|Dodgers sign former Red Sox left-hander Rich Hill to 3-year, $48 million deal||12.05.16 at 1:28 pm ET|
Veteran left-hander Rich Hill, who resurrected his career in September of 2015 with the Red Sox, hit it big in free agency on Monday, agreeing to a three-year, $48 million deal with the Dodgers, the team announced.
The Milton native, who converted to a starter with the independent Long Island Ducks before signing with the Red Sox on Aug. 14, 2015, went 12-5 with a 2.12 ERA between Oakland and Los Angeles last season.
The 37-year-old has played for eight teams in his career. He went 4-1 with a 1.44 ERA over parts of four seasons with the Red Sox.
He underwent a late-career renaissance in part because of an increased focus on his curveball, under the guidance of assistant Red Sox pitching coach Brian Bannister.
Hill is 38-28 with a 4.10 ERA over his 12 years in the big leagues.
|Potential DH target Pedro Alvarez grew up loving Red Sox, even though he’s from Bronx||at 11:46 am ET|
The Red Sox have had dalliances with Pedro Alvarez over the years. Could he finally join them?
With the Red Sox in the market for an affordable DH on a one-year deal, and higher-profile performers like Carlos Beltran (Astros) and Matt Holliday (Yankees) leaving the board, someone like Alvarez could be a fit.
That would be a dream come true for the Bronx native, who actually grew up a Red Sox fan. It’s why his college coach, Vanderbilt’s Tim Corbin, worried that Alvarez would spurn him after the Red Sox selected him in the 14th round of the 2005 draft.
“He’s a New York kid, so you would’ve thought the Yankees were his team,” Corbin said in 2014. “But all along the Red Sox were his favorite team. That raised some concerns with me with where his emotions would lead him.”
According to former Red Sox scouting director Jason McLeod, the team was prepared to budge off its $850,000 offer to move closer to Alvarez’s desired $1 million, but in the end he chose school and it worked out, because the Pirates eventually made him the No. 2 overall pick in the 2008 draft, signing him for $6 million.
“It came right down to that morning,” Alvaerz said in 2014. “School was very important to my family, and [signing] just didn’t feel right at the time. Something was telling us to go the school route, and we just held onto faith and hoped that everything worked out. Once I made the decision, there was no turning back.”
When the Red Sox considered ways to fill their hole at third base after the 2014 season, they canvassed the league for players whose arbitration numbers could make them trade targets. Alvarez’s name was on that list, but the Red Sox couldn’t risk acquiring a third baseman who had just committed 25 errors and was certain to move to first base or DH, positions the Red Sox had filled with Mike Napoli and David Ortiz, respectively.
They instead chose Pablo Sandoval, a decision that contributed to GM Ben Cherington losing his job and the Red Sox finishing last in 2015.
Times have changed, however. Alvarez just slugged .504 with 22 homers for the Orioles. He hit 21 homers with an .848 OPS against righties and could give the Red Sox the left-handed half of a potential DH platoon.
They’ve missed out on him twice. Maybe the third time will be the charm.
|Yankees sign Matt Holliday to one-year deal, further shrinking Red Sox DH market||12.04.16 at 10:32 pm ET|
Cross another potential Red Sox DH off the list.
The Yankees on Sunday agreed to a one-year, $13 million deal with veteran slugger Matt Holliday, according to multiple published reports.
Holliday, who turns 37 next month, hit .246 with 20 homers last year for the Cardinals, who did not pick up his $17 million option.
The 13-year vet is a lifetime .305 hitter with 295 home runs. With fellow veteran Carlos Beltran agreeing a day earlier to a one-year contract with the Astros, the Red Sox are now looking at a slim market for DH types.
Old friend Mike Napoli is one option, along with Pedro Alvarez, who slugged .504 with 22 homers for the Orioles last year.
|Report: Carlos Beltran agrees to one-year deal with Astros||12.03.16 at 2:30 pm ET|
Cross Carlos Beltran off the list of potential Red Sox designated hitters.
According to ESPN’s Buster Olney, Beltran has agreed to a one-year, $16 million deal with the Astros that includes a full no-trade clause.
