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Joint drug program releases findings

Posted by Nick Cafardo, Globe Staff November 29, 2013 05:15 PM

Major League Baseball and the Major League Players Association put out their joint 2012-2013 Major League Baseball drug report.

Here's the transcript:

The report covers from the 2012 offseason to the end of the 2013 Major League Baseball post-season. The report is specific to Players who compose forty-man rosters for Major League Baseball Clubs.

1) The total number of drug tests that were conducted for the presence of Performance Enhancing Substances and/or Stimulants during the time listed above was 5,391 tests. The number of urine samples that were collected and analyzed for the presence of Performance Enhancing Substances and/or Stimulants was 4,022. The number of blood samples that were collected and analyzed for the presence of human growth hormone was 1,369.

2) Eight tests were reported by the testing laboratory for having an adverse analytical finding that resulted in discipline. All were for Stimulants. The substances reported were as follows: Adderall: 7; Methylhexaneamine: 1

3) 13 non-analytical positives resulted in discipline.

4) 122 Therapeutic Use Exemptions were granted. The diagnoses were as follows: Attention Deficit Disorder: 119; Hypogonadism: 3

Respectfully submitted,
Jeffrey M. Anderson, MD
Independent Program Administrator
Major League Baseball’s Joint Drug Prevention and Treatment Program

Red Sox well-represented on 2014 Baseball Hall of Fame ballot

Posted by Robert Burgess November 26, 2013 05:53 PM

The Red Sox are well-represented on 2014's Baseball Hall of Fame ballot.

The list of former Red Sox under consideration for the first time includes starting pitcher Hideo Nomo, relievers Mike Timlin, Todd Jones, and Eric Gagne, and first basemen Sean Casey and J.T. Snow.

Billerica native Tom Glavine, who won 302 games for the Braves and Mets, is on the ballot for the first time, along with stars such as four-time Cy Young Award winner Greg Maddux and two-time AL MVP Frank Thomas. Also debuting on the ballot is former Boston foe Mike Mussina, who earned 270 wins for the Orioles and Yankees.

The 36-player ballot also includes former Boston players Lee Smith, Curt Schilling, and Roger Clemems, as well as one-time Red Sox prospect Jeff Bagwell.

Baseball Writers’ Association of America voters have until Dec. 31 to make their selections, and results will be announced Jan. 8.

For the full ballot, visit the Baseball Hall of Fame online.

Red Sox players, brass attend 2013 World Series film premiere at the Wang

Posted by Steve Silva, Boston.com Staff November 26, 2013 02:22 AM

The Red Sox got the red carpet treatment Monday night in Boston.

The official 2013 World Series DVD by MLB Productions goes on sale Tuesday, less than a month after the Red Sox celebrated a championship after beating the St. Louis Cardinals in Game 6 at Fenway Park. On Monday night, the Red Sox hosted a red carpet premiere for the film at the Citi Performing Arts Center Wang Theatre.


Sea Dogs Hot Stove dinner is January 17

Posted by Peter Abraham, Globe Staff November 25, 2013 03:49 PM

Red Sox players Brandon Workman and Jackie Bradley Jr. will be the special guests at the 2014 Portland Sea Dogs Hot Stove Dinner Jan. 17 in South Portland.

The event takes place at the Sable Oaks Marriott and benefits the Maine Children's Cancer Program. Additional guests will be announced.

Tickets ($50) are on sale now. They can be purchased in person at the Hadlock Field ticket office, by phone at 207-879-9500, or online at www.seadogs.com.

Doors open at 5:30 p.m. with a silent auction running until 7 p.m. A buffet dinner will be served at 6:30 p.m. Everyone who attends will receive an autographed 8x10 photo of both Bradley Jr. and Workman.

Yankees sign McCann to five-year deal

Posted by Peter Abraham, Globe Staff November 23, 2013 06:23 PM

The Yankees have a five-year, $85 million deal in place with catcher Brian McCann. The deal includes a vesting option for a sixth season worth $15 million and a full no-trade clause.

The Rangers and Rockies were players for McCann until the Yankees wrapped him up. For the Yankees, McCann will be a significant upgrade over Chris Stewart and Austin Romine. McCann, who turns 30 in February, hit .256 with a .796 OPS last season.

The Red Sox were involved with the negotiations for McCann but did not approach that level of commitment according to major league sources.

With Carlos Ruiz and McCann off the market, the Sox still have plentiful options for a catcher. They remain engaged with Jarrod Saltalamacchia, their primary catcher last season and now a free agent. Saltalamacchia is seeking a three-year contract but the Red Sox would prefer two.

A.J. Pierzynski and Dioner Navarro also are free agents. Or they could pursue a trade, something general manager Ben Cherington has hinted at.

That McCann had a deal with the Yankees was first reported by the Dallas Morning News.

Red Sox obtain RHP Badenhop from Brewers

Posted by Peter Abraham, Globe Staff November 22, 2013 01:30 PM

The Red Sox on Friday obtained righthanded reliever Burke Badenhop from the Milwaukee Brewers in exchange for 20-year-old Rookie League lefthander Luis Ortega.

Badenhop, who turns 31 in February, appeared in 63 games for Milwaukee last season, going 2-3 with one save. Over 62.1 innings, he allowed 62 hits and struck out 42 against 12 walks.

Righthanded batters hit .229 against Badenhop with a .574 OPS. In 163 plate appearances, righthanded batters drew only four walks against Badenhop.

Over the last two seasons, Badenhop has thrown 124.2 innings and issued only 15 non-intentional walks.

Badenhop is eligible for salary arbitration for the third and final time and is projected to make $2.1 million this season. That was likely part of Milwaukee's incentive to trade him. For the Red Sox, he represents a short-term investment

This marks the fourth time Badenhop has been traded since 2007, the third time in the last three years. Drafted by the Tigers in 2005 out of Bowling Green University, Badenhop was one of six players traded to the Marlins in 2007 for Miguel Cabrera and Dontrelle Willis,

New Boston teammate Andrew Miller also was part of that deal.

Florida traded Badenhop to Tampa Bay for a minor leaguer in 2011. The Rays traded Badenhop to the Brewers last December, also for minor league outfielder Raul Mondesi Jr.

Ortega was 3-3 with a 2.45 ERA in 12 appearances in the Gulf Coast League last season.

Sox have weighed in on Matt Kemp

Posted by Nick Cafardo, Globe Staff November 22, 2013 12:01 PM

The Red Sox are one of several teams who have made inquiries on Dodgers centerfielder Matt Kemp according to a major league source. The Red Sox have probably made a few dozen of these types of calls on trades and free-agents, but Kemp is certainly intriguing.

The one player they probably have not weighed in on is free-agent second baseman Robinson Cano.

Kemp is still owed six years at about $130 million, but it would appear the Dodgers would have to eat some of the contract in any deal in order to receive fair player acquisition.

The Red Sox are obviously looking at all options to replace Jacoby Ellsbury in the event he will leave and sign with a new team as a free-agent.

Kemp, 29, had an injury-filled season last season limiting him to 73 games and played in only 106 games the year before. But prior to that he was a durable players playing in 155, 159, 162 and 161 games per season.

His 162 game career averages are .293 with 26 homers and 94 RBI with an .844 on base percentage. His best season was 2011 when he led the National League with 39 homers and 126 RBI to go along with a .324 average.

The Dodgers, according to the source, have not been shopping Kemp, but teams have inquired. The Dodgers were reportedly recently in trade talks with the Toronto Blue Jays and Seattle Mariners.

The Dodgers currently have Kemp, Andree Ethier, Yusiel Puig and Carl Crawford in their outfield mix so they could part with one of them and Kemp appears to be the one that most teams want.

The Red Sox have engaged in talks with free-agent outfielder Carlos Beltran and catcher Brian McCann.

The team has tried to limit their length of contracts and were beaten out by the Phillies on catcher Carlos Ruiz when the Red Sox would only go as far as two years.

Red Sox Truck Day scheduled for 2014: Mark your calendar

Posted by Steve Silva, Boston.com Staff November 22, 2013 09:46 AM

Red Sox truck day

New England's own Groundhog day will be here before you know it.

Buried in Thursday's Red Sox press release about the 2014 spring training schedule was the all-important announcement that 'Truck Day' will take place outside Fenway Park on Saturday, Feb. 8.

Truck Day has become New England's annual sign that spring is right around the corner. It is the day when the Red Sox' moving van gets loaded with equipment at Fenway Park for the 1,480-mile trek to JetBlue Park, the team's spring training complex in Fort Myers, Fla.

While the truck packing at Fenway has been going on for years, it started to become a local phenomena in 2002, after Dr. Charles Steinberg arrived on the scene. Now fans gather to see a truck being loaded with equipment and the Red Sox make its departure a fan event.

The day begins with workers loading a big rig parked outside Fenway Park just after 7 a.m. Bins of bats, balls, medical supplies, training gear, and luggage from the warehouse are loaded on the truck, and boxes are piled high to ensure that no essential is left behind and that the Red Sox have everything they need at their spring training complex.

The 18-wheeler usually leads a procession down Yawkey Way at noon of Fenway ambassadors, Red Sox staff, and Wally the Green Monster in front of a crowd of baseball diehards. A few days later, the truck arrives in Fort Myers and the unpacking begins along with a new season.

Red Sox World Series shares worth $307,322

Posted by Peter Abraham, Globe Staff November 21, 2013 04:07 PM

The Red Sox' World Series shares are worth $307,322.68. They voted to award 58 full shares, 14.89 partial shares, and 21 cash awards.

In all, the Red Sox split up $22.6 million. The shares, partial shares, and cash awards are given to players, coaches, and support staff. The amounts are determined by the players.

The Cardinals distributed 56 full shares worth $228,300.17 each.

The players' pool is derived from postseason gate receipts. The 10 postseason teams split up $62.7 million.

David Ortiz, Red Sox agreed not to renegotiate

Posted by Matt Pepin, Boston.com Staff November 21, 2013 01:52 PM

The Red Sox had an agreement with David Ortiz when they signed him before the 2013 season that they would not negotiate a new contract or extension until after the deal expired, according to a major league source.

On Wednesday, reports from the Dominican Republic said Ortiz indicated he wanted to continue playing for the Sox for a year beyond his current deal, which runs through the 2014 season.

The agreement would not necessarily preclude the sides from striking a new deal, however.

Ortiz, 38, said in Santo Domingo that he would keep playing as long as he feels physically healthy.

Ortiz won the World Series MVP award last month after reaching base in 11 of 16 at-bats with two home runs and six RBIs. He had a .309 average with 30 homers, 70 extra-base hits and 103 RBIs in 137 games this past season.

Ortiz agreed to a two-year contract last winter after playing on one-year contracts in 2011 and 2012.

Contributing: Wire reports.

2014 Red Sox spring training schedule announced

Posted by Gary Dzen, Boston.com Staff November 21, 2013 01:15 PM

The Red Sox released their 2014 spring training schedule. It includes 17 games at JetBlue Park in Fort Myers. Tickets for those games go on sale on Dec. 7 at 10 a.m. at JetBlue Park, by phone, and on redsox.com.

The Sox raised ticket prices for eight of the 15 seating categories at JetBlue Park by $2. Tickets now range in price from $5 to $48.

