Dollar Bills Ya’ll

Pablo Sandoval AND Hanley Ramirez? It looks closer to being a done deal than not.

It was reported late last night that free agent 3B Pablo Sandoval was nearing a five-year deal with the Red Sox. BUT, a bit surprisingly, Hanley Ramirez entered into the mix as well.

While neither have been officially reported by the Red Sox, numerous sources have received confirmation of both signings.

According to FOX Sports’ Ken Rosenthal, the Ramirez deal is a four-year, $88MM contract with a $22MM vesting option for a fifth season.
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Ramirez, who hit .283 with 13 homers for the Dodgers last season and owns a .300 average for his career. In order to help his free agent case, Ramirez said he was open to switching positions, though his signing with the Sox opens up a number of possibilities on that front. He was a third baseman with the Miami Marlins once Jose Reyes came to town in 2012. Now, he might even play left field, leading to more speculation that the Sox could deal Yoenis Cespedes for a front line starter.

Even with the reported signings, Ramirez would join Yoenis Cespedes, Rusney Castillo, Shane Victorino, Allen Craig, Brock Holt, Jackie Bradley, Mookie Betts and Daniel Nava in a potentially VERY crowded outfield.
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The other alternative for Boston would be to install Ramirez at shortstop, Sandoval at 3B and then look to deal Bogaerts, whose star-caliber ceiling would make him a major chip in any trade. Even if Bogaerts was dealt, the Red Sox wouldn’t have to deal with Ramirez’s shortstop glove for too long as prospect Deven Marrero could eventually take over, shifting Ramirez or Sandoval to DH (the other would play third) once David Ortiz retires. Ortiz’s contract is only guaranteed for the 2015 season, though the 39-year-old slugger has a pair of team/vesting options for 2016 and 2017.

However things break down, it’s clear that the Red Sox are looking to add as many top bats as possible in the increasingly pitching-dominated league. The Sox have been hesitant about signing free agents to long contracts given how several of their recent major signings (i.e. Carl Crawford, J.D. Drew, John Lackey, Adrian Gonzalez) provided minimal. On paper, Ramirez doesn’t fit the model of the safe signing that Boston would prefer given his age (he’ll be 31 on Opening Day), injury history and defensive issues, though given how little payroll space the Sox have tied up in future commitments, the club had plenty of flexibility. But, we was once a prized possession of the Sox before dealing him to the Marlins for Mike Lowell and Josh Beckett.

For Sandoval, he is a career .294 hitter with 106 home runs. He has been especially good in the postseason hitting .344 in 39 games and driving in 20 runs. And that’s with playing just 1 game in the 2010 World Series against the Rangers.

“Kung Fu Panda’s” contract is a five-year deal worth nearly $100 million reports CBS Sports’s Jon Heyman.

How about this potential lineup –

Rusney Castillo, CF
Dustin Pedroia, 2B
David Ortiz DH
Yoenis Cespedes RF
Hanley Ramirez LF
Pablo Sandoval 3B
Mike Napoli 1B
Xanders Bogaerts SS
Christian Vazquez c

If Cespedes is dealt, Mookie Betts in RF?

Hot Stove…you bet! And the Red Sox aren’t done yet! Time to load up on arms.

Thanks for reading,

Jeff
@jlevering4
jlevering@pawsox.com

Red Sox Add Four to 40-Man Roster

The Boston Red Sox reached their maximum amount of players on their 40-man roster yesterday as they added a quartet of talented prospects.

Catcher Blake Swihart, lefty Eduardo Rodriguez and infielders Travis Shaw and Sean Coyle are now protected from the upcoming Rule 5 Draft. All but Coyle saw time in Pawtucket this past season.

Swihart by a number of people as the catcher of the future for the Red Sox. He played the majority of the 2014 season with Portland, but spent the last month plus the playoffs with Pawtucket. Swihart’s hit .293 with 26 doubles, 4 triples, 13 homers and 64 RBIs. Swihart threw out 45.6 percent of attempted basestealers. He saved the PawSox season in the bottom of the 10th inning in Game of the Governors’ Cup Finals against Durham scooping up a throw from left field and tagging out the potentially series clinching run at the plate…all with a severely bruised left thumb which he sustained in the 1st inning.
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Rodriguez is player the Red Sox acquired for lefty reliever Andrew Miller on July 31.

