Monday, November 24, 2014

Red Sox's News

BOSTON -- The Red Sox have made a pair of impact free-agent deals that should bolster their offense in 2015 and beyond. Both Hanley Ramirez and Pablo Sandoval have agreed to join the Red Sox.
Sandoval will be introduced Tuesday at Fenway Park in a 1 p.m. ET news conference that will be streamed live on MLB.com and redsox.com. Ramirez's deal, which is still pending a physical, could also be announced later Tuesday.
The Giants released a statement about Sandoval agreeing to a deal with the Red Sox: "Pablo Sandoval has been a key member of the Giants since breaking into the Majors with us in 2008. He has been with us through some of the greatest moments in San Francisco Giants history -- including all three World Series championships.
"We will never forget his World Series MVP performance in 2012 and his numerous contributions to the 2014 championship. His connection with Giants fans -- young and old -- is truly special and he will be greatly missed. We wish him nothing but the best in Boston."
Heyman on Pablo Sandoval
Ramirez's agreement, first reported by FOXSports.com, is for $88 million over four years with a $22 million vesting option for a fifth year. Sandoval, who chose the Red Sox over the Giants and Padres, has agreed to a five-year contract worth close to $100 million, CBSSports.com reported.
The Red Sox have not commented on the reports, and club policy is that they don't comment on negotiations with free agents until deals are final, including the completion of physicals.
But David Ortiz, Boston's longest-tenured player, tweeted out a welcome to both players: "Welcome to #RedSoxNation @HanleyRamirez @KFP48.....bout to give pitcher nightmares!!!!"
Sandoval is all but certain to become Boston's new third baseman. But less clear is how Boston will utilize Ramirez. Ramirez's natural position is shortstop, but Xander Bogaerts is currently holding down that spot for Boston.
One option is that Ramirez -- who turns 31 next month -- could move to the outfield. Though Ramirez has never played the outfield in the Major Leagues, he certainly seems to have the athleticism that would be necessary to make that transition.
Duquette on Sox's reported moves
A Sandoval-Ramirez tandem will likely prompt the Red Sox to trade at least one outfielder among Yoenis CespedesRusney CastilloMookie Betts,Jackie Bradley Jr.Allen CraigDaniel Nava and Shane Victorino.
Though the Red Sox stated earlier this offseason that their preference is to keep Cespedes, the addition of Ramirez could change their line of thinking. Cespedes is entering the final year of his contract, and his free-swinging approach makes him less of a fit in Boston than Ramirez, who has a career on-base percentage of .373.
Monday marked the nine-year anniversary of when the Red Sox traded Ramirez -- once billed as their shortstop of the future -- to the Marlins in a deal that brought Josh Beckett and Mike Lowell to Boston.
That trade nine years ago was a classic example of a transaction that worked for all sides. Beckett and Lowell helped the Red Sox win a World Series in 2007, and Ramirez became an almost instant star with the Marlins.
Ramirez was traded from the Marlins to the Dodgers on July 25, 2012, and performed well in his two-plus seasons in Los Angeles.
Hanley Ramirez in The Shredder
The Red Sox met with Ramirez at the General Managers Meetings in Arizona earlier this month and stayed in contact afterward. Ramirez originally signed with Boston as an amateur free agent in 2000.
Ramirez is a three-time All-Star and a career. 300 hitter with 191 homers, 654 RBIs and an .873 OPS.
In 2014, the Red Sox finished in last place in the American League, largely due to an anemic offense. They now appear willing to invest nearly $190 million in two established hitters in an effort to improve.
Add Ramirez and Sandoval to an offense that already includes David Ortiz,Dustin Pedroia and Mike Napoli, and Boston's lineup could certainly become elite again.
MLB Tonight on Sandoval, Ramirez
Aside from the ongoing efforts to improve the offense, Red Sox general manager Ben Cherington is also on a mission to add to the starting rotation. An offer was made recently to Jon Lester in hopes that the lefty will return to Boston. Lester is still in the midst of talking to other teams.
If the Red Sox can't bring back Lester, they now appear to be in position to package some of their outfield depth and perhaps some prospects for a potential trade for a pitcher, such as Cole Hamels.
Ian Browne is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Brownie Points, and follow him on Twitter @IanMBrowne. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Pedro highlights notable Red Sox on HOF ballot

Right-hander one of several players with Boston ties hoping to be elected

Pedro highlights notable Red Sox on HOF ballot
BOSTON -- During Pedro Martinez's seven years with the Red Sox, every start he made was an event at Fenway Park. If Martinez is successful in getting into the National Baseball Hall of Fame on his first try, expect many New Englanders to gather again to cheer him on, only this time it will be in Cooperstown, N.Y.
Martinez was one of several players with Red Sox ties listed on the 2015 Baseball Writers' Association of America Hall of Fame ballot, which was released on Monday. The voting results will be announced on Jan. 6 on MLB Network and MLB.com.
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Panda reaping benefits of win-win situation

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This is a very good time to be Pablo Sandoval. Free-market economics are working out extremely well for him.
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I was fortunate to get plenty of looks at exciting Boston Red Sox outfielderRusney Castillo before he hurt his thumb and left the Arizona Fall League in late October.
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The Hall of Fame Case: Nomar Garciaparra

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Anthony Nomar Garciaparra. Nomar. I don't even have to give you his last name -- you know who I'm talking about. The one-name-famous shortstop is making his first appearance on Cooperstown ballots this year and before you dismiss his case, let's go over the very compelling argument for Nomar's Hall of Fame candidacy:
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Those developments are significant considering that Lester and Sandoval are perhaps Boston's top two targets on the free-agent market. The Red Sox have not confirmed the offers.
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Red Sox fill 40-man roster, protect four from Rule 5 Draft

Touted youngsters Swihart, Rodriguez highlight promoted prospects

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Farrell, Francona and Hale thrilled to reunite in Japan

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Inbox: Will Barnes be in mix for rotation spot?
I've been eager to see Matt Barnes pitch since the Red Sox drafted him out of UConn. Do you think this will be the year he breaks into the rotation?
-- Rich P., Southington, Conn.
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Castillo suffered the injury in late October in the Arizona Fall League, limiting his stint there to eight games. But after undergoing some medical evaluation earlier this week, it appears as if Castillo is healthy enough to ramp back up and get the at-bats the Red Sox were hoping he could log before Spring Training.
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Beat reporter Ian Browne answers questions from Red Sox fans

Inbox: What's Castillo's spot in the lineup?
Where would Rusney Castillo fit in the Red Sox's lineup if they pick upPablo Sandoval? Would he be comfortable in the leadoff spot?
-- Jack C., Sudbury, Mass.
I'm not sure how the presence of Sandoval would impact Castillo, since one of them is a third baseman and the other one is an outfielder. Castillo has often hit in the leadoff spot, so he would be comfortable there. The question is whether he would get on base enough to justify that spot in the batting order.
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Beat reporter Ian Browne answers Red Sox fans' questions

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Do you think re-signing Koji Uehara for another two years was a good move for the Red Sox?
-- Sam S., Victoria
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