All day games at JetBlue Park are scheduled to begin at 1:05 p.m. and all night games at 7:05 p.m. The Sox will open with two college exhibition games on Feb. 27, a 1:05 p.m. single admission doubleheader starting with a game against Northeastern followed by a game against Boston College.

The Red Sox will launch the 2014 Grapefruit League schedule at home on Feb. 28 at 1:05 p.m. against their Mayor’s Cup rival, the Minnesota Twins. The Twins host the Sox at Hammond Stadium the following night, the second of six contests between the teams that share Fort Myers as their spring training base.

On March 17, at 1:05 p.m., the St. Louis Cardinals will visit JetBlue Park for a St. Patrick’s Day rematch of the 2013 World Series participants. The Red Sox will also play a game against the Cardinals in Jupiter on March 5.

Pitchers and catchers report on Feb. 15. Position players report on Feb. 18. The first full-squad workout is Feb. 20. And 'Truck Day' will take place outside Fenway Park on Saturday, Feb. 8.

Here's the full schedule, with times for the home games.

Feb. 27 vs. Northeastern, 1:05 p.m.
Feb. 27 vs. Boston College (doubleheader)
Feb. 28 vs. Minnesota, 1:05 p.m.
March 1 at Minnesota
March 2 vs. Baltimore, 1:05 p.m.
March 3 at Pittsburgh
March 4 vs. Tampa Bay, 1:05 p.m.
March 5 at St. Louis
March 6 at Miami
March 7 vs. Atlanta, 1:05 p.m.
March 8 at Baltimore
March 8 vs. Baltimore, 7:05 p.m.
March 9 at Pittsburgh (SS)
March 10 vs. Tampa Bay, 1:05 p.m.
March 11 at Baltimore
March 11 vs. Miami, 1:05 p.m.
March 13 at Minnesota
March 14 at Toronto
March 15 vs. Philadelphia, 7:05 p.m.
March 16 at Tampa Bay
March 17 vs. St. Louis, 1:05 p.m.
March 18 at New York Yankees
March 19 vs. Pittsburgh, 7:05 p.m.
March 20 vs. New York Yankees, 7:05 p.m.
March 21 at Philadelphia
March 22 at Atlanta
March 23 vs. Tampa Bay, 1:05 p.m.
March 24 at Baltimore
March 26 vs. Baltimore, 1:05 p.m.
March 27 vs. Minnesota, 7:05 p.m.
March 28 at Minnesota
March 29 vs. Minnesota, 1:05 p.m.

Prince Fielder traded to Texas: What does that mean for the Red Sox?

Posted by Peter Abraham, Globe Staff November 20, 2013 08:56 PM

We have the first major trade of the offseason. The Tigers sent first baseman Prince Fielder to the Rangers straight up for second baseman Ian Kinsler. Jon Heyman of CBS Sports had the news.

The Tigers will send cash ($30 million according to Yahoo's Jeff Passan) in the deal to make up some of the difference in salaries. Detroit will save $76 million in the deal.

The deal, which still has to be approved by MLB, is interesting on many levels. The Tigers are expected to move Miguel Cabrera to first base, where he will be less of a defensive liability, and play prospect Nick Castellanos at third base,

This also opens up salary space for Detroit to sign righthander Max Scherzer to an extension, or at least try to. Cabrera also will need an extension after 2015.

The Rangers get the bat they badly needed in Fielder and can play prime-time prospect Jurickson Profar at second base. He had been blocked at shortstop by Elvis Andrus.

What does this mean for the Red Sox?

• The Rangers will no longer have an interest in first baseman Mike Napoli. Of all the Red Sox free agents, Napoli has always seemed like the most likely to return. This could help clinch that.

• The Rangers could perhaps be less inclined to make a big play for catcher Brian McCann now that they have invested so heavily in Fielder. It's uncertain to what degree the Red Sox would extend themselves for McCann. But the trade could help sharpen up that picture a little.

• Jacoby Ellsbury will be impacted by this deal. The Rangers essentially get Fielder for seven years and $138 million. That is pretty much the kind of deal they could have given Ellsbury. Now that the Rangers have Fielder, Ellsbury could have one fewer option. Texas has several outfield prospects and no great need of Ellsbury anyway.

• It's interesting how long-term deals for first basemen have generated buyer's remorse. The Red Sox traded Adrian Gonzalez last year. Now the Tigers have dealt Fielder. Albert Pujols, Ryan Howard and Mark Teixeira have albatross contracts that their respective teams would love to be free of.

The Red Sox model of signing a player like Napoli looks smarter and smarter. Napoli has flaws, but he's a bargain compared to those other first basemen.

Red Sox add three players to 40-man roster

Posted by Peter Abraham, Globe Staff November 20, 2013 03:30 PM

The Red Sox, as expected, have added outfielder Bryce Brentz, infielder Garin Cecchini, and righthander Anthony Ranaudo to the 40-man roster.

Brentz, 24, was a supplemental first-round pick in 2010. He hit .264 with 17 homers and 56 RBIs in 82 games for Triple A Pawtucket after recovering from an accidental gunshot wound to his left leg. Brentz, a righthanded hitter, has 71 home runs over four seasons in the minors.

Cecchini, 22, hit .322 with a .914 OPS over 129 games for Single A Salem and Double A Pawtucket. He is a career .312 hitter in the minors after being selected in the fourth round of the 2010 draft.

Cecchini suffered a knee injury before his senior year in high school and fell in the draft as a result. The Red Sox gambled by signing him to a $1.3 million bonus, and it has so far paid off.

Ranaudo, 24, was 11-5 with a 2.96 earned run average in 25 appearances (24 starts) for Portland and Pawtucket. He was a supplemental first-round pick in 2010 as well.

Cecchini and Ranaudo were in the All-Star Futures Games last season.

The 40-man roster is now at 39. That will change over the course of the winter as the Sox add free agents or obtain players via trade or waivers.

Those veteran minor leaguers not on the 40-man roster are now subject to the Rule 5 Draft Dec. 12. If a player is selected by another team, he must remain on the roster all season or be offered back to the Red Sox. The Red Sox lost righthanders Josh Fields (Astros) and Ryan Pressly (Twins) in the Rule 5 Draft last season.

Notable players left unprotected included 2010 first-round pick Kolbrin Vitek, an infielder whose on-base skills at Ball State have not translated to the professional ranks.

The Sox also passed on adding righthnded relievers Chris Carpenter and Aaron Kurcz, the compensation from the Chicago Cubs for the departure of former general manager Theo Epstein in 2011.

40-man roster deadline is Wednesday

Posted by Peter Abraham, Globe Staff November 19, 2013 08:07 PM

Major League Baseball's calendar lists this occasion for Nov. 20:

"Last date to outright an injured player to the Minor Leagues, if permissible. Reserve lists for all major and minor league levels filed."

That's a fancy way of saying that teams have to set their 40-man roster. Eligible players not added would be exposed to the Rule 5 draft in December.

The Sox have 36 players on their 40-man roster at the moment. You can expect them to add outfielder Bryce Brentz, infielder Garin Cecchini, and righthander Anthony Ranaudo.

Brentz was a supplemental first-round pick in 2010. He has hit 71 home runs in four seasons, displaying the kind of righthanded power that is hard to come by. He had a Josh Reddick-like .312 OBP last season and somehow shot himself in the leg last January. But Brentz has value.

Cecchini is one of the best hitters in the organization, posting a career .874 OPS. He's being developed to play third but could end up elsewhere.

Ranaudo, a supplemental first-round pick in 2010, had a rough start to his career after leaving LSU. But he was 11-5 with a 2.96 over 140 innings for Portland and Pawtucket in 2013 and struck out 127. He'll likely start 2014 in Pawtucket's rotation.

The Red Sox protected catcher Dan Butler and outfielder Alex Hassan last season, which came as a surprise. So if they did the same with a player such as third baseman Michael Almanzar, it would not be totally unexpected.

Other notable players who figure to be left unprotected included former first-round pick Kolbrin Vitek, an infielder who hasn't hit much in four seasons. Cuban outfielder J.C. Linares can hit but hasn't been all that great at staying on the field.

Derrik Gibson is a former second-round pick who never developed. Jose Vinicio received a bonus of $1.95m to sign out of the Dominican Republic in 2009. He hit .192 last season and is still stick-figure skinny.

Pitchers Keith Couch, Aaron Kurcz, and Mathew Price have shown flashes of promise but nothing consistent enough to merit a roster spot.

Any team that selects one of these players in the Rule 5 Draft would have to keep him all season or offer him back to the Red Sox.

As the Red Sox sign free agents or obtain players via trade, how they manage their 40-man roster will be worth watching because there aren't many players they would willingly shed.

Andrew Bailey is a non-tender candidate because of his shoulder surgery. Outfielder Ryan Kalish remains a 40-man player. He didn't play in 2013 because of surgery. Brock Holt also seems to be on the fringes.

A few other notes:

• Dustin Pedroia won the "Heart and Hustle" award from the MLB Players Alumni Association.

• Free agent first baseman and outfielder Corey Hart told MLB Network Radio that the Red Sox had contacted his agent. He missed all of last season with double knee surgery.

Hart hit .279/.343/.514 from 2010-12 for Milwaukee with 87 home runs 248 RBIs. The righthanded hitter has mashed lefties in his career.

Hart said in his interview that he would be cleared for workouts early next month. Teams would probably want to see him work out a bit before offering a contract.

Red Sox bid, but Ruiz sticks with Phillies

Posted by Peter Abraham, Globe Staff November 18, 2013 12:53 PM

The Philadelphia Phillies today agreed on a three-year, $26 million deal with catcher Carlos Ruiz.

There is a club option for a fourth year and yearly bonuses of $500,000 if Ruiz appears in 125 games.

According to several major league sources, the Red Sox were in on the bidding for Ruiz but dropped out when the Phillies went to a third year.

At first glance, it seems like a wild overpay by Philadelphia. Ruiz will be 35 in January and is coming off a season that saw him hit .268/.320/.368. He had only 21 extra-base hits and 37 RBIs over 341 plate appearances. Ruiz was suspended for the first 25 games of the season for using a banned amphetamine.

Ruiz hit .303/.388/.454 from 2010-12. But can he recapture that level at his age?

Ruiz's deal would seem like very good news for 28-year-old Jarrod Saltalamacchia, who hit .273/.338/.466 last season with 54 extra-base hits and 65 RBIs. If Ruiz is worth that much, Salty could land four years and $40 million, if not more.

That the Red Sox were actively bidding for Ruiz would suggest they were seeking a short-term option to pair with David Ross. That Ruiz also hits righthanded further suggests the Sox were more concerned about defense and length of contract than offense.

Does that mean Saltalamacchia is not coming back? Not necessarily, but the Ruiz deal makes that less likely.

The Red Sox would now seem to have these options:

1. Bite the bullet and sign Salty for more than they anticipated.

2. Go for an even bigger contract with free agent Brian McCann and hope he can morph into an acceptable DH down the road. But it seems unlikely the Red Sox would invest $60 million-$80 million (if not more) on McCann.

3. Sign free agent like Dioner Navarro or A.J. Pierzynski for a year or two.

4. Trade for a catcher.

The guess here? They make a trade and piece it together until Christian Vazquez is ready. They also have Dan Butler on the 40-man roster.

The Sox also have Ryan Lavarnway. But based on how sparingly he played when Ross was on the disabled list, Lavarnway is not viewed as a solution and could be part of a trade.