The 21-year-old Rodriguez split 2014 between Double-A affiliates Bowie (Orioles) and Portland, going 6-8 with a 3.60 ERA over 22 starts. He was at his best with Portland, allowing just four runs in six regular-season starts, posting a 0.96 ERA. He made one start with the PawSox in the postseason, the aforementioned Game 4 vs. Durham (7IP, 2 ER, 6 k, 2 BB in a no decision)

Shaw has some of the best power in Boston’s system. He slugged 29 doubles, 2 triples, 21 homers, 78 RBIs and scored 78 runs scored for Portland and Pawtucket. Against righties, Shaw was at his best, producing a .926 OPS. Over the last three seasons, the left-handed-hitting Shaw has belted 56 homers, the most of any Boston Minor Leaguer. He made just 1 error in 81 games at first base in Triple-A.
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The 22-year-old Coyle spent all of 2014 with Portland, and he was named an Eastern League Midseason All-Star. He hit .295 with 23 doubles, a triple, 16 homers and 61 RBIs. He spent the fall in the Arizona Fall League.

Here is the breakdown of Boston’s 40-man roster.

Pitchers (17): Matt Barnes, Drake Britton, Clay Buchholz, Rubby De La Rosa, Edwin Escobar, Heath Hembree, Joe Kelly, Tommy Layne, Edward Mujica, Anthony Ranaudo, Eduardo Rodriguez, Junichi Tazawa, Koji Uehara, Allen Webster, Alex Wilson, Brandon Workman, Steven Wright.

Catcher (4): Dan Butler, Ryan Lavarnway, Blake Swihart, Christian Vazquez.

Infielders (10): Xander Bogaerts, Garin Cecchini, Sean Coyle, Juan Francisco, Brock Holt, Will Middlebrooks, Mike Napoli, Dustin Pedroia, Travis Shaw, Jemile Weeks.

Outfielders (8): Mookie Betts, Jackie Bradley Jr., Bryce Brentz, Rusney Castillo, Yoenis Cespedes, Allen Craig, Daniel Nava, Shane Victorino.

Designated hitter (1): David Ortiz.

We mentioned a couple of days ago that OF Alex Hassan was claimed off of waivers by the Oakland A’s, he has since been claimed again by Baltimore. He was a member of the A’s for just over 24 hours.

The Red Sox also claimed INF Juan Francisco off of waivers from Toronto on Wednesday.

The 27-year-old played in 106 games for Toronto last season and could add some pop to a Boston lineup. While he hit just .220 average with the Blue Jays, Francisco belted 16 home runs and drove in 43 runs, averaging an extra-base hit every 11.8 at-bats, the ninth-best rate in the American League.

While Francisco has played first and third base in the Majors, the majority of his playing time has come at third.

Francisco has also played with the Reds, Braves and Brewers during his six-year career, combining to hit .236 with 48 home runs and 152 RBIs.

Happy Friday Everyone!!

Jeff
@jlevering4
jlevering@pawsox.com

Baltimore Picks up a Pair of Sox

The Orioles announced the signings of nine minor league free agents Wednesday, including two Red Sox farmhands, infielder Michael Almanzar and infielder/outfielder Derrik Gibson.

Almanzar will have an invite to major league spring training, while Gibson will report to minor league camp in Sarasota.

The right-handed hitting Almanzar, who will turn 24 on Dec. 2, was an Orioles’ Rule 5 pick last year. He was given back to the Boston Red Sox and then re-acquired in an August trade with the Red Sox (Ivan De Jesus to Boston which worked out well for the PawSox). Almanzar dealt with injuries early in the season and hit just .245 in 61 minor league games last season, but the Orioles are still intrigued by his upside as a potential power-hitting corner infielder.

Gibson is the most intriguing of Baltimore’s finds. A former 2008 second-round draft pick by the Red Sox out of Seaford, Del., he will turn 25 on Dec. 5. In 2014, he had a .290/.368/.396 batting line in 106 games between Portland and Pawtucket, his first exposure to the Triple-A level.
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Gibson has played six different positions in his minor league career, and even though he played mostly in the outfield last season (47 games in center field, 19 in left field), the Orioles see him primarily as a shortstop who also could give the organization depth at second base and center field.