Beltran, who turns 40 in April, hit .295 with an .850 OPS last year. The switch hitter was considered a potential one-year stopgap at DH for the Red Sox, who may now turn their attention to former Cardinals outfielder Matt Holliday.
|Curt Schilling on Hot Stove Show: Would rather make Hall of Fame than win Senate seat||12.01.16 at 10:39 am ET|
Forget about Mr. Schilling goes to Washington. He’d rather be in Cooperstown.
In an appearance on Wednesday’s Hot Stove Show on WEEI, former Red Sox great Curt Schilling was asked if he’d rather make the Hall of Fame or win a Senate seat. His answer was mildly surprising.
“Oh, Hall of Fame,” he said. “The Senate seat thing is something that when you look down into it . . . one of the things I’ve tried to do and want to do is make a difference. And I’m not sure that happens on the floor of the Senate as much as it could happen now with the talk show, or being involved and around young athletes. Going to the Hall of Fame opens doors for our ALS and the SHADE Foundation and the ability to reach out and talk to more young people, and that’s something I’m very, very passionate about.”
The topic arose because two Hall of Fame voters — the Globe’s Dan Shaughnessy and national writer Jon Heyman — have suggested they won’t vote for Schilling anymore because of an offensive meme involving lynching journalists that he posted to social media.
Schilling, who received 52.3 percent of the vote in his fourth year on the ballot last winter, said he doesn’t care.
“The people that know me know that I was a good teammate, and I’m a nice guy, and I love to debate and have fun,” he said. “To say that I don’t care is not to put it in proper context, but to say that I think about it for one second outside of the process when it happens and when it’s announced would be a lie. I don’t. I have no control over it.”
Getting back to the issue of the Senate, Schilling was pressed on why he believed he couldn’t effect change in Washington.
“Being a Senator is about taking the concerns of your constituents to Washington and trying to get those things fixed and worked on,” he said. “And so I don’t know what the voters of Massachusetts would want taken to Washington. I don’t know how much of a difference I could make. I do know that free education is laughable and not possible financially for anybody, which is one of Elizabeth Warren’s tax-and-spend platforms. I do know that I would be as representative of the people as anybody that ever served, because I would not have a problem taking my constituents’ voice to D.C. even if I was the outlier.”
As for whether he should be in the Hall of Fame, Schilling said he doesn’t believe he makes the cut, despite his postseason greatness.
“In my Hall of Fame, no,” he said. “My Hall of Fame criteria is very simple. Someone is either blatantly easily a Hall of Famer or not. That doesn’t work in the current Hall of Fame, because there’s this nebulous gray area that has allowed people to get in that I don’t think should be in, but it has also kept people I think should definitely be in out, like a Dale Murphy or a Fred McGriff. Those guys were Hall of Famers to me.
“Pedro Martinez is a Hall of Famer. Randy Johnson is a Hall of Famer. I think in October, there was no better pitcher in the history of the game, ever, than I was. But I don’t know that the criteria for the regular season that I did it enough, the bulk numbers people look for.”
Schilling won 216 games and went 11-2 in the postseason.
Asked if he believed his political stances have cost him votes — he hosts a daily talk show on the right-wing Breitbart network — he didn’t hesitate. Would any of this be an issue if he leaned left?
“Absolutely it wouldn’t be an issue, and I’d still be working at ESPN,” he said. “But it is what it is.”
|Major League Baseball, union agree on new five-year collective bargaining agreement, avoid lockout||11.30.16 at 11:39 pm ET|
Baseball once again has labor peace.
The league and its players on Wednesday night agreed to a new five-year collective bargaining agreement that will eventually raise the luxury tax threshold over $200 million for the first time.
The threshold will increase from $189 million to $195 million in 2017, leaving the Dodgers, Yankees, Red Sox, and Tigers above the limit next season, according to USA Today.
Otherwise, very little changed. Rosters did not expand from 25 to 26, there won’t be an international draft, and expanded September rosters will remain.
One small change affecting relatively few players relates to free agent compensation. Whereas players who declined a qualifying offer once would’ve cost the signing team a first-round pick, they’ll now cost that team a third-rounder if they’re under the tax threshold, or a second- and fifth-rounder if they’re over.
The agreement, which still must be ratified by the owners and players, was reached hours before a Dec. 1 deadline, otherwise the owners had threatened a lockout. It ensures labor peace through the 2021 season, when the luxury tax threshold will expand to $210 million.