Betts helps Surprise to AFL title

Posted by Peter Abraham, Globe Staff November 16, 2013 06:49 PM

Red Sox prospect Mookie Betts finished off an outstanding season by going 1 for 3 with a walk and an RBI on Saturday in the Arizona Fall League championship game. He helped the Surprise Saguaros beat the Mesa Solar Sox, 2-0.

Betts drove in a run with a single in the eighth inning.

Betts, who turned 21 in October, hit .314 with a .417 on-base percentage in 127 games for low Single A Greenville and high Single A Salem. Betts developed his power this season, hitting 15 home runs, and stole 38 bases. He was a fifth-round draft pick in 2011.

The Sox had three starters in the Surprise lineup. First baseman Travis Shaw was 0 for 4 and third baseman Garin Cecchini was 0 for 3 with a walk.

Righthander Noe Ramirez pitched a scoreless seventh inning. He allowed one hit but otherwise struck out the side.

UPDATE, 7 p.m.: Cecchini was the recipient of the AFL's Dernell Stenson Sportsmanship Award.

The award was started in 2004 in memory of Stenson, who was killed in 2003 in Arizona during the AFL season. The award is presented annually to the Fall League player who best exemplifies unselfishness, hard work, and leadership.

Red Sox sign McCoy, Layne to minor league deals

Posted by Peter Abraham, Globe Staff November 15, 2013 06:11 PM

The Red Sox have signed two players to minor league contracts that include invitations to major league spring training.

Utility player Mike McCoy, 32, hit .245 with a .684 OPS for Triple A Buffalo in the Toronto organization last season. He had been primarily a shortstop and second baseman in his career with experience at third base and all three outfield spots. He even has pitched in four games over 12 seasons.

McCoy has appeared in 170 major league games from 2009-2012, hitting .190. Most of his big league experience came under John Farrell in Toronto during the 2011 and '12 seasons. He has played six positions in the majors.

Lefthander Tommy Layne, 29, appeared in 40 games for the Padres over the last two seasons, all in relief. He had a 2.84 ERA and 1.07 WHIP, going 2-2 with two saves. Layne spent most of 2012 with Triple A Tucson pitching in relief. He had a 4.50 ERA in 29 games.

Red Sox announce ‘variable pricing’ ticket structure for 2014

Posted by Robert Burgess November 15, 2013 04:32 PM

It will cost more to go to some Red Sox games in 2014. But it also will cost less to go to some others.

The Red Sox, fresh off their World Series championship, announced a “variable pricing structure” for next season that will raise prices for games in “high demand” and lower them for games in “low demand.”

In all, the 81 home games will be divided into five “tiers” that reflect expected demand. Prices increase from Tier 5 up to Tier 1.

Overall, the Sox said, the new prices represent a 4.8 percent increase from 2013 — the first increase in three years.

“Variable pricing better aligns tickets with market value,” said Sam Kennedy, the team’s executive vice president/COO, in a statement.

The 16 Tier 1 games include the home opener against Milwaukee, all nine games against the Yankees, three games against the Orioles in early July (including July 4), and three games against the Royals in July after the All-Star break.

A field box seat for those games that cost $135 in 2013 will now cost $165. A lower bleacher seat goes from $28 to $40. There are incremental increases for the other seating locations around the park.

Tier 2 games will have a smaller increase. In Tiers 3 and 4, there are even smaller increases, with some prices staying the same.

In Tier 5, all the prices drop. Those 16 games include six against the Rays (three in late April-early May, three in September), three against the Rangers (in early April), two against the Blue Jays (in May), three against the Orioles (in early September), and two against the Reds (in early May).

A field box ticket for those games will drop from $135 to $115, and a lower bleacher ticket from $28 to $20, along with the other incremental drops across the board.

Red Sox to play Yankees twice in spring training

Posted by Peter Abraham, Globe Staff November 15, 2013 11:57 AM

The Red Sox and Yankees will meet twice in spring training next season.

The first game will be March 18 in Tampa at Steinbrenner Field. The second will be March 20 in Fort Myers ay JetBlue Park. Both games will be at 1:05 p.m.

The Yankees will put their single-game spring training tickets on sale on Jan. 10.

The Red Sox have not yet announced their spring training schedule.

Pedroia ties for seventh in AL MVP voting

Posted by Peter Abraham, Globe Staff November 14, 2013 06:28 PM

Red Sox second baseman Dustin Pedroia finished tied for seventh in the American League Most Valuable Player voting. It was his highest finish since winning the award in 2008.

Miguel Cabrera of the Tigers repeated as MVP with 23 of a possible 30 first votes. Mike Trout of the Angels was second again, with Baltimore's Chris Davis coming in third.

Pedroia received 99 points, tying Adrian Beltre of Texas. David Ortiz was 10th with 47 points. Jacoby Ellsbury, Koji Uehara, and Shane Victorino also received votes.

Here is a breakdown of the voting on BBWAA.com

Duck boat headed for Jake Peavy's place

Posted by Peter Abraham, Globe Staff November 14, 2013 02:23 PM


Via the Red Sox Twitter account, we have photographic proof that Jake Peavy really did buy a duck boat after the parade.

Here it is being shipped to Alabama. Wonder if duck boats have to be registered?

It is our understand that the Peavy homestead includes several ponds and is on the Alabama River. So perhaps the duck boat will come in handy.

Drew still in play for the Red Sox

Posted by Peter Abraham, Globe Staff November 14, 2013 01:08 PM

ORLANDO — Red Sox general manager Ben Cherington disputed a report by ESPN Boston that shortstop Stephen Drew will not return to the Red Sox.

“That’s not something I’ve been told,” Cherington said as he left the GM and Owners Meetings at the J.W. Marriott Grande Lakes. “We’re still talking with him and we’d like to have him back. We’ll see what happens.”

On Wednesday, agent Scott Boras said that Drew “very much enjoyed” his time in Boston and would consider opportunities to stay. He, too, said no decision had been made.

Drew is seeking a multiyear contract, something the Red Sox would prefer to avoid. But because Drew was tendered a qualifying offer by Boston, signing him could cost another team its first-round draft pick. That could dampen the market for Drew and perhaps lead to a return to Boston.


• The Red Sox have not given up on Jacoby Ellsbury but aren't hopeful. "Long shot," a team official said today after the owners meetings broke up.

• The Red Sox had 31 players who were on minor league contracts become free agents. The group includes righthander Alfredo Aceves, who was 16-13 with 27 saves and a 3.94 earned run average over two seasons with the Sox.

The Sox have no plans to retain Aceves. Buster Olney of ESPN reported that Aceves could land with the Mets.

Righthander Terry Doyle, a former Boston College pitcher, and lefthander Jack McGeary, a Newton native who attended Stanford, also became free agents. McGeary appeared in 14 minor league games last season after being taken in the minor league phase of the Rule 5 Draft.

Infielder Ryan Dent, a supplemental first-round draft pick in 2007, hit .226 over parts of seven seasons and is now looking for a chance. Other new free agents include veteran organizational players Ronald Bermudez, Brock Huntzinger, and Will Latimer.

Owners approve expansion of replay

Posted by Peter Abraham, Globe Staff November 14, 2013 01:00 PM

ORLANDO — Major League Baseball owners today voted to fund the expansion of instant replay for 2014.

The exact system will be determined once negotiations are completed with the MLB Players Association and the umpires. But commissioner Bud Selig said there is no obstacle to a new system starting next season.

Baseball seems to be headed toward reviews being done in New York with managers having one or two challenges per game. Umpires could ask for a review of plays that aren't challenged.

Red Sox seek shorter deal for Salty

Posted by Peter Abraham, Globe Staff November 13, 2013 10:35 PM

ORLANDO, Fla. — The Red Sox are in the early stages of negotiations with Jarrod Saltalamacchia. Major league sources said the initial hold-up is the length of the contract. The Red Sox would prefer two years and Saltalamacchia three or four.

It is unclear whether the Red Sox have actually offered Saltalamacchia two years or outlined that as a proposal. Regardless, the Sox see Saltalamacchia — or another catcher such as Carlos Ruiz — handling the job until Christian Vazquez or Blake Swihart is ready.

A little more hot stove chatter:

• Mike Napoli remains in Boston, now two weeks after the World Series. He was at the Celtics game tonight and reiterated his desire to stay with the Red Sox.

• The New York Daily News reported that the Cubs are interested in Jacoby Ellsbury. Former Red Sox general manager Theo Epstein is now president of baseball operations for the Cubs. He drafted Ellsbury in 2005.

• The Yankees also could have an interest in Stephen Drew given the age and injury concerns with Derek Jeter.

• Sox owner John Henry expressed caution about long-term contracts.

"We had a long history of overpaying and going too long in contracts. We had the resources to be able to do it, just as the Yankees had the resources to be able to do that,” he said. “You can make mistakes. You can sign someone to a five-year deal that should have been a four-year deal. You can pay him a few million extra a year in order to put together the exact team that can contend.

“We moved away from that for the first time I think in 2012. You saw that and you'll see that now continue.”

The Red Sox signed Pedroia to an eight-year, $110 million extension in July and are expected to pursue a long-term deal with lefthander Jon Lester.

Henry said tying up too many players to multi-year deal is too restrictive and inhibits roster flexibility.

“You have to have the depth,” he said. “By the time you get to August, you have to have depth. … You really need more than 25 players to win a championship.”

Uehara seventh in AL Cy Young voting

Posted by Peter Abraham, Globe Staff November 13, 2013 06:54 PM

ORLANDO, Fla. — Unlike the AL manager of the year hubbub, the Cy Young Awards were deserved landslides for Max Scherzer (Tigers) and Clayton Kershaw (Dodgers).

Red Sox closer Koji Uehara was seventh in the AL voting. He received one second-place vote.

Boras: Plenty of suitors for Ellsbury

Posted by Peter Abraham, Globe Staff November 13, 2013 05:56 PM

ORLANDO, Fla. — Agent Scott Boras said Jacoby Ellsbury has an unusually high number of teams interested. He did not, of course, list those teams.

The Red Sox are one of those teams. It is believed the Rangers, Yankees and Cubs have discussed Ellsbury with Boras. The Seattle Mariners, according to reports, are not interested. But that isn't necessarily indicative of much on Nov. 13.

“The number of premium players at that level who get to free agency now are rare and teams recognize that,” Boras said during a wide-ranging discussion with reporters . “I think they view those players as difference makers. … It's a real opportunity for a franchise.”

Boras is marketing Ellsbury and another free-agent client, Shin-Soo Choo, as being able to hit third in a lineup.

“They have the power to bat third. They can drive in 90 runs batting first, second or third. So their offensive thrust is not confined to the top of a lineup,” Boras said.

“And [Ellsbury] being a world champion not once but twice, says a lot about who you are in a locker room, who you are on a team, and the ability to play in a major market. All of those things play into a very different evaluation.”

Ellsbury has hit third 10 times in his career, all during the disjointed 2012 season under Bobby Valentine.

Boras had an explanation as to why Ellsbury hit 32 home runs in 2011 but has only 13 over 880 at-bats in the two years since.

“The fact is that Ells conditioned himself and did things to become what he needed to become to help [the Red Sox], this style of team. That was stealing bases, being a leadoff hitter, being on base and getting to second base as much as possible," he said. "That’s really what he geared himself to.”