Best of luck to both in Baltimore!

Jeff
@jlevering4
jlevering@pawsox.com

Alex Hassan Claimed by Oakland

The A’s claimed outfielder Alex Hassan off waivers from the Red Sox on Monday.

Hassan, 26, holds a career .396 on-base percentage spanning six Minor League seasons, including a .378 clip with the PawSox in 2014. The right-handed hitter also finished with a .287 average and eight home runs for Pawtucket.

Hassan was called up by the Red Sox on two occasions in 2014, and he went 1-for-8 with a walk in three games. He made his big league debut on June 1, notching a hit that afternoon against Tampa Bay.
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Originally selected by Boston in the 20th round of the 2009 First-Year Player Draft, Hassan is a .291 career hitter in 538 Minor League games, and he has experience in both corner outfield positions and first base.

Hassan is entering his final option year, but Oakland seemingly has the roster flexibility to carry him at the Major League level, and his right-handed bat could be a nice complementary piece to Josh Reddick (another for Red Sox) and Sam Fuld at the corners.

The A’s also recently inked another former Red Sox farmhand, signing catcher Carson Blair to a Minor League deal.

On a personal note, I’d like to wish Alex the best with Oakland. He was a great leader in the clubhouse and should compete for an opportunity to be in the big leagues. Just too many outfielders in the Red Sox system.

Thanks for reading!

Jeff
@jlevering4
jlevering@pawsox.com

Monopoly Money

Do you ever sit back and wonder what you’d do if you won the lottery? Everyone does at some point.

If you’re Marlins outfielder Giancarlo Stanton, you just hit to lottery. This is on the heels of his reported 13-year, $325 million deal that will keep him in South Beach until 2027. It’s the largest and longest contract in professional sports history and Stanton just turned 25 last week.

While the deal hasn’t yet been made official, John Heyman of CBS sports reports that a press conference should be held later this week and “there is a clear understanding the deal will be finalized.”

The question, now, is how Marlins owner Jeffrey Loria will adjust the team’s payroll going forward. The Marlins have operated on a payroll between $40 million and $60 million in four of the past five seasons, but such a number won’t be feasible if and when Stanton’s annual commitment approaches or even exceeds $30 million per season. Stanton’s extension appears to be as much a statement to the city of Miami that the Marlins intend to compete as it does a commitment to an elite player.
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So much for those rumors that the Red Sox were trying to land Stanton in a trade this offseason.

Not that the Sox are looking for more outfielders, they have plenty on the roster at the moment, but another big fish (pardon the Marlin pun) was dealt earlier today.

The Braves and Cardinals swapped prized possessions as St. Louis sent RHP Shelby Miller and prospect RHP Tyrell Jenkins to Atlanta for outfielder Jason Heyward and set-up man Jordan Walden.

With Heyward, that’s another “potential” target for the Red Sox, a slugging left-handed batter off to another club. His offensive game hasn’t developed to the superstar level that many had expected, though he still owns a lifetime .262 batting average. His 27 homers in 2012 give an idea of the power upside that Heyward offers.

In Red Sox news, Michael Silverman of the Boston Herald thinks that while Jon Lester is their desired free agent pitcher, Boston should kick the tires on Max Scherzer or potentially trade for Cole Hamels. http://www.bostonherald.com/sports/red_sox_mlb/boston_red_sox/2014/11/red_sox_need_a_shot_in_arm

It has been widely reported that free agent 3B Pablo Sandoval will make a trip to Boston Monday night and meet with club officials throughout the day on Tuesday. The “Kung-Fu Panda” is said to be between the Red Sox and Giants.

Boston Globe columnist Nick Cafardo’s Sunday column was a good one, as usual. But one note in particular…
“Getting through the hype of Red Sox pitching prospects is something a few teams have worked hard on through their own evaluations. The biggest debate concerns Henry Owens and how his 92-mile-per-hour fastball and slow curve would play in the big leagues. One belief, however, is that lefthander Brian Johnson might be the best pitcher in the Sox system. Scouts also like Eduardo Rodriguez, who was obtained from the Orioles in the Andrew Miller deal. The Orioles, however, didn’t seem to fret over losing him, even for a rental.”

