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Red Sox were also thinking about acquiring Josh Johnson, Jose Reyes 05.01.13 at 8:20 pm ET
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The Red Sox had interest in acquiring Josh Johnson. (AP)

TORONTO — The Red Sox weren’t willing to execute the same offseason strategy employed by the Blue Jays, and that’s why Josh Johnson and Jose Reyes are calling Canada their home. But that didn’t mean the Sox didn’t try and get the pair.

According to major league sources, the Red Sox had conversations with the Miami Marlins about potentially acquiring both Johnson and Reyes (with a willingness to include Emilio Bonafacio if needed). But with the likelihood that top prospect Xander Bogaerts would need to be included in any such deal, the Red Sox weren’t willing to further talks with Miami.

Speaking before the Blue Jays’ game against the Sox Wednesday night, Johnson said he hadn’t heard anything about Boston’s interest in the offseason, but wouldn’t have been surprised if something went down at the non-waiver trade deadline.

“In the offseason, I wasn’t even thinking about it at all,” Johnson said. “I thought we would have most of the guys there (in Miami), or least me there, until the All-Star break or so. That’s what I had in my head.

“But during the (2012) season I had my wife on high-alert, saying, ‘If something goes down we’ve got to be able to move pretty quick.’ I was hearing a lot of stuff. But ding the offseason, I wasn’t hearing one thing. My agent never said anything. Even when the trae went down he was like, ‘Let me see if this is real or not.’ But by then it was already on MLB Trade Rumors and stuff.”

Prior to the non-waiver trade deadline, Johnson had done some leg-work on what it was like to work for the Red Sox.

“I had a good buddy on the team, Cody Ross. Just talking to him, he said I would love it,” said the pitcher, who played with Ross with the Marlins. “We went to dinner when (Boston) was in Miami. There was just small talk, joking around, like, ‘You would like it here.’ Stuff like that.”

While Reyes (who is likely out until the All-Star break with a severely sprained ankle) is signed through 2017, Johnson will be eligible to become a free agent after the ’13 season. So, with Ross’ endorsement, does the 29-year-old believe he would like it in a place like Boston?

“Everything I’ve heard about it, everybody likes it,” said Johnson, who has been hampered by triceps soreness while compiling a 6.86 ERA in four starts with Toronto. “I don’t see why not. You always want to go to a good baseball town wherever you’re at. That’s a pretty good one.”

Read More: jose reyes, josh johnson, Red Sox,
John Lackey leaves game with arm injury 04.06.13 at 2:45 pm ET
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John Lackey (AP)

TORONTO — Red Sox starter John Lackey left with one out in the fifth inning of the Red Sox’ game with the Blue Jays with what the team classified as a right biceps strain.

The Red Sox’ starter immediately grabbed his right arm after delivering a low and inside pitch to Jose Reyes on the sixth pitch of the at-bat. While the Rogers Centre crowd booed for what it perceived as a pitch thrown intentionally to hit Reyes, Lackey circled the outskirts of the mound while Red Sox manager John Farrell and trainer Rick Jameyson sprinted to the scene.

Farrell immediately replaced Lackey with reliever Alfredo Aceves, with Lackey being escorted off the field by Jameyson.

It appeared as though Lackey was feeling discomfort in the arm two pitches before the final pitch to Reyes, shaking his arm on both the at-bat’s fourth and fifth pitches.

Lackey had turned in a solid outing to the point of his injury, giving up two runs on five hits over 4 1/3 innings, striking out eight while walking one. His only miscue came via a two-run, fourth-inning homer to J.P. Arencibia.

Lackey was grabbing at what appeared to be the biceps area, just above the elbow he had surgically repaired in Nov. 1, 2011.

Read More: john lackey, jose reyes,
Blue Jays GM Alex Anthopoulos explains how David Ortiz, Manny Ramirez influenced his decisions 11.23.12 at 1:28 pm ET
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Alex Anthopoulos suggested that there are contractual similarities between Manny Ramirez and Jose Reyes. (AP)

Blue Jays GM Alex Anthopoulos joined the Red Sox Hot Stove Show on Thursday night to discuss his extremely busy start to the offseason. He discussed the decision to pull the trigger on a blockbuster with the Marlins that netted Josh Johnson, Mark Buehrle and Jose Reyes, the move to sign outfielder Melky Cabrera to a two-year, $16 million deal and the move to hire John Gibbons for a second-term as Toronto manager.

Interestingly, he cited a pair of Red Sox power hitters on multiple occasions during the interview while he explained some of the motivations that have guided Toronto’s ambitious decision-making this offseason.