Ellsbury’s skills require little burnishing. But another Boras client, Stephen Drew, hit .253 in the regular season then was 6 for 54 in the postseason.

Boras pointed out that Drew’s .777 OPS was fourth among shortstops and his defense was well above average.

He suggested that the key to Cherington’s successful plan for rebuilding the Red Sox centered around the signing of Drew.

“Wherever Stephen Drew goes, he ends up in the playoffs,” Boras said.

Boras arrived armed with quips. When asked whether the penny-pinching Mets had been more active, he smiled.

"The Mets are like NASA. They have big rockets, a lot of platforms and very few astronauts," he said. "Astronauts are hard to find. They got one guy with the right stuff, that's for sure. They've got a lot of Armstrongs, too. But they're certainly a club I'm sure that's in pursuit of a higher level of talent."

Boras also took a jab at the Rays: "I would say a tale of two cities. The one they're in and the one they should be in."

"It's just really something for the fans of the Tampa Bay area, they need a new ballpark, they need to address that. Certainly the bell's been answered by the organization as far as putting a product on the field that would normally attract fans.''

Boras even had a suggestion where the Rays could go.

"I think there's a lot of cities that may attract them," he said. "I don't know, maybe New Jersey would like that winning percentage.''

Teams express interest in Red Sox pitchers

Posted by Nick Cafardo, Globe Staff November 13, 2013 04:40 PM

ORLANDO, Fla. — Ben Cherington said today at the GM Meetings that there has been some interest expressed in Boston’s veteran starters.

However, Cherington said, “there is interest, but not sure that pushes us one way or another. Teams are wading through the free-agent market and weighing that vs. trades. They’re just gathering information like we are, but we’ve had a few conversations.”

There are teams quite interested in John Lackey, who had a breakout year after his Tommy John surgery. Teams especially love the fact that he’s owed approximately $16 million total for the next two years. Because of a clause in his contract, he has to take a sixth year at minimum salary — $500,000 plus a cost-of-living increase in 2015 — because he had elbow surgery.

There has also been interest in all of Boston’s starters – Jon Lester, Clay Buchholz, Jake Peavy, and Felix Doubront.

The Red Sox could be looking to add an outfield or first base bat depending on whether they re-sign Mike Napoli.

Pedroia's thumb surgery less invasive

Posted by Peter Abraham, Globe Staff November 13, 2013 04:04 PM

ORLANDO, Fla. — Red Sox second baseman Dustin Pedroia did not require a graft to repair the torn ulnar collateral ligament in his left thumb. The surgery was done earlier today in Scottsdale, Ariz., by Dr. Donald Sheridan.

"It was the less complicated of the two possibilities. So that was good news," general manager Ben Cherington said. "It sounded like everything went well."

Cherington said the Red Sox are "fully confident" Pedroia will be ready for the start of next season.

"Spring training, because he's Dustin Pedroia and doesn't have to worry about making the team, we'll see where he is. If we need to buy time, we will," Cherington said. "We'll know more in a few weeks."

Pedroia tore the ligament on Opening Day when he slid headfirst into first base against the Yankees. He played the entire season, starting 159 games. Pedroia hit .301 with a .372 on-base percentage. But his .415 slugging percentage was the lowest of his career.

Red Sox haves hopes for Hinojosa

Posted by Peter Abraham, Globe Staff November 12, 2013 10:54 PM

ORLANDO, Fla. — The signing did not generate much notice because it came during the postseason. But the Red Sox have already added a pitcher they believe can help the team next season.

He’s 27-year-old righthander Dalier Hinojosa, a Cuban defector who was signed to a $4.25 million minor league contract that includes an invitation to spring training.

Hinojosa pitched for Guantanamo in the Cuban League from 2005-12 and in a series of international tournaments.

“He’s a starter and he’ll likely come to camp as a starter,” general manager Ben Cherington said. “If he’s not on the [major league] team, he’ll likely be a starter on the minor league level.

“Our scouts liked his stuff. It was an opportunity to acquire someone out without a big-league contract, a guy that we can control who we think is close to major-league ready. If he is what our scouts think he is, he’s an affordable pitching option for the next several years.”

A few other notes:

• The season did not end well for Jarrod Saltalamacchia. After serving as the primary catcher for most of the year, he was benched for the final three games of the World Series.

A poorly timed throw in Game 3 against the St. Louis Cardinals led to David Ross going into the lineup and staying there. The Red Sox won all three games and Saltalamacchia was a subdued celebrant.

Manager John Farrell said at the time that Saltalamacchia was angry and he expected that emotion. Saltalamacchia also was frustrated that the Red Sox had not approached him about signing a contract extension during the regular season, believing he had proved himself worthy of their faith.

After the season ended, Saltalamacchia complained that the Red Sox hadn’t called immediately to express an interest in bringing him back, something that team officials said was not true.

In the last week, the sides have opened talks and there is mutual interest. The question is whether Saltalamacchia can get a more lucrative deal elsewhere. Given the lack of offensively productive catchers, the market for Saltalamacchia should be active.

The Red Sox might prefer a short-term option like Carlos Ruiz, who turns 35 in January, to work with Ross. The organization believes that 23-year-old prospect Christian Vazquez has great potential but may not be ready for regular duty until 2015.

• Cherington said that bench coach Torey Lovullo has agreed to a new contract and is “very happy.”

The Cubs were said to be interested in Lovullo as a managerial candidate but never requested permission to interview him. When Theo Epstein left the Red Sox for the Cubs in 2011, his separation agreement is believed to have included a clause banning Chicago from hiring away Red Sox employees for a span of three years.

“We believe he’s absolutely a strong managerial candidate,” Cherington said. “Probably not for 2014 because all of those positions are filled now. But certainly ones will come open in the future.”

• Game 3 of the World Series ended when the Red Sox were called for obstruction. Joe Torre, MLB’s executive vice president of baseball operations, said there are no plans to change the rule. “I was proud of [the umpires] because they called it correctly,” Torre said. “It just happened to be a play that ended the game.”

• Dustin Pedroia’s thumb surgery is actually not until Wednesday in Arizona.

• Tim Wakefield will receive the Brooks Robinson Community Service Award from the MLB Players Alumni Association on Sunday in New York

Napoli did not receive multiyear offer from Red Sox

Posted by Nick Cafardo, Globe Staff November 12, 2013 09:37 PM

ORLANDO — As it turns out, the Red Sox have not extended a multiyear offer to first baseman Mike Napoli.

It's was widely reported the Red Sox had extended him a multiyear deal, but multiple industry sources have confirmed the only offer the Red Sox have made to Napoli was the $14.1 million qualifying offer he refused on Monday.

The Red Sox, however, do want to keep Napoli and Napoli wants to stay, but they'll have some competition from several teams who could use Napoli as a first baseman and DH. The Orioles, Yankees, Giants, Marlins, Rangers, Blue Jays, White Sox, Rockies, and Mariners are all potential suitors.

Terry Francona named AL manager of the year; John Farrell is second

Posted by Peter Abraham, Globe Staff November 12, 2013 06:42 PM

ORLANDO, Fla. — Cleveland Indians manager Terry Francona was named the American League Manager of the Year on Tuesday.

John Farrell was second and Bob Melvin of Oakland was third. In all, nine managers received votes.

Francona received 16 of 30 first-place votes and finished with 112 points. Farrell received 12 first-place votes and had 96 points.

Voting is done by 30 BBWAA members, two representing each city in the American League. The vote is conducted before the start of the playoffs. Here is a breakdown of the voting.

Writers selected three managers on their ballots.

For Francona, it was his first Manager of the Award and the first time he has ever received first-place votes despite leading the Red Sox to World Series titles in 2004 and 2007.

The Indians were 92-70 under Francona and qualified for the American League Wild Card playoff game. Francona was in his first season as manager. It was the first winning record for the Indians since 2007. The Indians won their final 10 games to qualify for the playoffs.

Farrell led the Red Sox to a 97-65 record and first place in the American League East in his first season. The Sox were 69-93 in 2012 under Bobby Valentine.

Asuka Iinuma Brown (Jiji Press representing Seattle) and Christina Kahrl (ESPN.com representing Chicago) did not have Farrell on their ballots at all. That did not cost him the election, however.

Brown also did not vote for Francona. Her ballot had Melvin, Joe Maddon and Buck Showalter. It was the only vote Showalter received. The Orioles were 85-77 after finishing 93-69 in 2012.

The two writers from Toronto — Mike Rutsey (Toronto Sun) and Tom Maloney (The Globe and Mail) selected Francona first and Farrell second. Farrell managed the Blue Jays from 2011-12 and his decision to leave Toronto for Boston was heavily criticized there.

Before the award was announced, Sox general manager Ben Cherington said he expected Farrell to win.

":It shouldn't go, in my mind, any other way. He did a terrific job this year, definitely proud of what he did and the team did," Cherington said.

Sox prospect is Arizona Fall League Player of the Week

Posted by John Carney November 12, 2013 03:56 PM

ORLANDO, Fla. — It has been a quiet day so far at the General Managers Meetings outside of the Phillies giving Marlon Byrd a two-year deal worth $16 million.

If Marlon Byrd is worth that much, imagine what Jacoby Ellsbury will get.

The Manager of the Year will be announced later in the day, and we'll be chatting with Ben Cherington as well. Check back later.

And now, a few Red Sox prospect notes for you:

• Double A first baseman Travis Shaw was named the Arizona Fall League Player of the Week.

Shaw was 7 of 13 with two doubles, a home run, two RBIs, and five walks for Surprise last week. Shaw is hitting .352/.446/.722 in 54 at-bats in the AFL. He has five home runs and 17 RBIs over 15 games.

Shaw, 23, is coming off a disappointing season in Portland that saw him hit .221 with a .736 OPS. He struck out 117 times in 444 at-bats but did draw 78 walks.

Shaw is the son of former major league pitcher Jeff Shaw, a former teammate of John Farrell's with the Indians.

• As Shaw bounces back in Arizona, Allen Webster is struggling mightily in the Dominican Republic.

The righthander had made three starts for Escogido and his line is ugly: 12 IP, 13 H, 8 ER, 6 BB, 7 K.

Webster was very impressive in spring training before an erratic 22 starts with Triple A Pawtucket (8-4, 3.60). In eight appearances with the Red Sox (seven starts), Webster had a 8.60 ERA and walked 18 over 30.1 innings.

• Righthanded reliever Chris Martin also is with Escogido as their closer. In seven appearances he has thrown seven shutout innings, allowing only one hit. Martin has struck out eight without a walk, too.

Martin was signed by the Red Sox before the 2011 season out of an independent league. The 27-year-old started in Class A ball in 2011 and finished last season with Pawtucket.

Red Sox 'absolutely' want Napoli back

Posted by Peter Abraham, Globe Staff November 11, 2013 10:53 PM

ORLANDO, Fla. — GM Ben Cherington wasn't remotely surprised that Stephen Drew, Jacoby Ellsbury and Mike Napoli declined qualifying offers. The Red Sox, he said, have held discussions with all three players about contract parameters.

The Sox, he said, also remain interested in catcher Jarrod Saltalamacchia, righthanded reliever Joel Hanrahan and infielder John McDonald.

“There’s real interest. But nothing more than that,” Cherington said Monday night. “We’ve had conversations. … There’s real interest at different levels in all six of them.”

