Results tagged ‘ Red Sox ’
Hopefully, Jon Lester brought a warm coat to Wrigley Field Tuesday. According to a source, Lester met with the Cubs in what was believed to be the second stop on the free agent’s offseason tour of prospective teams. The Wrigleyville area was in a deep chill because of an early blast of winter weather. It’s up to Theo Epstein and GM Jed Hoyer, who know Lester from their days together in Boston, to convince the lefty that it won’t be this cold on Opening Night, April 5, at Wrigley Field. The Cubs would not confirm the meeting.
After losing in their bid for free agent catcher Russell Martin, Epstein and Hoyer shifted their focus to adding an ace to the rotation. Lester fits that role, compiling a 116-67 record and 3.58 ERA over nine seasons.
Lester will reportedly meet Thursday with the Braves, who do have an edge over the other teams. In the offseason, the pitcher lives in suburban Atlanta, about a half hour drive from the Braves’ ballpark.
Would Lester be willing to make a switch from the American League to the Cubs? MLB Network’s Peter Gammons, interviewed on a Boston radio station Tuesday, said he believes Lester will return to the Red Sox. Boston traded Lester to Oakland on July 31, and the lefty finished the season 6-4 with a 2.35 ERA in 11 starts with the Athletics. Lester was 10-7 with a 2.52 ERA in 21 starts with Red Sox before the trade.
After Lester was dealt to the A’s, he told Boston Herald writer John Tomase that he wouldn’t be opposed to coming back to Boston.
“The [Red Sox] told me [after the trade to Oakland], ‘We’re going to be aggressive. You’re going to get blown out of the water by some of these [other] offers,'” Lester said. “I’m like, ‘I don’t need to be blown out of the water.’ Why would I need to be blown out of the water? That doesn’t make or break your decision, at least for me. I’m not going to the highest bidder. I’m going to the place that makes me and my family happy. If that’s Boston, it’s Boston.”
– Carrie Muskat
Third baseman Pablo Sandoval took his free-agent tour to Boston on Monday, arriving at Logan Airport in the afternoon and telling local news channel WHDH-TV that he is “excited” for a visit the Red Sox. Sandoval is in town with his agent, Gustavo Vazquez, and his older brother, Michael.
“Pablo is a winner,” Vazquez told the network. “The Boston Red Sox need a winner right now, and I think Pablo can be a good fit over here.”
The Sox are believed to be one of two favorites to land Sandoval, along with the Giants, the team with which Sandoval spent his first seven big league seasons. The Padres recently joined the White Sox and Blue Jays as other teams known to have expressed interest in the 28-year-old switch hitter.
“It could be Red Sox, it could be any other uniform,” Michael Sandoval said of his brother’s options. “The good part of this is he’s got a chance to explore his value on the market and see who can really appreciate him and his work.”
Pablo Sandoval joked that he was “on vacation” and “just visiting the city” but acknowledged the lobbying role of Red Sox slugger David Ortiz.
“I love being in this situation,” he said. “David’s a good guy. I’ve been through a lot this winter with the commercial stuff and all of that. He’s a great guy.”
Red Sox general manager Ben Cherington said last week that he met with Vazquez during his time at the GM Meetings in Phoenix.
“[Sandoval’s] one of many that we’re talking to. I’d rather not comment on exactly who we might meet and who we might not, but he’s one guy we have interest in,” Cherington said.
In a tweet Monday, MLB.com’s Ian Browne cautioned against drawing any conclusions from Sandoval’s visit.
Sandoval is a career .294/.346/.465 hitter and batted .366 this postseason as he helped the Giants to their third championship in five years.
– Andrew Simon
The Cubs were expected to meet with free agent Jon Lester on Tuesday. WEEI’s Rob Bradford reports the Red Sox will have met with Lester prior to the left-hander’s scheduled get together with Cubs officials. The Cubs are in the market to add a starting pitcher, and Theo Epstein and Jed Hoyer know Lester well from their days together in Boston.
– Carrie Muskat
According to reports, free agent pitcher Jon Lester will meet with Cubs officials next week. ESPNBoston.com reports Lester’s agents have prepared a 200-plus page full color portfolio on the pitcher, along with a three-minute video. It features his charity work as well as his efforts on the field. Lester’s agent, Seth Levinson, met with Cubs officials as well as others, including Red Sox GM Ben Cherington, during the GM meetings in Phoenix. That’s standard procedure — agents touch base with all teams interested in their clients. But the bidding for Lester most likely will come down to the Cubs vs. Red Sox, who would like Lester to come back.
Just don’t expect the Cubs to sign Lester, Max Scherzer and James Shields.
“It’s hard to acquire pitching. Period,” Cubs president of baseball operations Theo Epstein said Wednesday in Phoenix. “It’s hard to acquire top-of-the-rotation pitching. I’ve seen us linked. People predict that we’re going to sign two top-of-the-rotation starters who both require nine-figure contracts. That’s not happening.