Two things with regards to Cafardo’s note…

1) Owens is only 22 and has put up unreal numbers the last two seasons. He may have had a couple duds with the PawSox in August/September, but if you look deeper into the numbers, Owens was bit by the big inning. Had he allowed 1 or 2 runs in the big frames, his numbers would have been even better. Limiting damage in innings will be Owens big challenge heading into 2015.

2) We saw 1 start each from Johnson and Rodriguez in the Governors’ Cup Finals (Game’s 2 and 4 respectively). Johnson was impressive for 6 innings and showed maturity/poise on the mound, no surprise being an old’ish’ pitcher at 23 out of college. And Rodriguez dealt with the PawSox season on the line in Game 4. Two runs over 7 innings and showed flashes of unreal stuff AND just 21 years old.

All three figure to be in the PawSox rotation in 2015.

Also, Minor League Baseball announced that the Pawtucket Red Sox are the recipients of the second annual John Henry Moss Community Service Award. The award was created in 2013 by Minor League Baseball in honor of the late John Henry Moss, who founded what would become the South Atlantic League in 1959 and headed the circuit until 2007. The Pawtucket Red Sox will receive their award at the Baseball Winter Meetings Banquet on Sunday, Dec. 7, at the Hilton San Diego Bayfront in San Diego, California.

And finally, the PawSox were honored by Providence College Saturday night for winning the Governors’ Cup. Here’s the video of the halftime ceremony…http://www.milb.com/multimedia/vpp.jsp?content_id=36931627&sid=milb

Thanks for reading!

Jeff
@jlevering4
jlevering@pawsox.com

Skippers, Rookies of the Year; Red Sox Notes

The Battle of the Beltway that was expected in the World Series didn’t happen. But, for the Orioles and Nationals, their respective Managers, Buck Showalter and Matt Williams, earned Manager of the Year honors.

Showalter, 58, won his third Manager of the Year Award, with the others previously coming in 1994 with the Yankees and 2004 with the Rangers. His O’s won 96 games this season in a year when many believed the Red Sox, who were the defending World Champions, and the Yankees, who spent a half-billion dollars in free agency, would be fighting for the division. Baltimore made it all the way to the ALCS before being swept by the Royals.

Williams, meanwhile, won the award in his first year at the helm in Washington. The Nationals also won 96 games this season, though their postseason journey ended in the National League Division Series at the hands of the eventual World Champion Giants.

Pittsburgh’s Clint Hurdle and San Francisco’s Bruce Bochy finished second and third, respectively, in the NL balloting. The Angels’ Mike Scioscia and the Royals’ Ned Yost were the respective second- and third-place finishers in the AL. All skippers nominated lead their teams to the postseason.

Rookie of the Year

Monday, in no real surprise, the White Sox Jose Abreu was name the AL Rookie of the Year. The slugging 1st baseman bashed 36 homers, led the Majors with a .581 slugging percentage and clinched the American League award when Masahiro Tanaka partially tore his ulnar collateral ligament in his elbow. Ozzie Guillen was the last White Sox player to win the ROY Award, all the way back in 1985.

Jacob deGrom paced National League rookie pitchers in almost every meaningful category. deGrom was the Mets’ ninth-round pick in the 2010 draft and was ranked as only the 10th-best prospect in the club’s system by the 2014 Baseball America Prospect Handbook. The 26-year-old opened several eyes in 2014 by posting a 2.69 ERA. This breakout campaign firmly adds deGrom’s name to a long list of young arms the Mets will be counting on as they look to return to contention. deGrom is the first Met to be named Rookie of the Year since Dwight Gooden took the honor in 1984.

The Angels’ Matt Shoemaker (40 points), the Yankees’ Dellin Betances (27), the Astros’ Collin McHugh (21) the Yankees’ Masahiro Tanaka (16) rounded out the top five in the AL voting. Billy Hamilton finished second in the NL balloting with 92 points, well ahead of the Cardinals’ Kolten Wong (14), the Phillies’ Ken Giles (8) and the Diamondbacks’ Ender Inciarte (4).