The Red Sox, major league sources said, have had more extensive talks with Napoli and agent Brian Grieper about a new contract. Napoli hit .259 with an .842 OPS in 139 games for the Sox in his first season in Boston. He was second on the team with 23 home runs and 92 RBIs.

Napoli has said several times since the end of the World Series that he would prefer to stay with the Red Sox.

“We absolutely have an interest in having him back,” Cherington said.

The Red Sox and Napoli agreed to a one-year contract last winter after a physical showed a degenerative condition in his hips. An MRI taken after the World Series showed nothing that caused any greater concern, Cherington said.

“Mike and his agent have been fully transparent with what’s going on and we appreciate that,” Cherington said. “The most important thing, I think, is that he played a full year. We don’t have any reason to have any more concern than we did last winter.”

Cherington does not expect the Red Sox to make any roster additions this week.

A few notes:

• Cherington said Clay Buchholz will have a "normal offseason" and had no medical limitations

• Cherington said catcher will "one of the more interesting positions to watch this offseason" in MLB. He feels there is a potential for trades.

• Dustin Pedroia's thumb surgery is tomorrow. Cherington said regardless of extent of procedure, he should be ready for spring training.

Pedroia needs a ligament repaired and could require what amounts to the Tommy John version of thumb surgery.

Mobile users unable to see the video, click here.

Cherington named executive of the year

Posted by Peter Abraham, Globe Staff November 11, 2013 10:29 PM

ORLANDO, Fla. — The Sporting News has selected Red Sox general manager Ben Cherington as baseball’s executive of year. He received 15 votes from a panel of 31 major league executives. Neal Huntington of the Pirates was second and Dayton Moore of the Royals was third.

The award has been given out since 1936. But only two Red Sox executives — owner Tom Yawkey (1946) and GM Dick O’Connell (1967 and ’75) — had won before Cherington.

“Definitely unexpected,” Cherington said. “I was telling people in the room that obviously I consider this an award for the organization and not for me.

“Coming off the year we had in 2012, I also sort of see it as usually an award that goes to an organization that does [good] work over a period of time and not necessarily one year. So it’s a great honor for the organization. It just speaks to the hard work that a lot of people have done.”

Cherington went on to thank the ownership, his staff, manager John Farrell, the coaches and players. But it was Cherington who engineered the rebuilding of the last-place Red Sox with a series of successful free agent signings last winter. Cherington also pushed for Farrell to replace Bobby Valentine as manager.

Cherington did not actually receive an award on Monday.

“They said something was going to come in the mail,” he said. “I don’t have anything to show you.”

The American League and National League managers of the year will be announced on Tuesday. Farrell, Cleveland’s Terry Francona and Bob Melvin of the Athletics are the three finalists.

The winner, which is selected by the Baseball Writers’ Association of America, will be revealed on MLB Network at 6 p.m.

Marlins president opens door for a Stanton trade, just a little

Posted by Peter Abraham, Globe Staff November 11, 2013 10:29 PM

ORLANDO, Fla. — There are many out there — colleagues Nick Cafardo and Chad Finn among them — who believe the Red Sox should do whatever is necessary to trade for Miami Marlins slugger Giancarlo Stanton.

This is largely based on two beliefs:

1. The Red Sox have a significant number of prospects to offer.

2. The Marlins be crazy.

New Marlins GM Dan Jennings has said Stanton will not be traded. Given that he is 23 and won't be a free agent until 2017, that would seem to make sense.

Yet team president David Samson seems to gave countered that logic with comments he made during a radio interview. Juan C. Rodriguez of the Sun Sentinel has the details..

“We look at the Cardinals who didn’t re-sign Albert Pujols and they just won the pennant,” Samson said. “You really have to think about your team, your payroll. You have to think about how it’s going to work going forward and what percentage of your payroll will one player have or who you want to sign because there are always more players.

“It’s a complicated question, but we love Giancarlo and we don’t have to worry about it right now. He’s on our team. If here in Orlando all of a sudden someone comes with an offer Mike and Dan can’t refuse, anybody can get traded. That’s the point of having no no-trade clauses, but I would say it’s very unlikely that he will get dealt.”

The Red Sox should hang up if Miami wants Xander Bogaerts. Henry Owens, too. But anybody else from the prospect list? Have at it.

Once the Dodgers traded for Josh Beckett, Adrian Gonzalez and Carl Crawford, no trade should ever be considered impossible to make.

Myers, Fernandez are Rookie of the Year selections

Posted by Peter Abraham, Globe Staff November 11, 2013 06:42 PM

ORLANDO, Fla. — Tampa Bay outfielder Wil Myers won the Jackie Robinson Award for American League Rookie of the Year.

Tigers shortstop Jose Iglesias, the former Red Sox player, finished second in the voting. Tampa Bay righthander Chris Archer was third.

Myers hit .293 with 13 home runs and 53 RBIs. He was listed first on 23 of the 30 ballots submitted by two writers representing each league city and 131 points in all. Iglesias received five first-place votes and 80 points.

Miami Marlins righthander Jose Fernandez was the National League winner. The 21-year-old Fernandez (12-6, 2.19 ERA) placed first on 26 of 30 ballots Los Angeles Dodgers right fielder Yasiel Puig was second.

The complete voting, including how Globe writers voted, is on bbwaa.com

Red Sox trio decline qualifying offers

Posted by Peter Abraham, Globe Staff November 11, 2013 04:01 PM

ORLANDO, Fla. — The deadline to decide on qualifying offers is at 5 p.m. but the Red Sox have been told that Stephen Drew, Jacoby Ellsbury and Mike Napoli will decline the one-year, $14.1 million deals.

It's official for Napoli at this point and will be soon for Drew and Ellsbury.

This is not a surprise as all three players expect to land multi-year contracts as free agents.

Drew, Ellsbury and Napoli can continue to negotiate with the Red Sox. If they sign with another team, the Red Sox will receive a supplemental first round draft pick.

Napoli has said he wants to return to Boston and there is a decent chance the sides will work out a deal. The Red Sox also have expressed an interest in retaining Drew. But he could command a three-year deal on the market given the lack of shortstops.

Ellsbury has consistently spurned offers to sign a contract extension with the Red Sox and is expected to land a deal in excess of $100 million. Red Sox officials have said they would like to keep Ellsbury but acknowledge the difficulty.

UPDATE, 5:22 p.m.: The Red Sox announced that all three players officially declined. In fact, all 13 players in the majors made qualifying offers declined them.

Ben Cherington likely to win GM honor

Posted by Nick Cafardo, Globe Staff November 11, 2013 11:58 AM

ORLANDO, Fla. – While assistants Brian O’Halloran, Mike Hazen, and Allard Baird are already here at the GM Meetings, Ben Cherington will arrive later today and be here in time for the GM dinner where he will likely be voted the Executive of the Year by his peers.

Cherington is certainly the odds-on favorite for the award after his performance last offseason, during the season, and winning the World Series.

Cherington will likely then begin meeting with agents and other teams. Scott Boras is here and hoping to meet with Cherington regarding free agents Jacoby Ellsbury and Stephen Drew. Boras also represents Xander Bogaerts and Jackie Bradley Jr. two young players who could also be part of Boston’s 2014 season as starting players.

Joe Mauer move creates another possibility for Jarrod Saltalamacchia

Posted by Nick Cafardo, Globe Staff November 11, 2013 11:51 AM

ORLANDO, Fla. — The Twins announced this morning that Joe Mauer will switch to first base in an effort to keep him healthy from the concussions he’s received catching.

That appears to open the Twins up to acquiring a full time catcher. Jarrod Saltalamacchia, a free agent, could suddenly be a good fit for Minnesota.

The Mauer decision came after the former MVP and batting champion met with doctors at the Mayo Clinic.Given the dangers of the catching position and past concussions, the organization and Mauer came to the conclusion that switching positions would be in everyone’s best interest.

Mauer batted .324 with 11 homers and 47 RBIs in 113 games. He suffered a concussion after fouling a ball off his mask on August 19 and was placed on the seven-day concussion disabled list and didn’t return to action the remainder of the season.

Mauer has played 56 career games at first base. He was named AL MVP and won his third batting title in 2009. He’s been a six-time All-Star as a catcher.

The move has been discussed within the Twins organization for some time.

There are Twins officials who like Saltalamacchia’s game. He won’t be the only catcher they consider, however.

Ortiz to co-produce series for MLB, MTV

Posted by Peter Abraham, Globe Staff November 11, 2013 10:28 AM

ORLANDO, Fla. — Major League Baseball is joining up with MTV and David Ortiz will have a prominent role.

Ortiz and Pittsburgh Pirates star Andrew McCutchen will be executive producers of a new weekly 30-episode series for MTV2. The show will be shot from inside the MLB Fan Cave in New York City.

The so-far untitled series will showcase MLB players off the field, spotlighting their personalities and through interviews and features.

“Players want to be musicians and the musicians want to be players. So it’s going to be pretty easy to get my friends in baseball to have some fun on MTV," Ortiz said.

Ortiz has been active in Fan Cave productions. He once randomly hugged assorted New Yorkers during an appearance.

Content from the new partnership will be on-air and online across MTV’s channels and platforms – MTV, MTV2, mtvU, MTV Hits and MTV Jams – integrating MLB players into existing shows and events.

Morning notes from the GM meetings

Posted by Nick Cafardo, Globe Staff November 11, 2013 08:40 AM

ORLANDO, Fla. — A few items from the GM Meetings:

The Japanese media is here in full force to garner any information possible on star righthanded pitcher Masahiro Tanaka, who went 24-0 during the regular season, threw a 160-pitch game in the Japan Series, and the very next day saved the championship game for Rakuten Eagles.

The Dodgers, Cubs and Yankees are seen as the front runners right now.

At the moment, Major League Baseball and the Japan League are trying to work out a revised posting system so Tanaka can be posted and teams can bid on his services much like the Red Sox did with Daisuke Matsuzaka at this time in 2006.

Where are the Red sox with Tanaka?

It was described to me as on the fringes of it. According to one team source “we’ve discussed it internally, but it hasn’t gotten far beyond that.” The Red Sox don’t really need Tanaka, who throws mid-90s with a split-fingered fastball. But it’s not out of the realm of possibility that the Red Sox jump in either.

The blind posting fee may rise to an estimated $50-$70 million and a likely contract will run about six years at $50-60 million.

Tanaka also does not have an agent at this time which complicates getting a lot of information on him.

• Carlos Beltran's name keeps popping up with the Red Sox, but according to one team source, “there’s been very little discussion about him.” The Red Sox have definitely called, inquired and discussed with Beltran’s agents. But where he fits, for a player who needs to some DH time, would be the major issue,

• As we pointed out in the Sunday Baseball Notes, the name John Lackey will begin to pop up the most as the days go by leading up to the Winter Meetings in December. Teams are intrigued by Lackey, who is now seen as a low cost option because of the minimum salary team option for 2015. It’s also appealing to the Red Sox who may not deal him unless they get a major load back in returns.

Teams like the Giants, Braves and Phillies would see him as a great fit. The Red Sox would like to move a veteran starter (Ryan Dempster or Jake Peavy) to make room for one of their young pitchers — likely Brandon Workman — in the rotation.

• Agent Scott Boras and his staff arrived last night and they seem ready to meet with teams on Jacoby Ellsbury, Shin Soo-Choo, and Stephen Drew. Boras and the Red Sox are expected to get together for meetings here to see if there’s any hope on Ellsbury in particular. Boras believes he has a healthy market for Drew and could land the shortstop a four-year deal, but the Red Sox would likely not go that far.