Asked if he was concerned that Reyes will earn $66 million between 2015-17 over the last three years of his contract (with a $4 million buyout also looming on a $22 million option for 2018), Anthopoulos cited the eight-year, $160 million deal between Ramirez and the Red Sox from 2001-08 to explain his comfort level with the contract.

“The example I can use is that Manny Ramirez, for years everyone thought may have been overpaid when he was having [MVP-caliber] years for Boston at $20 million. Maybe he was worth [$16 million] at the time or [$14 million] or [$17 million], but Boston at the time would rather have the player than not have the player. I think that’s what it comes down to with us,” said Anthopoulos. “I think he’ll be 34 in the last year of the deal. There’s no question it’s obviously a higher salary. I think that’s part of what makes it available. But I think with the way the game is going and you project how things are going to move, I think revenues are clearly starting to climb. You look at some of the TV deals. … I do think the needle is starting to move on some of these players and where the contracts are going. And I do think our payroll is set up to handle that type of contract.

“That’s the only large contract that we have that’s for five years starting in 2013. We don’t have any seven- or eight-year deals. Might Jose Reyes at the time be worth $14 million or $18 million or $17 million? Absolutely. It certainly can happen. But there is a certain point in time where you’d rather have the player than not have the player. Because it’s a premium position player — shortstops are such a scarce commodity to begin with, then you add in the fact that he’s a leadoff hitter, by themselves a leadoff hitter is so hard to find. Then you bring in the component of stolen bases, contact ability, doesn’t strike out much. Does have, I think, actually pretty good power for a smaller guy. You look at the ballparks he’s been in with the Mets and Marlins and now coming over to our ballpark, I think the power will play up a little bit more. And probably more important than anything else, I think the energy that he brings will rub off on his teammates, and I think that [Emilio Bonifacio] is the same way. We really wanted to try to get more high-energy players on this roster.”

Ramirez again emerged, in concert with longtime lineup partner in crime David Ortiz, in discussing why the Blue Jays thought that the timing was right to pull the trigger on a considerable financial commitment to the roster by making the deal with the Marlins. Read the rest of this entry »

Read More: 2012 Hot Stove, alex anthopoulos, Blue Jays, David Ortiz
Red Sox manager John Farrell on ‘the surprise’ of the Blue Jays blockbuster 11.19.12 at 5:28 pm ET
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John Farrell reflected on the blockbuster deal enacted by his former team, the Blue Jays. (AP)

When John Farrell assumed the job of Blue Jays manager in 2010, there was a fairly well-defined vision of the direction of the franchise. The organization planned on building a foundation for success through its scouting and player development system and then, when that foundation had been built, flexing some financial muscle in North America’s fourth largest market and making a push for considerable goals.

That was the operating philosophy of the Jays while Farrell served in their dugout. There was an expectation that, at some point, Toronto would be aggressive in committing both the financial resources and prospects to go for it.

Even so, Farrell admitted that the decision by Toronto to make that push this offseason, coming off a 73-89 season, was not necessarily expected. But the Blue Jays have been the most aggressive team in the majors thus far this offseason, and on Monday, the team’s 12-player blockbuster with the Marlins — in which Toronto received shortstop Jose Reyes, starting pitchers Josh Johnson and Mark Buehrle, utility man Emilio Bonifacio and catcher John Buck in exchange for seven players, shortstops Yunel Escobar and Adeiny Hechavarria, right-hander Henderson Alvarez, catcher Jeff Mathis, outfield prospect Jake Marisnick and pitching prospects Justin Nicolino and Anthony Desclafani — became official.

The timing of Toronto’s willingness to take on players who are owed more than $150 million, which came less than a month after the Sox acquired him from the Jays, caught Farrell somewhat off guard.

“There was always, I think, an indication that there was going to be a point in time in the future that finances were going to be freed up to increase payroll. But to balance that out, there was such a high value placed on a number of young players coming through the system. To see it shift so quickly, that’s probably been the surprise,” said Farrell. “There was a number of good players that they gave up, from a baseball standpoint and setting aside the money that’s attached to those contracts, Toronto gave up a lot of good talent to get more established big league players.”

Farrell is aware that the reaction throughout New England to Toronto’s decisive moves has been an increased urgency among fans for the Sox to do something. The new Sox skipper noted that the emotional investment in the offseason merely underscores part of the appeal of his return to Boston, even as he noted that the best thing for his current club is to avoid reshaping its offseason based on the transactions of his former team.

“There’s passion in both [Toronto and Boston], but I think this is a more intense environment, which is an attraction in and of itself,” said Farrell. “But I think the more important thing is that we stick with a plan that’s been established and we go through that process to acquire players who are a fit for multiple reasons. I think there are times when forces speed up that play. But to react and be reactionary, that’s when you might do some things you didn’t set out to do initially and that can come back and haunt you a little bit.”