“Look at the history of nine-figure starting pitching contracts, and it’s a huge risk,” Epstein said. “So, to put an organization in the position to have two such deals immediately in the course of the same offseason, I couldn’t imagine something like that occurring.”
– Carrie Muskat
The Red Sox did nothing to diminish rumors that Jon Lester will be traded to a contender when they scratched him from Wednesday night’s start against the Blue Jays.
“Yeah, Brandon Workman will start tomorrow,” said Red Sox manager John Farrell. “In light of all the uncertainty surrounding Jon Lester, it’s probably in everyone’s best interests that he does not make that start, so Brandon will be recalled. There will be a corresponding move roster-wise at some point tomorrow.”
By scratching Lester from his Wednesday start, the Red Sox could increase the urgency of their suitors to sweeten their offer in advance of Thursday’s 4 p.m. ET deadline.
Also, Lester becomes more attractive to a potential suitor if he can pitch immediately after a trade, rather than having to wait until Monday.
Numerous teams have talked to the Red Sox about Lester, and there was a lot of buzz about the Pirates on Tuesday. The Dodgers are another possible destination, though they’ve thus far been unwilling to part with the type of top prospects (Corey Seager, Joc Pederson) the Red Sox seek. The Marlins have also expressed interest, according to Jim Bowden of MLB Network radio.
While Red Sox veterans were still hoping the lefty would stay, they were bracing for the possibility of his exit.
“Yeah, it’s tough,” said Dustin Pedroia, who came up with Lester through the farm system and has won a pair of World Series titles with him. “We’re not teammates – we’re family. It’s something you don’t like going through. It makes you feel worse. We don’t want to be in this position. I know a lot of guys feel that if you play up to your capability … we should be adding instead of subtracting. Hopefully he’s here.”
The Jake Peavy-to-St. Louis rumors picked up steam on Tuesday, perhaps more than the actual negotiations did.
The connection between Peavy and the Cardinals, who have targeted the Red Sox right-hander before, began late on Monday, when Gordon Edes of ESPNBoston.com reported that St. Louis had a scout at Sunday’s Red Sox-Orioles game, which Peavy started. Jayson Stark of ESPN.com later added that a deal between Boston and St. Louis could happen “quick.”
The reports, however, come just a day after Cardinals general manager John Mozeliak downplayed the club’s interest in the pitching market. Mozeliak said that most clubs willing to deal starters before the July 31 non-waiver Trade Deadline were also looking for starting pitching in return. The tradeoff would be a loss in years of control for the Cardinals, who covet their young pitching.
“I think that would just make it problematic, so for us we feel pretty good where we’re at from a pitching standpoint,” Mozeliak said on Monday. “We expect to get [Joe] Kelly back at some point and feel pretty confident that those five [once Michael Wacha returns] can be successful.”
The Cardinals appear more interested in upgrading on the offensive side, since they believe Wacha will return to the rotation this season. Kelly could be back as early as Friday, and Carlos Martinez has held his own as a starter since being thrust into the role.
Peavy is owed about $7 million this season and will be a free agent at year’s end. The Cardinals would not be in line to collect any compensation for his departure, which makes it highly unlikely that they would part with any of their top talent to complete such an acquisition.
– Jenifer Langosch
Red Sox right-hander Jake Peavy, who has already been part of two July trade deadline deals in his career, could be on the move again at some point this month. It is the reality of being a veteran pitcher.
ESPN.com reported that the Cardinals have interest in Peavy, and scouted his last start on Sunday. Jayson Stark tweeted that something with Peavy and the Cardinals could happen “quick”.
There were no indications around the Red Sox on Tuesday that a deal was imminent. However, with Boston 10 games out of first place, it would not be surprising to see Peavy or other veterans moved before the deadline.
Peavy is earning a $14.5 million salary this season. One potential sticking point in a trade would be how much salary the Red Sox would eat to move the righty.
The Red Sox would like to open up a rotation spot for right-hander Rubby De La Rosa, who has been dominant at times this season when given the chance.
It was just last July that the Red Sox acquired Peavy from the White Sox. Peavy was a dependable starter for Boston during a World Series championship season.
Peavy has been victimized this season by inconsistency and a lack of run support. He is 1-7 with a 4.64 ERA in 18 starts.
In a free-agent market light on shortstops, Stephen Drew would figure to be a hot commodity, coming off a year in which he played solid defense at the position and produced a .777 on-base-plus-slugging percentage for the Red Sox. Yet the 30-year-old seems to be running out of options, with Spring Training rapidly approaching.
On Tuesday night, Mets general manager Sandy Alderson told MLB.com’s Anthony DiComo that it is “unlikely” his club will sign Drew. On Wednesday, our Bryan Hoch reported that the Yankees are not considering bringing in Drew, while Ken Rosenthal of FOXSports.com and MLB Network wrote that the A’s also are not interested.
