|Red Sox heading into new season with fourth-highest payroll||04.01.13 at 8:30 am ET|
NEW YORK — Early on in the offseason, Red Sox general manager Ben Cherington said on WEEI that his team would have one of the highest payrolls in baseball when the 2013 season kicked off.
He was right.
According to a report from USA Today, the Red Sox are entering the new season with the fourth-highest payroll, coming in at $150,655, 500. The only teams that have a higher price tag are the Yankees ($228,835,490), Dodgers ($216,597,577) and Phillies ($165,385,714). The Tigers reside just behind the Sox at $148,414,500.
The Red Sox’ payroll falls well short of where they stood on Opening Day 2012, when their number came in at $173,186,617, only behind teh Yankees and Phillies.
Alex Rodriguez enters ’13 with the highest salary, being paid $29 million, with Cliff Lee ($25 million) and Johan Santana ($24,644,708) directly behind him. John Lackey is the Red Sox’ highest-paid player, making $15,950,000, followed by David Ortiz ($14,500,00). The Red Sox do, however, have eight players making $9 million or better, compared to the seven they totaled a year ago.
The Astros easily won the prize for lowest payroll, totaling a number of $22,062,600.
|John Farrell isn’t ready to name his Opening Day designated hitter quite yet||03.11.13 at 12:58 pm ET|
JUPITER, Fla. — With news coming down that it his highly unlikely David Ortiz will be ready for Opening Day, the guessing began regarding who might fill the designated hitter spot for the Red Sox on April 1 in Yankee Stadium.
Prior to the Sox’ spring training game against the Marlins at Roger Dean Stadium Monday, manager John Farrell wasn’t ready to start penciling in lineups.
“I think you’re always having some contingencies no matter what position,” Farrell said. “That’s part of the overall internal discussions that take place. As it relates to David, depending on where we are over the next week to 10 days to two weeks, we’ll consider all the options internally right now. … Not that we’ve really set out what the ultimate make-up of the bench is, who fills that slot. Ongoing. Not to give you a short answer and try and avoid it.”
Depending on both the length of time Ortiz will miss, and whom might be available on the roster, the Red Sox could filter a variety of players at the DH position to start. (And the candidates won’t include free agent Derrek Lee, whom, according to a major league source, the Red Sox have not talked about. The Yankees have reportedly shown interest in the 37-year-old.)
Against right-handers, the candidates would include Jarrod Saltamacchia, and whichever player(s) emerge from the Ryan Sweeney, Mitch Maier, Lyle Overbay, and Mike Carp group.
With a left-hander on the hill, Mauro Gomez and Ryan Lavarnway are both in the mix to both be on the roster and serve as a fill-in for Ortiz. Mike Napoli could also get a respite from playing first base, moving one of the aforementioned backup first basemen into the lineup. Jonny Gomes could also move in from the outfield.
As WEEI.com’s Alex Speier reported Saturday, outfielder Jackie Bradley Jr. is not likely to be considered for a spot on the Opening Day major league roster.
“It’s safe to say we don’t have another David Ortiz waiting to occupy that slot,” Farrell said. “What the best match-ups are, that’s where we’ll have to continue to look at. How we balance Mike Napoli playing every day, that will be another thing factored in. Right now everything projects where he would be fine, but we’ve also got to consider that.”
As for how the right-handed-hitting designated hitter candidates have done against Yankees’ Opening Day starter CC Sabathia: Gomez (1-for-2), Nava (2-for-7), Saltlamacchia (3-for-14), Gomes (5-for-24) and Lavarnway (0-for-3).
|Kevin Youkilis on WAAF: Why he chose the Yankees, bringing more love to the rivalry, and getting Derek Jeter to rock a ‘stache||12.18.12 at 5:10 pm ET|
Former Red Sox All-Star Kevin Youkilis, in an interview on WAAF’s Hill-Man Morning Show (to hear the complete interview, click here), said that he didn’t envision signing with the Yankees at the start of the offseason, and that the decision to do so “wasn’t easy.” He had a preference to play close to the Bay Area — where he and his family live during the offseason — and he was also intrigued by the possibility of playing for Terry Francona in Cleveland, where the former Red Sox manager will now steward the Indians.
But, ultimately, the Yankees’ combination of a competitive opportunity and a sizable one-year, $12 milliion contract sold Youkilis on joining the Yankees for 2013.
