Friday, January 12, 2018

Red Sox Sign Jackie Bradley, Jr. To One-Year Deal

The Red Sox avoided arbitration with center-fielder Jackie Bradley, Jr. by agreeing to a one-year, $6.1 million contract. A number of other Boston players remain un-signed—with the deadline for signings coming at the close of business on Friday. Stay tuned!

Thursday, January 11, 2018

Muddy Chicken Sees Himself Ready For Opening Day

What else would you expect from Dustin Pedroia? The Red Sox second-baseman today told WEEI.com's Rob Bradford that he expects to be ready to play on Opening Day (March 29th). Most observers felt that The Laser Show would be sidelined  by his knee issues until at least the All-Star Break. Of course, that's the expectation you would have of a mere mortal. We'll see if Pedey's timetable holds—he first needs to be cleared to just run next Wednesday. Stay tuned!

Our Guess Is Sox Owners Refer To Jimmies As Sprinkles

As we slog through this 'Winter Of Our Red Sox Discontent' (with apologies to John Steinbeck), it's instructive to remember that the NOG (New Ownership Group) are definitively not Boston. Maybe Red Sox President Sam Kennedy can skate by (he is a native of Brookline and a legitimately good person), but the rest of the bunch are interloping carpetbaggers—and always have been. From Day One—when former MLB Commissioner Bud Selig greased the skids of their purchase—they've been over-bearing, politically-correct and just flat-out unlikeable. True, they have given us three World Series Championships—and they will forever deserve high praise for that. But, now, they seem to be resting on their laurels and biding their time until they can sell to the highest bidder and—quite likely—make the biggest profit in sports history. No moves at the deadline last year. Dangerously close to getting no bat for 2018. And, all the while sucking dry every last dime associated with "America's Most Beloved Ballpark". Endless concerts, and other non-baseball events (like football and soccer games) have defiled the old place. And, no matter what they tell you—it is old, 106-years-old to be exact. When they flee town—and they will flee—Red Sox fans will still be saddled with a creaking, cramped, obstruction-filled, infrastructure-impaired ballpark. Thanks, John Henry! And, by the way, we bet you call those chocolate things on top of ice cream "sprinkles".

Martinez And Boras May Stonewall Into Spring Training

Boras (L); Martinez (R)
According to a report by Jon Heyman of FanRagSports.com, free-agent J.D. Martinez is willing to wait out the market—even as far as into Spring Training. The Red Sox have offered Martinez a five-year contract—but Dave Dombrowski has reportedly drawn a line in the sand on any additional years. Reportedly, at least two other teams have offered five-year pacts—but financial terms are not known on any of the offers. His Uber-Agent Scott Boras is seeking at least six years. His current team, Arizona, is likely one of the other suitors—a place he could play his desired outfield position. Also, the Diamondbacks recently hired Martinez's personal hitting coach. If all things are equal, he may just stay put in the desert. Stay tuned!

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Yankees Have Shut Down Trade Talks For SP Gerrit Cole

UPDATE: Evil Ones may still be in the mix!
According to George A. King III of The New York Post, the Yankees have shut down trade talks with the Pirates for 27-year-old starting pitcher Gerrit Cole. As of Wednesday afternoon, it is still unclear whether the Astros have made a deal for Cole—conflicting reports have been shooting across the InterWebs all day. In any event—as far as Red Sox fans are concerned—the news is good: Cole will not be suiting up in the Bronx. The Evil Ones will probably now focus on pitchers like Alex Cobb, Lance Lynn and Andrew Cashner to fill out their rotation.

Groome And Chavis Top Baseball Prospectus Sox List

Left-handed pitcher Jay Groome (#1) and third-baseman Michael Chavis (#2) sit atop the latest Red Sox prospect list—according to Baseball Prospectus. Also on the newly-released list are: Bryan Mata (RHP, #3), Michael Shawaryn (RHP, #6) and Sam Travis (1B, #10).

Benintendi's Agent Suspended By MLB Players Assoc.

UPDATE: Allegedly filmed showering clients
According to Jeff Passan of YahooSports, sports agent Jason Wood has been "fired by Career Sports Entertainment and suspended by the Major League Baseball Players Association". Reportedly, the union will look into bizarre allegations that Wood used a hidden camerafor what purpose is not clear. Wood has represented several MLB players—including Boston's Andrew Benintendi. Oops!