All of those factors could make a return to Boston more likely for Drew, who is tied to Draft pick compensation after receiving a qualifying offer.
In other news from around the league:
- The Phillies could be a team to watch in the competition for veteran right-hander A.J. Burnett, a free agent who recently decided to pitch this season. Signing Burnett would be a great move for Philadelphia, one that just might get it back to the postseason, writes MLB.com columnist Richard Justice. Meanwhile, MLB.com’s Tom Singer offers an idea for how the Pirates could manage to bring back Burnett.
- Bronson Arroyo told ESPN.com’s Jayson Stark that while 12 teams have contacted his agent this offseason, he has not come close to a deal with any of them. Arroyo and Burnett are drawing some interest from the Blue Jays, but Toronto appears more focused on fellow free-agent right-handers Ubaldo Jimenez and Ervin Santana, according to Rosenthal.
- After a 15-year career that included six All-Star teams, a World Series title and 366 home runs, Lance Berkman told MLB.com that he has decided to retire. Berkman spent an injury-plagued 2013 with the Rangers.
- Right-hander Scott Baker, who returned from Tommy John surgery at the end of last season, signed a Minor League deal with the Mariners and figures to compete for a spot in their starting rotation.
- Former Phillies closer Ryan Madson, who has missed the past two seasons due to injury, held a private workout for an unknown team on Tuesday and is planning a public audition for more clubs on Feb.7 in Phoenix, according to Jerry Crasnick of ESPN.com.
- The Cardinals and infielder Daniel Descalso agreed to a one-year contract, avoiding arbitration, while the Cubs did the same with outfielder Justin Ruggiano.
- The Reds bolstered their infield depth by signing veteran Ramon Santiago to a Minor League contract.
- For the third time this offseason, the Twins signed a former member of the organization to a Minor League deal, this time bringing back reliever Matt Guerrier.
- The Angels added Chad Tracy to the mix in their crowded competition for bench spots.
- The Royals acquired outfielder Carlos Peguero from the Mariners for a player to be named later and designated left-hander Everett Teaford for assignment.
– Andrew Simon
The Yankees are saying that they have reached their spending limit for the offseason and consider themselves out on free agent shortstop Stephen Drew, according to a person with knowledge of the situation.
Yankees general manager Brian Cashman said last week that the Masahiro Tanaka signing represented the team’s final big splash of the winter, and thus far the organization has been proceeding as though that is the case. Their stance toward Drew has been chilly at best, as the club does not want to commit to a multi-year deal with the 30-year-old infielder, who also has Draft compensation attached because the Red Sox gave him a qualifying offer.
Drew’s name has popped up in connection to the Yankees because of their uncertainty at multiple infield positions. Shortstop Derek Jeter played in just 17 games last year, second baseman Brian Roberts has missed 445 games over the last four seasons and the Yankees are tentatively planning on a third base platoon that will involve Kelly Johnson and Eduardo Nunez.
– Bryan Hoch
This Hot Stove season is still going strong, but some already are looking ahead to the next one.
Red Sox designated hitter David Ortiz is among those, saying in a Sunday night TV interview that “it might be time to move on,” if Boston doesn’t give him a multiyear extension. The 38-year-old slugger is heading into the final season of his current deal, but MLB.com’s Ian Browne writes that it “seems more likely than not” that Ortiz will remain with the Red Sox for the remainder of his career.
In other news from around the league on Monday:
- MLB.com’s Doug Miller looks at the offseason’s unfinished business in The Week Ahead.
- One of the few impact bats remaining on the market belongs to outfielder Nelson Cruz. As MLB.com’s Jesse Sanchez writes, Cruz has been linked to the Orioles and Mariners, although it’s not impossible that he could return to the Rangers on a one-year deal.
- Veteran infielder Michael Young, currently a free agent after finishing 2013 with the Dodgers, likely will retire or return to Los Angeles for another season.
- As part of his latest inbox, Yankees beat writer Bryan Hoch throws some cold water on the idea of free-agent shortstop Stephen Drew coming to the Bronx.
- Left-hander David Huff could make a run at the No. 5 spot in the Giants’ starting rotation or fill a long relief role after the club acquired him from the Yankees last week.
- Phillies general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. is still looking for a center fielder to back up Ben Revere but might have to turn to the trade market for a solution.
- The Indians and right-hander Justin Masterson have halted negotiations on a long-term extension while they try to compromise on a one-year deal to avoid arbitration.
- A handful of utility infielders signed Minor League contracts on Monday. The Indians picked up Elliot Johnson, the Brewers landed Pete Orr, and the Reds acquired Chris Nelson, while CBSSports.com reported that the Rockies agreed to a deal with Paul Janish.
– Andrew Simon