The deal is expected to trigger a flurry of moves, with a number of teams — including the Red Sox — reluctant to act until the game’s financial landscape had been established.
|Rick Porcello of Red Sox named American League Comeback Player of the Year||11.29.16 at 2:53 pm ET|
The honors and accolades keep rolling in for Rick Porcello.
The Red Sox right-hander, who earlier this month claimed the American League Cy Young Award, on Tuesday added Comeback Player of the Year to his resume.
Porcello finished first in balloting among the 30 beat reporters from MLB.com. He was joined by National League winner Anthony Rendon of the Nationals.
Porcello, 27, went 22-4 with a 3.15 ERA and nipped former teammate Justin Verlander of the Tigers in the Cy Young voting. His 22 victories led the big leagues and were the most by a Red Sox pitcher since Pedro Martinez won 23 in 1999.
Porcello’s numbers were a far cry from 2015, when he debuted with the Red Sox by going 9-15 with a 4.92 ERA.
Porcello is the first Red Sox player to win the award since outfielder Jacoby Ellsbury claimed it in 2011.
|Manny Ramirez, Jason Varitek, Tim Wakefield among first-time Hall of Fame nominees in list dominated by ex-Red Sox||11.21.16 at 1:29 pm ET|
The Baseball Hall of Fame released its ballot for the upcoming election, and a number of Red Sox are among the first-time nominees, including slugging outfielder Manny Ramirez, steady catcher Jason Varitek, and dependable knuckleballer Tim Wakefield.
Ramirez, catcher Pudge Rodriguez, and former MVP Vladimir Guerrero are among the highest-profile newcomers.
There are no fewer than nine former Red Sox nominated for the first time, in addition to the aforementioned trio: shortstop Orlando Cabrera, outfielder Mike Cameron, outfielder J.D. Drew, shortstop Edgar Renteria, infielder Freddy Sanchez, and outfielder Matt Stairs.
Ramirez represents the trickiest candidate of the bunch. His numbers — .312 average, 555 homers — are easily worthy, but he failed a pair of drug tests and is unlikely to attain enshrinement.
Varitek and Wakefield have little chance, though the former made three All-Star appearances and won a Gold Glove, while the latter was an All-Star and 200-game winner.
Of the players returning to the ballot, Jeff Bagwell (71.6 percent) is the likeliest to get in. Ex-Red Sox Roger Clemens (45.2) and Curt Schilling (52.3) remain a ways away.
|Torey Lovullo introduced as Diamondbacks manager, pays tribute to John Farrell||11.07.16 at 1:31 pm ET|
The Arizona Diamondbacks introduced Torey Lovullo as their new manager on Monday, and Lovullo took the opportunity to thank the man who made much of it possible.
Red Sox manager John Farrell, whom Lovullo served under for the last three years (with a stint as interim skipper while Farrell underwent chemotherapy treatments in 2015), was singled out for his influence on his career.
“I also want to say a quick thank you to John Farrell, who’s a friend and mentor to me,” Lovullo told reporters, including Tim Britton of the Providence Journal. “Along the way, we walked through some very difficult times. He was the guy who took a chance on me and gave me my very first opportunity and helped me sit in this seat today.”
Lovullo, 51, won a World Series with the Red Sox in 2013. He has extensive experience as a minor-league manager and big-league bench coach, and was brought to Arizona by former Red Sox general manager Mike Hazen.
“I want to aim as high as possible,” Lovullo told reporters. “I am very optimistic that we have the capabilities of doing something special . . . We want to bring a system of communication. We want to take what we learned [in Boston] and perfect it here.”
|JetBlue names gate No. 34 after David Ortiz at Logan Airport||11.05.16 at 3:28 pm ET|
At this rate, everything in Boston is eventually going to be named for David Ortiz.
According to the Associated Press, Gate No. 34 at Logan Airport will be renamed in Ortiz’s honor by JetBlue. The announcement was made by a JetBlue employee during a party honoring the retired star in the Seaport District on Friday.
‘”You mean I’m going to have my own gate at the airport?” Ortiz said at the party. “You’re [messing] with me, aren’t you?”
Ortiz was named the best hitter in the American League after an historic walk-off season that saw him hit .315 with 38 homers and 127 RBIs.
Ortiz retires after 14 seasons with the Red Sox, who picked up his 2017 option, even though he has made it clear he’s not coming back.
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