“It wasn’t easy. It wasn’t easy to sign, because I had Tito in Cleveland, New York and there were a couple other teams in the mix. But in the end, I had to do what was best. I thought it was the best opportunity to win the World Series, was with the New York Yankees,” he said. “I think when you’re a free agent, it’s never easy. For me, the easiest decision would have been if the Oakland A’s or San Francisco Giants were in the running because they’re the closest teams to where I am now. Read the rest of this entry »
|Kevin Youkilis at Yankees introduction: ‘I never thought I’d be on the other side’||12.14.12 at 10:33 pm ET|
The development was certainly unexpected.
For years, Kevin Youkilis was among the most loathed visitors to Yankee Stadium. As a member of the Red Sox, he seemed the ultimate antagonist in the American League East rivalry, in some ways Boston’s answer to Yankee predecessor Paul O’Neill (a player to whom former Yankees manager Joe Torre sometimes compared Youkilis). If there was a bloodthirstiness to the rivalry, it seemed as if the Yankees (and their fans) wanted Youkilis’ blood more than any other player’s, with memorable instances in which Joba Chamberlain threw over Youkilis’ head and in which Scott Proctor once actually did send a fastball glancing off his helmet.
Given the side of the fault line on which he resided for the first eight-plus seasons of his big league career, then, it came as something of a shock even to Youkilis that he donned pinstripes on Friday for his introductory press conference as a member of the Yankees following his agreement to a one-year, $12 million deal to play for New York in 2013.
“I never thought I’d be on the other side of the rivalry,” Youkilis admitted to reporters in New York. “I was very humbled and amazed that the Yankees jumped into the picture.” Read the rest of this entry »
|Hot Stove: Are Yankees looking for Alex Rodriguez’ replacement at third base?||11.24.12 at 2:11 pm ET|
FoxSports.com Ken Rosenthal reports that the Yankees may be looking for alternatives to Alex Rodriguez at third base, with free agent Jeff Keppinger on New York’s radar. Eric Chavez, who played 50 games at third for the Yanks in 2012, is a free agent.
Rosenthal points out that Cashman has insisted Rodriguez is still entrenched at third base, recently saying, “There is no discussion whatsoever about Alex transitioning from third base to DH, part-time DH, first base or any other position on the field. .. As we approach anyone in the free-agent market or anyone in trades, we’re making sure we have insurance policies, (asking) our what-ifs?”
The 37-year-old Rodriguez played 81 games at third base in ’12 and a career-high 38 games at designated hitter.
Keppinger, 32, played 41 games at third for Tampa Bay in ’12. CBSSports.com also reported the Yankees have interest in free agent infielder Stephen Drew. Rosenthal also raises free agent Marco Scutaro and Detroit shortstop Jhonny Peralta as possible New York targets.
|Blue Jays GM Alex Anthopoulos explains how David Ortiz, Manny Ramirez influenced his decisions||11.23.12 at 1:28 pm ET|
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 »
|Sunday’s Red Sox-Yankees matchups: Josh Beckett vs. Hiroki Kuroda||08.19.12 at 8:43 am ET|
Josh Beckett will take the mound Sunday night looking to have a better outing than he did last time against the Yankees, when he allowed six runs through five innings in the Red Sox’ 10-8 loss on July 6.
In that game, Beckett (5-10, 5.19 ERA) allowed five runs in the first inning before settling down and holding New York to one run through the next four innings. The 32-year-old has a 9.90 ERA the first inning this season, and has allowed runs in the first inning in five of his last seven outings.
Those first-inning woes did not hold true in his last outing, but that did not mean the game ended in a better result. Beckett allowed five runs in the sixth inning in the Red Sox’ 7-1 loss to the Orioles.
The right-hander has had a lot of experience against the Yankees, and has had mixed results against the lineup. He has had a lot of success against Mark Teixeira, who only has a .184 batting average in 60 plate appearances.
Taking the mound for the Yankees will be Hiroki Kuroda, who is coming off his best start of the season.
Kuroda (11-9, 3.06 ERA) pitched a complete-game shutout against the potent bats of the Rangers on Tuesday, only allowing two hits and two walks while striking out five.
The 37-year-old has a 5-1 record with a 2.42 ERA in his last 10 starts and leads Yankees starters in innings pitched and ERA.
The Red Sox have not seen too much of Kuroda throughout his career. However, Adrian Gonzalez, who faced the right-hander a number of times when they were both in the NL West, has had a lot of success against Kuroda. Gonzalez has a .345 average with a .690 slugging percentage in 35 plate appearances. Read the rest of this entry »
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