It’s always fun to look back…how about a look back at the last four years and who has won the Rookie of the Year award.

2013: Jose Fernandez and Wil Myers
2012: Bryce Harper and Mike Trout – The cream of the crop
2011: Jeremy Hellickson and Craig Kimbrel
2010: Neftali Feliz and Buster Posey

Impressive list of players. And Buster Posey has won three World Series rings AND an MVP (2012).

Red Sox News

The Hot Stove is literally heating up with the Red Sox. Heading into the offseason, it was no secret that Boston wanted to upgrade at third base and its starting pitching. And, as expected, they have dominated the “speculation” headlines at the General Managers meetings this week.

- An executive with another team says that Boston is “all-in” on third baseman Pablo Sandoval, reports Gordon Edes of ESPN.com. GM Ben Cherington discussed the team’s interest with reporters today. “We’ve met with several [agents], including [Vasquez], and had good constructive conversations with a lot of guys already,” he said. “All those conversations will continue. I don’t expect anything to happen this week, or maybe in the near term. This may play out. I expect many [conversations] to continue over the next few weeks.” Here’s the whole story…http://espn.go.com/boston/mlb/story/_/id/11861086/boston-red-sox-making-big-push-sign-free-agent-pablo-sandoval
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– Cherington says that the Red Sox have no hard and fast rule against giving long-term deals to slightly older starting pitchers, Edes reports. “It’s never been a hard policy,” he said. “We’ve made exceptions, and I’m sure there will be another exception. It’s a case-by-case thing.” As for Lester, specifically, Cherington said that he is “interested in having a conversation with him” and has some added comfort level given the team’s familiarity with Lester. “We need to add to our rotation,” Cherington added. “He’s obviously a known commodity, a proven guy in our market. He’s of obvious interest.” Both Cherington and fellow GM Jed Hoyer of the Cubs foresee a slow-developing market for starters. Here’s that article…http://espn.go.com/blog/boston/red-sox/post/_/id/41087/cherington-sox-willing-to-make-exceptions

- The Sox are open to discussing a contract extension with manager John Farrell before the start of the year, reports Rob Bradford of WEEI.com. As things stand, Farrell is under contract for 2015 with the club holding an option for another year. Farrell and some of his staff are currently in Japan coaching the MLB All-Stars against the Japanese All-Stars. http://fullcount.weei.com/sports/boston/baseball/red-sox/2014/11/11/source-red-sox-open-to-talking-contract-extension-with-john-farrell/

- Boston still sees Jackie Bradley Jr. as a future everyday center fielder, Cherington told Brian MacPherson of the Providence Journal. After a productive season in the field and sub-par campaign at the plate, the 24-year-old has perhaps lost some of his luster, though that could be in part due to expectations that raised wildly last spring. “I do think there are some teams that think of him that way — as they should,” Cherington said. “We think of him that way. We don’t know on what date that will happen, but we certainly still think of him that way — as an everyday-caliber center fielder.” JBJ was a finalist for the Gold Glove in centerfield, he lost out to Baltimore’s Adam Jones, who has won the award the last two seasons. http://www.providencejournal.com/sports/red-sox/content/20141111-cherington-red-sox-still-see-jackie-bradley-jr.-as-an-everyday-center-fielder.ece
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And finally, this “Little Guy” is 6 weeks old today…WHAT!?!?!? #StopGrowingBrock

Brock hanging out with his "furry older sister" Cady...She's obviously thrilled

Brock hanging out with his “furry older sister” Cady…She’s obviously thrilled


Thanks for reading!

Jeff
@jlevering4
jlevering@pawsox.com

More Hardware Doled Out; PawSox Super Sale

With the conclusion of the the baseball season, award season is upon us.

Unfortunately for Red Sox fans, no Silver Slugger Awards for anyone in Boston in 2014, but a few former Sox appear on this list.

