to the point where the two teams have exchanged medical records to review as a prelude to a potential deal, whose logic makes all the sense in the world for a Red Sox team that has fallen out of contention.
It’s no secret: In a 12-month span from Dec. 2009 to Dec. 2010, the Red Sox made a series of calculated, high-risk gambles meant to secure a championship core for the long haul, only to see their bets blow up in spectacular fashion. It started in Dec. 2009, when the team signed John Lackey to a five-year, $82.5 million deal through 2014. That was followed by a four-year, $68 million extension in April 2010 that secured the services of Josh Beckett through 2014. The following offseason, after the Sox missed the playoffs, the team traded for first baseman Adrian Gonzalez and agreed to the parameters of a seven-year, $154 million extension (on top of his $6.3 million salary in 2011) that would keep him in Boston through 2018. And, finally, the Sox signed free agent Carl Crawford to a seven-year, $142 million contract at the Dec. 2010 winter meetings, with the deal running from 2011-17.
For a time, it appeared that the Sox had set themselves up for the long haul. But when the team fell apart last September, missing the playoffs by a game — following a 2011 season in which Crawford and Lackey (who required Tommy John surgery) had performed poorly, and in which Beckett had been viewed as a central culprit in a clubhouse that fell apart, those deals started to look ominous, particularly given all that followed in 2012.
The Sox had little to no flexibility to pursue roster upgrades last offeason, at least in the absence of deals to move salary (such as the one that sent Marco Scutaro to the Rockies so that the team would have money to sign Cody Ross). And so, at a time when pitchers such as Hiroki Kuroda, Edwin Jackson and Roy Oswalt were there for the taking on appealing one-year deals, the Sox did not have the available cash reserves within their payroll to make competitive bids for them. Read the rest of this entry »
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