Read More: Blue Jays, jake marisnick, John Farrell, jose reyes
Red Sox minor league roundup: Andrew Miller getting close, Ryan Lavarnway goes deep 04.17.12 at 9:13 am ET
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Andrew Miller (AP)

A Red Sox prospect who was taken under the wing of Marlins shortstop Jose Reyes this past offseason had a very strong performance, as did rehabbing left-hander Andrew Miller, who is likely close to joining the Red Sox’ big league club. Also, the leading home run hitter in the Red Sox organization in 2011 cleared the fences for the first time this year.

TRIPLE-A PAWTUCKET RED SOX: 4-3 WIN AT SYRACUSE (NATIONALS)

(BOX)

– Left-hander Andrew Miller bounced back from an appearance on Sunday in which he lost the strike zone. Miller struck out the side while throwing 12 of 15 pitches for strikes, punching out megaprospect Bryce Harper (swinging) and longtime big leaguer Mark Teahen (swinging) before getting right-hander Jhonatan Solano looking.

Red Sox manager Bobby Valentine suggested last week that, after Monday’s game, the Sox would be in a position to evaluate whether Miller is ready to join the big league club, with his outings on back-to-back days seemingly representing a final test for the left-hander. In five minor league innings, Miller has struck out nine, walked five (all in the two Triple-A outings that preceded Monday) and allowed three hits.

– Right-hander Junichi Tazawa came into a one-run game and pitched a scoreless ninth for his first professional save. For the first time this year, he did not get a strikeout, but for the year, he has now tossed seven scoreless innings in four appearances, striking out nine, walking two and permitting five hits.

– Catcher Ryan Lavarnway, who last year hit 34 home runs in 133 total games in Double-A, Triple-A and the majors, went deep for the first time in 2012, hitting a solo homer to right in the sixth inning. It was just the second extra-base hit in 45 plate appearances for Lavarnway, though some of that can likely be traced to the fact that opponents seem to be treating him like a radioactive substance. Though he’s hitting .200, he has a .378 OBP thanks to 10 walks thus far this year, including five in his last three games.

– Third baseman Will Middlebrooks went 0-for-4 as his seven-game hitting streak came to an end.

DOUBLE-A PORTLAND SEA DOGS: 10-5 LOSS VS. BINGHAMTON (METS)

(BOX)

– Third baseman Kolbrin Vitek now has a seven-game hitting streak after going 3-for-5 with a pair of doubles on Monday. It was the ninth time in his career that the 2010 first-rounder has had multiple extra-base hits in the same contest. Read the rest of this entry »

Read More: andrew miller, brandon jacobs, bryce harper, jose reyes
Hot Stove: Marlins reportedly offer Albert Pujols 10-year deal 12.06.11 at 10:34 am ET
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The Marlins made a big splash in the free agent market on Sunday night, as the team came to an agreement to sign All Star shortstop Jose Reyes, but Miami is not stopping there. Sports Illustrated’s Jon Heyman tweeted that the Marlins offered free agent Albert Pujols a 10-year deal on Monday.

The Marlins reportedly met with Pujols twice on Monday and upped the nine-year deal they offered Pujols before Thanksgiving. MLB.com’s Joe Frisaro tweeted that the team will also meet with Pujols’ agent Dan Lozano at some point on Tuesday.

Pujols hit .299 with 37 home runs and 99 RBIs in 2011. It was the first year of his 11-year MLB career that he did not reach the 100 RBI-mark, although the 31-year-old has hit more than 30 home runs in every season of his career.

Read More: Albert Pujols, Hot Stove 2011, jose reyes,
Hot Stove: Jose Reyes reportedly agrees with Marlins 12.05.11 at 6:16 am ET
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Jose Reyes

National League batting champion Jose Reyes has agreed to a six-year, $106 million contract with the Marlins, according to an Associated Press report. The Marlins are said to have a club option for 2018 that would make the contract worth $120 million.

Reyes, an All-Star shortstop, was the first Met to win a batting title. The 28-year-old hit .337 and led the league with 16 triples. He also stole 39 bases.

Reyes has battled injuries the past three seasons, especially to his hamstrings. The most games he has played in a season since 2008 is 133 games.

The Marlins are expected to move Hanley Ramirez to third base to make room for Reyes.

Mets general manager Sandy Alderson said the Mets can not compete with the type of money Reyes apparently received from Miami.

“I don’t believe Mets fans will be surprised if these reports are true that Jose may not be back,” Alderson said. “You have to draw a line somewhere and based on our experience, not just with Jose — but with multiyear contracts generally, and not just with our multiyear contracts, but all multiyear contracts generally — we decided that there were some conceptual limitations to where we would go.”

Read More: Hot Stove 2011, jose reyes,
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