Here are all the recipients:

AMERICAN LEAGUE

First base: Jose Abreu, White Sox
Second base: Jose Altuve, Astros
Third base: Adrian Beltre, Rangers
Shortstop: Alexei Ramirez, White Sox
Outfield: Mike Trout, Angels; Jose Bautista, Blue Jays; Michael Brantley, Indians
Catcher: Yan Gomes, Indians
Designated hitter: Victor Martinez, Tigers

NATIONAL LEAGUE

First base: Adrian Gonzalez, Dodgers
Second base: Neil Walker, Pirates
Third base: Anthony Rendon, Nationals
Shortstop: Ian Desmond, Nationals
Outfield: Andrew McCutchen, Pirates; Giancarlo Stanton, Marlins; Justin Upton, Braves
Catcher: Buster Posey, Giants
Pitcher: Madison Bumgarner, Giants
Even before he became a walking history book with MVP honors in both the NLCS and a World Series he made his own stage, Bumgarner had become a threat at the plate in 2014 en route to winning his first Silver Slugger Award. Bumgarner showed plenty of power, going for two grand slams among his four homers on the season. After pedestrian numbers at the plate his first few years, the ace left-hander went off in 2014 by going 17-for-66 (.258 average), knocking in 15 runs to go with those four homers and leading all pitchers in average, hits, homers, runs (10) and slugging percentage (.477). (He can pitch a little bit, too.)

BIG SALE ON PAWSOX GEAR

Black Friday and Cyber Monday come early this year on PawSox.com and at the PawSox Team Store! Get 50% off almost all merchandise at pawsox.com in a special pre-holiday Black Friday/Cyber Monday Sale TODAY! This offer is good until 11:59pm TONIGHT online at pawsox.com. Use promo code blackfriday. This offer is good in the PawSox Team Store for TODAY, during normal business hours from 9:00am to 4:00pm.

Take advantage of this great pre-holiday Black Friday/Cyber Monday Sale! Offer excludes Boston Red Sox caps, Pawtucket Red Sox Championship merchandise, and already marked down items. Game worn jerseys are as marked in store. Orders filled on a first come first served basis, limited inventory in some items.

Finally, Happy 30th Birthday Matt Spring! One of my favorite personalities in baseball. An infectious voice. And a HUGE fan of neon t-shirts!
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Happy Friday and thanks for reading!

Jeff
@jlevering4
jlevering@pawsox.com

Another Gold Glove for Pedroia

It sounds normal when Red Sox play by play voice Don Orsillo says, “Another great play made by Dustin Pedroia”. And it happens almost nightly.

Tuesday night, Pedroia was honored for his stellar glove work at second base. It was the second consecutive Gold Glove Award for Pedroia, and his fourth in his eight seasons as the starting second baseman for the Red Sox.
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The four Gold Glove Awards are the most ever by a Red Sox infielder. Since the award’s inception in 1957, only three other Red Sox players have received as many as four Gold Glove Awards, all in the outfield: Dwight Evans (eight), Carl Yastrzemski (seven) and Fred Lynn (four).

Over 135 games, 133 starts, Pedroia made just TWO errors. His .997 fielding percentage was the best in Red Sox history for a second baseman.

A dated video, but watching Pedroia play never gets old. Yes, he makes the spectacular plays, but it’s his day in, day out work to hone his craft that is most impressive. He’s had the same work ethic for as long as I’ve known him (since we were 15). And, it’s hard to believe, but he continues to get better!
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Congrats, Pedey…well deserved, yet again. Rest up and, most importantly, heal up, Spring Training will be here before you know it!

Boston had two other finalists, outfielders Jackie Bradley Jr. and Yoenis Cespedes, but they lost out to the Orioles’ Adam Jones and the Royals’ Alex Gordon, respectively.

Here are the rest of the winners.

AL first baseman: Royals’ Eric Hosmer
AL second baseman: Red Sox’s Dustin Pedroia
AL shortstop: Orioles’ J.J. Hardy
AL third baseman: Mariners’ Kyle Seager
AL left fielder: Royals’ Alex Gordon (4th straight)
AL center fielder: Orioles’ Adam Jones
AL right fielder: Orioles’ Nick Markakis
AL pitcher: Astros’ Dallas Keuchel
AL catcher: Royals’ Salvador Perez

NL first baseman: Dodgers’ Adrian Gonzalez
NL second baseman: Rockies’ DJ LeMahieu
NL shortstop: Braves’ Andrelton Simmons
NL third baseman: Rockies’ Nolan Arenado
NL left fielder: Marlins’ Christian Yelich
NL center fielder: Mets’ Juan Lagares
NL right fielder: Braves’ Jason Heyward
NL pitcher: Dodgers’ Zack Greinke
NL catcher: Cardinals’ Yadier Molina (7th straight)

Thanks for reading!