• Catcher collisions will be a topic of conversation here and ways to curtail them. The discussion should be interesting, but whether anything comes of it remains to be seen.

GM Meetings set to start in Orlando

Posted by Peter Abraham, Globe Staff November 10, 2013 04:34 PM

ORLANDO, Fla. — MLB's General Manager Meetings get started here on Monday and finish up on Wednesday. It's the unofficial start of the hot stove season.

There are actual meetings for the GMs to attend. They discuss rules, procedures and such things as the use of replay and limiting collisions at home plate. But they also use the opportunity to discuss trades and meet with agents.

What's coming up this week:

Monday: Those free agents who were tendered qualifying offers by their teams have until 5 p.m. to accept or decline. In the case of Jacoby Ellsbury, Stephen Drew and Mike Napoli, all three are expected to decline.

They can continue negotiating with the Red Sox. But if they were to sign with another team, the Sox would receive a supplemental first round draft pick.

Also, the Jackie Robinson Rookie of the Year awards will be announced.

Tuesday: The Manager of the Year awards will be announced. Should be good news for John Farrell.

Wednesday: The Cy Young Award for each league is announced.

Thursday: The MVPs awards for each league are announced.

As for what the Red Sox might do, Ken Rosenthal made some great points in a column about this time of the year.

The Red Sox need a center fielder, catcher, first baseman and shortstop. So obviously they have interest in players who play those positions and will contact their agents. It's not really news that they are interested in a player. Frankly, Ben Cherington and his staff would be derelict in their duties if they didn't contact agents of prominent players.

It's also pretty obvious that the agent for a prominent player would say his client has interest in the Red Sox. The Red Sox are a high-payroll team in a major market that just won the World Series. What player wouldn't be interested?

Carl Crawford didn't want to come to Boston and he still did. Players invariably sign with teams that offer the best contract and the Red Sox are capable of offering major contracts.

Chapter One in the agent playbook is to say a free-agent would love to play in New York, Los Angeles, Boston or Chicago whether it's true or not. That creates a buzz.

Let's remember, too, that the Red Sox won the World Series by making prudent decisions about mid-level free agents. The will likely stay with that strategy, not abandon it.

It's still early to predict what will happen. Usually one or two signings spark the market and dominoes quickly fall.

But it's fair to think that Ellsbury will find a team willing to pay him more than the Red Sox. It also makes sense that with Xander Bogaerts and Deven Marrero around, the Red Sox won't give Drew the three-year deal he could get elsewhere.

Keeping Napoli makes a lot of sense for a lot of reasons and he's very comfortable with the Sox. He strikes me like somebody who values being comfortable and would prefer not being with his third team in three years.

The catching situation is intriguing. The Sox seem to have soured on Jarrod Saltalamacchia and he on them. But that relationship could still be repaired. If not, Brian McCann could be an attractive addition as would Carlos Ruiz.

So let the second season start. Stay tuned to Extra Bases for all the news.

Trio expected to decline qualifying offers

Posted by Peter Abraham, Globe Staff November 8, 2013 02:01 PM

Stephen Drew, Jacoby Ellsbury, and Mike Napoli have until 5 p.m. Monday to decide whether to accept the one-year, $14.1 million qualifying offers they were given by the Red Sox. But the answer in all three cases is quite clear:

No thanks.

Ellsbury, obviously, is one of the top free agents on the market and almost certainly will land a contract worth in excess of $100 million. Napoli also can count on multiyear offers.

There was the thought that Drew would have to at least consider the offer, given that it represented a $4.6 million raise. But agent Scott Boras made it clear to Jon Heyman of CBS Sports.com that Drew is aiming higher in a thin market for shortstops.

The Red Sox would receive supplemental first-round draft picks if any of the players tendered qualifying offers signs with another team. Declining the qualifying offer would not prohibit the players from signing with the Red Sox.

Meanwhile, there is mutual interest between free agent righthander Tim Hudson and the Red Sox, according to major league sources.

Hudson has been with the Braves for nine seasons and seems unlikely to leave. The Red Sox also have, at the moment, six starting pitchers. Interest in Hudson could be part of a larger plan that would involve trading some of their starter depth.

In Ryan Dempster, John Lackey, and Jake Peavy, the Red Sox have three veteran pitchers who could be of interest to contending teams.

Red Sox catcher David Ross, who once played for the Braves, is close with Hudson and free agent catcher Brian McCann. Players almost invariably select teams based on contracts, but the new-and-improved clubhouse atmosphere in Boston and the style of manager John Farrell will help attract free agents.

Belichick on the Red Sox: 'They're so little'

Posted by Peter Abraham, Globe Staff November 7, 2013 10:47 PM

NFL Films had Patriots coach Bill Belichick mic'd up for Sunday's game against the Steelers and caught him talking about some of the Red Sox players being on hand for the game.

In a conversation with Tom Brady, Belichick dismissed the Red Sox players as being "so little" and chuckled.

The Red Sox actually have a decent amount of big guys. But NFL players are such behemoths that they must look small to football coaches.

Wilson names Pedroia as top AL defender

Posted by Peter Abraham, Globe Staff November 7, 2013 07:25 PM

Dustin Pedroia was named the American League defensive player of the year by Wilson.

The award, in its second season, is determined by a formula that combines scouting, advanced statistics, and traditional statistics.

Arizona outfielder Gerardo Parra was named the National League defensive player of the year. The Diamondbacks were named the NL defensive team of the year. The Orioles and Royals shared the AL award.

Shane Victorino on the NBA; John Farrell joins Coach K

Posted by Peter Abraham, Globe Staff November 7, 2013 04:08 PM

It's good to be the World Series champions.

David Ross was at ESPN today (see previous post) and now Shane Victorino will be taking over the @NBAonTNT Twitter account during the Lakers-Rockets game tonight.

Shane will be commenting on the game and chatting with fans. Use the #ShaneTakeover hashtag to join in.

John Farrell taped an interview with Duke basketball coach Mike Krzyzewski that will be on SiriusXM College Sports Nation (Channel 91) at 6 p.m. tonight.

A few highlights:

Coach K: “As a basketball coach, and I’m a big baseball fan, if I could pick one guy to have on my team every day it would be Pedroia. Every time I watch you guys play, there’s no monkey business going on. That guy is a stone cold killer. He sets an amazing tone. How big is his bat? His bat looks bigger than him!”

Farrell: “Well, because he’s only 5-6 a 33-inch bat is going to look half his body [size]. (laughs) … He’s got incredible hand-eye coordination. If you slow down video and watch, every ounce of his 165 pounds is into every single swing and when you consider the aggressiveness to the swing and his ability to make contact so frequently, he’s a rarity, there’s no doubt about it. But the thing that is bigger than his bat is his heart. It is amazing. And he talks a big game because he doesn’t back down from anyone. We’re just so fortunate to be able to watch this guy on a daily basis."

Coach K: “I think it’s amazing how you were able to develop a championship attitude when you took over a team that finished last. What were a couple of the key things that you did to help bring about that turnaround?”

Farrell: “The thing that was clear is that there was a very strong and talented core group of players that were here at the end of 2012.

“Last August when Ben [Cherington] made the trade with the Dodgers, that was the first step towards Ben almost creating an open canvas and to begin to put his vision down, and in conjunction with him, we share very similar values and views on how the game should be played, what we value inside our clubhouse, the people that we bring in there, the players. And then ultimately, what are we going to do between the lines. So as the team was put together and the guys that were brought in they, ‘they’ being Ben and his staff, we did, I think, a great job of identifying those guys that would embrace the challenges of Boston.

On the team’s late-inning comeback in Game 2 of the ALCS:

Farrell: “The one thing I can say with a lot of confidence is if [David] Ortiz doesn’t hit the grand slam you’re probably talking to another manager right now. I’ll be honest with you. Because if we go into Detroit down 0-2 rather than 1-1 with some momentum from Game 2 on our side, that’s probably unlikely that we get through that series to advance on.

"But the one thing that we felt like, if we could get past their starting pitching, which was historically good in the postseason, the Tigers were, if we could get into their bullpen we felt like we had a chance. Even though we were down 5-1, the strength of this team has always been to never give at-bats away. Even though we had punched out 13 times leading up to that point there’s a relentlessness to this group, particularly when they stand in the batter’s box, to put up tough at-bats.”

Watch: David Ross on SportsCenter

Posted by Matt Pepin, Boston.com Staff November 7, 2013 03:50 PM

Red Sox catcher David Ross joined ESPN's SportsCenter on Thursday to talk about life after winning the World Series. Watch his segment above.

David Ortiz wins Silver Slugger Award

Posted by Matt Pepin, Boston.com Staff November 6, 2013 06:17 PM

Red Sox designated hitter David Ortiz won his sixth Silver Slugger Award Wednesday. Baseball bat-maker Louisville Slugger announced the winners for 2013 during an awards show on MLB Network.

Ortiz, the MVP of the World Series, hit .309 with 160 hits, 30 home runs, and 103 RBIs in the 2013 regular season. He hit .353 in the playoffs with 5 homers and 13 RBIs.

The awards are voted on by managers and coaches -- who can't vote for players on their own team -- for the best offensive players at each position.

The award winners by league and position:

American League
1B  – Chris Davis, Baltimore Orioles
2B  – Robinson Cano, New York Yankees
3B  – Miguel Cabrera, Detroit Tigers
SS  – J.J. Hardy, Baltimore Orioles
OF  – Mike Trout, L.A. Angels
OF  – Torii Hunter, Detroit Tigers
OF  – Adam Jones, Baltimore Orioles
C   – Joe Mauer, Minnesota Twins
DH – David Ortiz, Boston Red Sox
National League
1B  – Paul Goldschmidt, Arizona Diamondbacks
2B  – Matt Carpenter, St. Louis Cardinals
3B  – Pedro Alvarez, Pittsburgh Pirates
SS  – Ian Desmond, Washington Nationals
OF  – Andrew McCutchen, Pittsburgh Pirates
OF  – Michael Cuddyer, Colorado Rockies
OF  – Jay Bruce, Cincinnati Reds
C   –  Yadier Molina, St. Louis Cardinals
P   – Zack Greinke, Los Angeles Dodgers

New York City's new mayor, Bill de Blasio, loves the Red Sox

Posted by Peter Abraham, Globe Staff November 6, 2013 01:50 PM


Red Sox fans have surely enjoyed gloating about the World Series, especially to friends and colleagues who root for the Yankees.

Here's some more ammunition for you: Bill de Blasio, the new mayor of New York, is a Red Sox fan.

The Globe's Kevin Cullen wrote about it last month and de Blasio readily admits it even while walking the streets of the Bronx. Brave man.

The mayor was born in New York but grew up in Cambridge and developed his allegiance to the Red Sox then.

There are 8.3 million people in New York City, and it's a good bet that half of them have no interest in baseball. Half of those who do probably root for the Mets or some other team. So what team de Blasio roots for wasn't much of an issue in the campaign.

But can you imagine a Yankees fan getting elected mayor in Boston? Bobby Valentine would have a better chance.

OK, bad example. But you get the idea.