A Decade Ago, Jon Lester's Great Take On Trade Rumors

(Getty Images)
Back in January of 2008, rumors were swirling that the Red Sox might trade their young starting pitcher Jon Lester to the Minnesota Twins. The potential deal would have sent Lester, Jacoby Ellsbury, Jed Lowrie and Michael Bowden to the Twinkies for Johan Santana. Thankfully, the trade never happened, and Santana went to the Mets a month later. But when the trade chatter was at its peak, the then-24-year-old Lester offered up one of the best baseball quotes ever: "No call is better than any call. As long as I don’t get a call, I’ll just assume to show up to Fort Myers. Actually, I guess I’ll show up at Fort Myers anyways." Perfect.

Gerrit Cole Is Not Headed To The Bronx, But To Houston

UPDATE: Conflicting reports on Cole 
MLB Network's Jon Morosi reports that a trade of Gerrit Cole to the Astros is "imminent". Thus, while they lusted after Cole, The Bronx Embalmers will now have to look elsewhere for another starter. There is no definitive word yet on who will be going back to Pittsburgh. The World Series Champions now can sport a rotation of: Dallas Keuchel, Justin Verlander, Lance McCullers, and Cole. Pretty daunting.

D'Backs Most Active On Machado, Sox And NYY Still In

According to reporting by Tim Daniels of BleacherReport.com, the Arizona Diamondbacks are the most "persistent" team in the trade talks with Baltimore to land Manny Machado. Reports also indicate that both The Evil Ones and Red Sox are still in the mix—although former Sox and current Oriole GM Dan Duquette is finding it hard to convince his owner to deal within the division. Another hurdle for both New York and Boston is Machado's desire to switch to shortstop—meaning potential displacement of players like Didi Gregorious and Xander Bogaerts. Stay tuned!

REPORT: Red Sox One Of 'Sleeper' Teams For Moustakas

(Getty Images)
This off-season, very few reports have linked Mike Moustakas with the Red Sox. Most observers assume that Boston will either make a block-buster deal for Manny Machado (less and less likely an option) or take a gamble on youngster Rafael Devers for a full season. Now, however, reports are emerging that identify the Red Sox as a "sleeper" team on Kansas City's free-agent third-baseman. The favorites to land Moustakas remain the Royals, Braves, Cardinals, Mets, Orioles and Evil Ones. But, if Moustakas responds to the slow market by accepting a one-year deal, then Boston's chances will likely improve. Adding Moustakas and J.D. Martinez for 2018 would significantly enhance Boston's chances of challenging The Pinstriped Posers in the AL East.

Sox Prospect Shawaryn Has More Talents Than Pitching

Mike Shawaryn
In 2016, the Red Sox drafted right-handed pitcher Mike Shawaryn in the fifth round out of the University of Maryland, College Park. Since then, he has steadily improved his craft—striking out 11.3 hitters per nine innings pitched in 2017 at two different Single A levels. According to Christopher Smith of MassLive.com, Shawaryn is likely to start 2018 at AA Portland. But the other interesting thing about the pitcher is his love of music—and his ability to play a mean jazz saxophone. Shawaryn has loved music since he was a kid and gravitated toward the sax in third grade. Depending on how he does with the Sea Dogs, Shawaryn could provide some late-season depth for Boston in the bullpen or as a spot-starter in the rotation.

Tuesday, January 9, 2018

MLB Closer To New Pace-Of-Play Rules For 2018 Season

(USATSI)
It's looking more and more as if two new pace-of-play initiatives will actually be in place at the major league level in 2018. Specifically, the unilateral implementation of a pitch clock and limits on mound visits are likely to be part of MLB games this coming season—although Commissioner Rob Manfred would still like to get the assent of the players union. The Commissioner has the right to impose the two new rules since the league officially "gave notice" of them a year ago—even though the union rejected both. Details on the two rules are sketchy—although specifics could be resolved in meetings with the union that are expected to take place soon. While the minor leagues have successfully used a 20-second pitch clock, the MLB version may be longer (25-30 seconds). Also, there may need to be more flexibility on the number of mound visits to be allowed (the proposal is one mound visit by a catcher per pitcher, per inning). In any event, the game should be quite different, and hopefully, appreciably faster in 2018.