Jeff
@jlevering4
jlevering@pawsox.com

Red Sox Make Roster Moves

The Boston Red Sox today announced the following roster moves:

- Infielder Carlos Rivero was claimed off waivers by the Seattle Mariners.

- Infielder Jonathan Herrera was outrighted to Triple-A Pawtucket.

Executive Vice President/General Manager Ben Cherington made the announcements.

Rivero, 26, played in four games (one start) for the Red Sox, making his major league debut and going 4-for-7 (.571) with two doubles, a home run, and three RBI. Before being selected to the major league roster on August 25, he split the season (105 games) between Double-A Portland and Pawtucket, hitting .264 (103-for-390) with 20 doubles, two triples, seven home runs, and 53 RBI.
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Herrera, 30, made 42 appearances for Boston in his first year with the organization, hitting .233 (21-for-90) with a double, two triples, and nine RBI. He was optioned to Pawtucket on July 7, playing in 13 games for the PawSox before missing the remainder of the season with a right elbow injury. The switch-hitter will become a minor league free agent this evening at 5:00 p.m. ET.
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With today’s moves, Boston’s 40-man roster is now at 36.

Happy Halloween!

When Red Sox fans woke up on Halloween in 2013, they may have felt just a bit different than this year. That’s because they were probably hung over from celebrating a Boston Red Sox World Series!

A year and a day removed from their 8th title, the Red Sox quest for #9 started as soon as the the regular season ended. Now that the series is over (congrats to the Giants and especially Madison Bumgarner!) contracts can be signed, options can be picked up or declined, and the rumor mill is in full force.

Boston made their first move Thursday afternoon by re-signing closer Koji Uehara. “High-Five City”, who will spend next season at the age of 40, inked a 2-year, $18 million dollar deal. The Red Sox will pay considerably less in average annual value than they would have if Uehara had been given a one-year $15.3 million qualifying offer by Monday’s deadline.

So, the Sox secured their closer…so what’s next? Starting pitching (Max Scherzer, James Shields, a Jon Lester return)? A new third baseman from outside the organization (See: Pablo Sadoval or Chase Headley)? This offseason should be a fun one.

Rusney Castillo Update

A bit of prospect news, OF Rusney Castillo is still having some trouble with his thumb in the Arizona Fall League. The bruise between his thumb and index finger on his right hand has made him miss a few games and he may not play Winter Ball (once the AFL is finished in a few weeks) as a result. The reason the Red Sox wanted Castillo to get at-bats in the offseason is because he didn’t play organized baseball for 13 months after being suspended in Cuba, and later defecting.
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Castillo hit .333 in the big leagues after starring for the PawSox in their Governors’ Cup Championship over Durham.

Baseball Season is Over

For those who want to see a recap of the postseason, MLB Network put together a fantastic piece that sums up the playoffs. It’s worth the four minutes and 30 seconds to put a ribbon on 2014.

http://m.mlb.com/video/topic/6479266/v36879325/mlb-network-features-the-images-of-the-postseason

Biggest Stories of the Offseason

ESPN’s Tim Kurkjian released his Top 10 Offseason storylines…and, no surprise, the Red Sox appear in a few categories. Take a look at the hottest topics…http://espn.go.com/mlb/story/_/id/11779913/mlb-top-10-offseason-storylines

Today-Show-Halloween-Costumes-2014-Photos

As usual, the Today Show on NBC dressed up in Halloween garb paying homage to the all-time great Saturday Night Live Characters. The Spartan Cheerleaders, “Mom Jeans” commercial, Wayne’s World, The Blues Brothers, Mary Catherine Gallagher, and Pat (classic Matt Lauer)! They never disappoint with their creativity…and thanks for sparing us of Lauer in a Baywatch lifeguard swimsuit.

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Be safe, have fun and don’t eat too much candy (you’ll get a tummy ache).

Happy Halloween!!

Jeff
@jlevering4
jlevering@pawsox.com

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