Farrell a finalist for manager of the year

Posted by Peter Abraham, Globe Staff November 5, 2013 07:39 PM

John Farrell and his old friend Terry Francona are two of the three finalists for the BBWAA's American League Manager of the Year award. Bob Melvin of the Athletics also made the cut.

The winner will be announced on Nov. 12.

Former Red Sox shortstop Jose Iglesias, now of the Tigers, is a finalist for American League Rookie of the Year. Chris Archer and Wil Myers of the Rays are the other finalists. That will be announced on Nov. 11.

All the finalists are on BBWAA.com.

Pawtucket manager DiSarcina leaves Red Sox for Angels

Posted by Peter Abraham, Globe Staff November 5, 2013 02:58 PM

Pawtucket Red Sox manager Gary DiSarcina has been hired by the Los Angeles Angels as their third base coach.

DiSarcina might have stayed in the Red Sox organization had a position opened up on the major league staff. But general manager Ben Cherington said Monday he expected all of the coaches to return.

Bench coach Torey Lovullo was seen as a candidate to manage, but Cherington said no teams sought permission to interview him. The Cubs may be blocked by an agreement with former Red Sox GM Theo Epstein not to hire Red Sox employees for a period of three years.

DiSarcina, 45, played for the Angels from 1989-2000. He was with the Red Sox from 2006-10 managing in the minors before becoming infield coordinator. He rejoined the Angels in 2011 as a special assistant to the general manager before becoming their minor league field coordinator in 2012.

Pawtucket was 80-63 under DiSarcina, winning the International League North Division. In the league's championship series, the PawSox fell to Durham in four games.

DiSarcina handled several delicate situations well, benching Jose Iglesias for a lack of hustle during the spring, then helping the talented shortstop return to the majors. He also helped Will Middlebrooks get back on track.

Nearly every player the Red Sox called up from Pawtucket contributed in some way, and manager John Farrell spoke several times about the clear line of communication he had with DiSarcina.

For Pawtucket, 2014 will bring the fifth manager in the last six years. Portland manager Kevin Boles, who has managed in the organization the last six seasons, could be a candidate.

Ortiz joins some friends on the cover of SI

Posted by Peter Abraham, Globe Staff November 5, 2013 01:00 PM


Here's the cover of this week's Sports Illustrated. It's David Ortiz with the three Boston police officers— Javier Pagan, Rachel McGuire and Kevin McGill — who were on the cover of SI the week of the Marathon bombing.

The original photo in April was taken by the Globe's John Tlumacki.

Mobile users unable to see the video, click here.

Ortiz talks World Series on 'Live'

Posted by Peter Abraham, Globe Staff November 5, 2013 12:55 PM


David Steele/Disney-ABC Domestic TV

In case your mom forgets to tell you, David Ortiz was on "Live with Kelly and Michael" this morning and chatted about the Red Sox winning the World Series.

Big Papi told Kelly Ripa that Mike Napoli's beard was the nastiest. "It looked like he came from the Bible or something," he said.

Ortiz also spoke about the team placing the World Series trophy at the Boston Marathon finish line on Saturday.

"It means a lot to us because we went through that situation at the beginning of the season. A lot of family, a lot of people that struggled. All of us struggled," he said. "We feel like we got to do a lot of things about it and through the season and in winning the World Series and going to the parade, myself and a couple of my teammates, we ran towards the finish line and a couple of my teammates brought the trophy and put it on the finish line and make a lot of people happy."

President Obama speaks to John Farrell

Posted by Peter Abraham, Globe Staff November 5, 2013 12:43 PM

He may be a White Sox fan — and good luck with all that — but President Obama called to congratulate Red Sox manager John Farrell Monday.

Via the White House, here's a clip of the call:

The Red Sox open next season in Baltimore on March 31 and have a day off on April 1. That could be when they visit the White House.

(Thanks to White House Deputy Director of Online Engagement Erin Lindsay for the clip. She's a Red Sox fan).

Red Sox thank St. Louis

Posted by Matt Pepin, Boston.com Staff November 5, 2013 10:03 AM


The Red Sox thanked the city of St. Louis in a full-page ad in today's St. Louis Post-Dispatch.

Their message (click the picture to see a full-size image):

From one great baseball town to another

On behalf of our partners and the entire Red Sox organization, thank you St. Louis. The warm Midwestern welcome you extended to our team and our fans during this year's hard-fought World Series is truly appreciated. Your region, its people, and the entire Cardinals organization represent everything that's great about baseball.

We share the same colors and rich, storied baseball history that stretches from Musial and Williams, to Molina and Pedroia. We're both home to the most loyal, passionate fans in the game. And the four World Series in which we've gone head-to-head are all etched in the memories of those who love our sport.

So we tip our caps to each and every one of you. We look forward to seeing you again next August. Let's hope that it's just a prelude to meeting again in October.

John Henry

Tom Werner

Larry Lucchino

Salty or McCann? The catcher debate

Posted by Peter Abraham, Globe Staff November 5, 2013 09:15 AM

Here's a little quiz for you:

Player A is a 28-year-old switch-hitting catcher who hit .273/.338/.466 in 2013. He had 54 extra-base hits, 65 RBIs and started 111 games behind the plate. He threw out 21 percent of base stealers and over the last two seasons has played 242 games with an OPS+ of 108.

This player is a first-time free agent and could command a raise from the $4.5 million he made in 2013. It's reasonable to suggest he would receive three years and $27 million.

Player B is a 29-year-old lefthanded hitting catcher who hit .256/.336/.451 in 2013. He had 33 extra-base hits, 57 RBIs and started 91 games behind the plate. He threw out 24 percent of base stealers and over the last two seasons has played 223 games with an OPS+ of 99.

This player was given a qualifying offer, so signing him would cost a first-round draft pick and at least a four-year deal worth $68 million.

Who would you rather the Red Sox sign?

Player A is Jarrod Saltalamacchia. Player B is Brian McCann.

At the moment, it seems more likely that McCann will be catching for the Red Sox in 2014 than Saltalamacchia.

It was telling that when asked directly about Jarrod Saltalamacchia on Monday, Red Sox GM Ben Cherington responded with a general comment and never mentioned Saltalamacchia by name.

“With all of our free agents there’s interest in every one of them,” he said. “I also think its unlikely that every one of them will be back just because the nature of the game, it’s difficult to do that.

“There’s all sorts of permutations and combinations that could work and we’re going to have to, again, keep a conversation going with all of them.”

The Red Sox have made it pretty clear they are Salty supporters only to a point. When David Ross was signed, the Sox said they saw him catching 50-60 games, far more than the average backup. A series of concussions interrupted that plan and Salty carried the load.

He carried it well, too. Saltalamacchia was one of the better offensive catchers in the game [thanks in part to an off-the-charts .372 BABIP] and improved on his game-calling and defense. His throwing also improved to a lesser extent. Saltalamacchia worked well with bullpen coach/catching instructor Dana LeVangie.

But when the postseason started, Ross started seven of the 16 games, including the final three of the World Series. The defensive mistakes Salty made in Game 3 doomed him and he didn't play again. From a defensive standpoint, the Red Sox appear to think they can do better.

McCann is the better defensive catcher [because he is adept at framing pitches] and has power. He also worked well with Ross when they were teammates in Atlanta and they are natural platoon partners given that Ross is a righthanded hitter. By all accounts, he would fit in well in the clubhouse, too.

Is McCann an upgrade on Saltalamacchia? Sure he is. The question would be how well he ages. But the Sox could always use McCann as a DH/backup catcher down the road once Christian Vazquez [or Blake Swihart] is ready.

He would be an expensive bridge to the catcher of the future but an effective one.

As for Salty, the Red Sox did him a huge favor by not making him a qualifying offer. Now he's an unencumbered free agent who offers offensive pop at a position where that is almost impossible to find.

Saltalamacchia would be in instant upgrade for the Yankees, White Sox, Phillies and several other teams.

The Red Sox could regret letting Salty go. If he continues to improve, he could be an All-Star player and his leadership qualities this season made a difference. He also won the trust of the pitchers.

The Red Sox have the money and the opportunity to make a significant move this winter and that would be a good idea. Even champions should try to improve. But letting Salty go and chasing McCann is not as automatic as it might seem.

David Ortiz making the rounds

Posted by Peter Abraham, Globe Staff November 4, 2013 10:24 PM


David Ortiz will be on “The Late Show With David Letterman” tonight. On Tuesday morning he is scheduled for the syndicated talk show “Live with Kelly and Michael.”

Before he went to New York on Monday, Ortiz and Shane Victorino had their beards shaved at the Gillette World Shaving Headquarters in Boston. The company made a $100,000 donation to the One Fund.

Ortiz also will be on the cover of Sports Illustrated this week.

Red Sox drop Berry and Snyder

Posted by Peter Abraham, Globe Staff November 4, 2013 07:23 PM

The Red Sox made some roster moves today. Outfielder Quintin Berry and infielder Brandon Snyder today were outrighted to Triple-A Pawtucket and are now free agents.

Berry played in 13 regular season games and three more in the postseason. In all, he was 6 for 6 in stolen bases. Snyder hit .180 in 27 regular season games.

RHPs Andrew Bailey (right shoulder strain) and Alex Wilson (right thumb sprain), outfielder Ryan Kalish (recovery from right shoulder surgery), and LHP Andrew Miller (left foot sprain) were reinstated from the 60-day disabled list.

The Red Sox 40-man roster is now at 36. Bailey and Miller are eligible for arbitration.

Sox make qualifying offers to Drew, Ellsbury, and Napoli

Posted by Peter Abraham, Globe Staff November 4, 2013 03:19 PM

Red Sox general manager Ben Cherington and manager John Farrell just met with reporters for 34 minutes. A few of the highlights:

• Qualifying offers of one year and $14.1 million have been extended to three free agents: shortstop Stephen Drew, center fielder Jacoby Ellsbury, and first baseman Mike Napoli. The players have a week to decide whether to take them.

If Drew, Ellsbury or Napoli sign with another team, the Red Sox will receive a supplemental first round draft pick. The signing team would forfeit their first-round pick.

Ellsbury and Napoli are almost sure to turn it down, knowing that they can land multi-year deals with the Red Sox or another team. But Drew will have to at least consider it. The qualifying offer represents a $4.6 million raise from this season and would allow Drew to stay in a comfortable situation.

Drew also could find his value in the open market lowered because of the draft pick now attached to his price.

Cherington said the offers were not made solely to ensure compensation. The Sox are comfortable with Drew returning.

Cherington spoke to all of the free agents before they scattered for home and acknowledged that Ellsbury will be difficult to retain. There is speculation that he could receive a deal well beyond $100 million.

“Jacoby is a terrific player as everyone knows,” he said. “Of course we know we’re a better team when he’s on the field then when he’s not. That’s about all there is to say at this point.”

The Red Sox agreed on a three-year, $39 million deal with Napoli last winter. That was knocked down to a one-year deal after Napoli was found to have a degenerative disease in his hips. But the condition was controlled medically and Napoli had a productive season.

“Mike Napoli played a lot this year and was a huge part of our team. We’re making a qualifying offer to him. We obviously have interest in him returning and certainly comfortable with a one-year deal worth $14.1 million,” Cherington said. “He’s one of the free agents we’d certainly have interest in having back.”

• The Red Sox, as expected, did not extend a qualifying offer to Jarrod Saltalamacchia, who made $4.5 million last season. But Cherington said they are interested in bringing all of their free agents back.

When asked specifically about Saltalamacchia, Cherington spoke generally.

“With all of our free agents there’s interest in every one of them,” he said. “I also think its unlikely that every one of them will be back just because the nature of the game, it’s difficult to do that.

“There’s all sorts of permutations and combinations that could work and we’re going to have to, again, keep a conversation going with all of them.”

• The Red Sox, Cherington said, expect their entire coaching staff to return. They have not been asked by other teams for permission to speak with any of the coaches. Torey Lovullo was considered a potential candidate in Detroit before Brad Ausmus was hired.

• President Obama called Farrell this afternoon to congratulate him on the World Series. The Red Sox open next season in Baltimore and could visit the White House around that time.

According to the White House, Obama commented on Farrell winning the World Series in his first season and the performance of Koji Uehara in the postseason.

He also asked Farrell to extend his congratulations to Series Most Valuable Player David Ortiz.

• Cherington said it would take a "compelling" reason to move Shane Victorino out of right field.

• Farrell suggested that RHP Brandon Workman would start next season in the bullpen.

• Cherington said the Red Sox would like to add to their bullpen depth. He and Farrell both suggested that maintaining their starter depth was a priority.

See the Globe or BostonGlobe.com on Tuesday for more on the Red Sox.

Ortiz, Victorino shave beards for charity

Posted by Robert Burgess November 4, 2013 02:25 PM

Shane Victorino and David Ortiz had their famous beards shaved off at Gillette World Shaving Headquarters in Boston on Monday.

Joining the Red Sox players was Steve Horgan, also known as the "bullpen cop," who agreed to shave his beard too in the event.

Gillette donated $100,000 to the One Fund Boston after the shave.

The rest of the beards are dropping one by one.

Red Sox victory tour continues at Patriots game

Posted by Matt Pepin, Boston.com Staff November 3, 2013 06:05 PM


FOXBOROUGH – The introduction was a little more intense than Red Sox pitcher Jon Lester might have been used to.

Fresh off their rolling rally through Boston on Saturday, Gillette Stadium was the latest stop on the Red Sox’ World Series victory tour, and before the Patriots and Steelers kicked things off, the Sox got the full NFL experience.

The walked out through the tunnel. Their names blared through the speakers.

Sox owner John Henry, pitchers Clay Buchholz and Felix Doubront and shortstop Stephen Drew all graciously soaked up the praise from the packed crowd.

Then Jonny Gomes, in fire-engine red boots, rushed through the tunnel as if it was game day for him, too.

All he needed was pads.

“That's about par of the course for him, right?” Lester said. “I don't think really you expect anything less from him. You know he's going to enjoy every minute of it and probably do something that nobody else is going to do. I don't think it caught any of us by surprise.”

Between John McDonald, Will Middlebrooks, David Ross, Matt Thornton, Shane Victorino, and Lester, there were enough Sox to run a play or two if they wanted.

Some of them did.

"Trying to relive my heydays running out of a tunnel,” Victorino said. “I thought of those days when I was a good athlete. It's special to come out of that same tunnel Patriots players come out of, the likes of [Rob] Gronkowski, [Tom] Brady.

“I got to see coach for a little bit. That's what makes this opportunity, for me, special. Getting the opportunity to see winners when you take the field, to go out and walk that same tunnel.”

Lester was the last man out. He held the World Series trophy high over his head.

“You don't realize how far 50 yards is until you have to walk it with a trophy,” Lester said. “But it was pretty cool.”

Cheering from the sideline, the Patriots showed their mutual respect. Brady shook hands with Lester and Buchholz. Gomes and Gronkowski chatted each other up.

Lester then went to midfield to serve as an honorary captain during the coin toss.

“I know it's cool for us when these guys show up to Fenway when they win and the Celtics and the Bruins,” Lester said. “I think we spend so much time up here and a lot of the football guys live here, so I think it's like home for them. So you end up rooting for your hometown teams. So it's awesome to be a part of this and we thank these guys for inviting us over here and giving us a chance to experience this.”

With the Sox exercising their $13 million option on Lester’s contract for the 2014 season, Lester also has the luxury of being able to celebrate stress-free.

“The deadline was four days after the World Series, so you knew it wasn't going to get dragged on whether or not they were going to pick it up,” Lester said. “But I'm glad that it's over with and it's something that I don't have to worry about right now and then just enjoy the celebration. So a lot of positives on a lot of different ends. So it was good.”

For Lester, even though he was a part of the 2007 World Series team, these moments are especially memorable the second time around.

“I think a lot more this time than I learned that time,” he said. “Like I've kind of said from day 1 of this whole deal: In '07, I didn't really get a chance to enjoy it as much as this year. Just different circumstances, a different age, maturity level, all that.

“So for me to be able to do stuff like this today, it's a different part of my career where as in '07 I probably wouldn't have been asked to do something like this. It's a big, big difference, taking a couple extra days to stay in Boston and enjoy it and be around these guys and be around the fans.”

Red Sox pitcher Jake Peavy buys a duck boat

Posted by Robert Burgess November 2, 2013 05:17 PM


Have you ever been on one of those duck boat tours and never wanted it to end? Well, the Game 3 starter of the 2013 World Series knows exactly how you feel.

Today, Jake Peavy became the proud owner of the bright green duck boat he and World Series hero Jon Lester rode in during the Red Sox' rolling celebration through the streets (and waterways) of Boston.

Peavy, a native of Alabama who came to the Red Sox midseason from the White Sox in a three-team deal that sent rookie shortstop Jose Iglesias to the Tigers, won four games in 10 starts for the Red Sox down the stretch, and started three playoff games.

The veteran righthander confirmed the purchase on Twitter, proclaiming his hopes that the former military vehicle turned touring machine will become a family heirloom.

As MassLive.com reminds us, it's not the first impulse buy of the year for Peavy. For that tall tale, visit the Extra Bases archives here.

"He's got a beard now," Peavy said back in early October of his cigar store Indian from San Francisco. "He grew out a beard to get on the same page as the rest of the guys. He's going to ride on my Duck Boat if we win the World Series."

And as you can see in the picture at the top of this post that scenario came true.

Red Sox decline option on Thornton

Posted by Peter Abraham, Globe Staff November 2, 2013 03:45 PM

The Red Sox today declined the $6 million contract option on lefthanded reliever Matt Thornton. He receivd a $1 million buyout and is now a free agent.

Thornton, 37, went 0-1 with a 3.52 ERA in only 20 appearances after being acquired from the Chicago White Sox on July 12.

Thornton was not on the roster for any round of the postseason.

The Red Sox have LHP Craig Breslow under contract and have control over LHPs Andrew Miller and Franklin Morales, who are arbitration eligible. Drake Britton is another possibility for the bullpen in 2014.

Red Sox remember Boston Marathon tragedy at finish line

Posted by Robert Burgess November 2, 2013 12:36 PM

One of the lasting memories of the Red Sox' improbable World Series run may end up being a scene from the rolling rally through Boston where the team paused to commemorate the Boston Marathon tragedy.

The caravan of 25 duck boats paused on Boylston Street near the Marathon finish line, where two bombs went off on April 15, killing three people and injuring more than 260. Players Jonny Gomes and Jarrod Saltalamacchia placed the World Series trophy on the finish line, which is still painted, and then draped a "Boston Strong 617" jersey over the trophy.

The song “God Bless America” was piped over loudspeakers as fans, players, and Marathon survivors sang along.

afb8932aacb24b948ecb14c2b07d2ce5-568f2ba844bc46de97f04a46165c6e74-0.jpgAsked to address Marathon bombing survivors who had been invited to a pre-parade ceremony at Fenway Park, Gov. Deval Patrick said, “Thank you for your strength. … That’s beautiful.”

Dustin Pedroia, the second baseman, told the cheering crowd, “We played for the whole city, what the city went through. Hopefully, we put a smile on ... everybody’s face. It was special. We wanted to do this and make it right for everybody.”

“Boston, man,” said World Series MVP David Ortiz, who got off his duck boat and jogged across the Marathon finish line. “It means we stay together, a family. We fight against the world. You guys start it, we finish it.”

Globe staff Billy Baker, Kathy McCabe and Martin Finucane contributed to this report.

Red Sox praise teammates, fans, management before victory celebration

Posted by Matt Pepin, Boston.com Staff November 2, 2013 10:47 AM


Red Sox players and management addressed a crowd gathered at Fenway Park Saturday morning prior to the start of the rolling rally to celebrate their World Series championship.

"I brought a friend with me," said David Ross as he held the World Series trophy on the stage. "I'm glad I signed up for this."

The players were in agreement that their World Series championship was made possible by the combined effort of their teammates and team management along with the support of fans.

"There's just an amazing passion for the game, play hard every night, it's an honor to be part of this group," Ross said.

Pitcher Ryan Dempster said he received advance notice a parade was in the Red Sox' future. He recalled greeting new teammate Jonny Gomes in the spring training clubhouse in Fort Myers, Fla., in February and asking how he was doing.

"I'm just another day closer to the parade," Dempster recalled Gomes telling him.

World Series MVP David Ortiz paid tribute to the Red Sox fans who supported the team throughout the season and run to the World Series.

"We stayed together as a family and we fought against the world. You guys started that up, and we finished it," Ortiz said.

Ortiz also praised Red Sox management.

"They brought in guys with big hearts and a little chip on their shoulders. This might be the team that I'm most proud of," he said.

Pitcher Jon Lester, a close runner-up to Ortiz for World Series MVP, said team camaraderie was a huge factor in the season's success.

"I spent more time with these guys off the field than on the field. They pick you up and make you remember that this game is fun," said Lester, who will be back with the Red Sox next season after the team activated its $13 million contract option on Friday.

For 21-year-old rookie infielder Xander Bogaerts, a September call-up who ended up starting the final four games of the World Series at third base, the parade capped a whirlwind season that began in Double A ball.

"It would be definitely nice if we have this often," rookie Xander Bogaerts said.

The pre-rally speeches concluded with the Dropkick Murphys playing for the crowd as the duck boats were loaded for the rolling rally. Gomes even joined in to sing "The Boys are Back," which is played as Gomes' walk-up song during games at Fenway Park.

Then Boston Mayor Thomas M. Menino got the parade started.

"In the words of Jonny Gomes, cue the duck boats."

Red Sox pick up 2014 option on Lester

Posted by Peter Abraham, Globe Staff November 1, 2013 07:13 PM

The Red Sox today exercised their $13 million contract option on lefthander Jon Lester for the 2014 season.

Lester, who turns 30 in January, was 15-8 with a 3.75 earned run average in 33 starts in the regular season. He was then 4-1 with a 1.56 ERA in five postseason starts, going 34.3 innings.

Lester won both games he started in the World Series, allowing one run over 15.1 innings.

Lester is 100-56 with a 3.76 ERA in 221 career regular season appearances since 2006. His 1,237 career strikeouts are the most ever by a Red Sox lefthander and fifth overall in franchise history.

Picking up the option does not preclude the Red Sox and Lester working out a multi-year contract that would start in 2015. The team faced a Saturday deadline to pick up or decline the option.

The Red Sox have a $6 million option on lefthanded reliever Matt Thornton that they are expected to decline. Thornton appeared in only 20 games for the Red Sox after being obtained from the Chicago White Sox on July 13 and was not on their roster for any round of the postseason.

Based on this Tweet, Lester seems pretty happy with the outcome:



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