November 28th, 2014 at 11:56 AM
By Sean Penney
Once the Boston Red Sox signed Hanley Ramirez to be their new left fielder it seemed to signal that Yoenis Cespedes' time with the team would be short lived. With the Red Sox adding a starter to an already crowded outfield, something has to give. That means a trade could be on the horizon.
While nothing is certain at this point, Cespedes is the most likely candidate to be dealt. He has only one year remaining on his contract and his decision to switch agents to be represented by Roc Nation indicates he plans to test free agency rather than work out an extension to stay in Boston.
Manager John Farrell has spoken with Cespedes about his role and confirmed the Cuban slugger is willing to move to center or right field to accommodate Ramirez taking over in left. That at least gives the Red Sox more options, but they didn't give Rusney Castillo the biggest contract ever for a Cuban free agent only to have him sit on the bench. Ideally, Castillo will be the Opening Day center fielder. The emergence of Mookie Betts has made it essential that they find a spot for him in the lineup, with right field being the most likely option. One of those two young outfielders would have to fall flat this spring to lose their grasp on a starting spot, which leaves no room for Cespedes.Read more... Join the Conversation...
November 26th, 2014 at 12:42 PM
By Sean Penney
It's already been a busy week for the Boston Red Sox, but there's more work yet to be done. The team's primary need is a front line starting pitcher and Jon Lester remains their top choice. If the Red Sox want to bring their former ace back to Boston, they may want to consider re-signing catcher David Ross.
FOXSports.com's Ken Rosenthal suggests that the teams chasing Lester that are also in need of a backup catcher could make them a package deal.
The idea makes a lot of sense, considering Lester's known comfort level with his former battery mate. The duo were terrific together when Ross served as Lester's primary catcher in Boston. Lester's ERA over the last two seasons in Boston was 2.77 with Ross as his catcher and 3.85 without him. He struck out 8.86 batters per nine innings with Ross behind the plate, compared to 7.48 with another catcher.Read more... Join the Conversation...
November 26th, 2014 at 11:25 AM
By Sean Penney
It seems like only yesterday that the Boston Red Sox were preaching financial restraint. They aimed to spend their money wisely and be cautious of handing out long-term contracts to aging veterans. Except yesterday was the day they tossed that philosophy aside by spending over $180 million on two of the top free agent hitters on the market. The Red Sox are flexing their financial muscle and they aren't done yet.
Red Sox CEO Larry Lucchino has been critical, if not envious, of the New York Yankees for their limitless payroll – once famously referring to their division rival as the "Evil Empire" for their tendency to throw bundles of cash around in an attempt to buy championships. With the way Boston has been spending money so far this off-season, many are left wondering if the Red Sox have become the mirror image of the team they resent. Despite the amount of money they are spending this winter, the Red Sox are not emulating the Yankees to become the new Evil Empire.Read more... Join the Conversation...
November 25th, 2014 at 8:21 PM
By Sean Penney
In their second big press conference of the day, the Boston Red Sox announced the signing of Hanley Ramirez to a four-year, $88 million deal that includes a vesting option for an additional year worth $22 million.
Ramirez will be paid a $3 million signing bonus and make $19 million in 2015, followed by salaries of $22 million in each of the remaining years of the contract. The average annual value is a bit higher than most expected for Ramirez, but the shorter commitment fits better with the Red Sox philosophy in signing veteran players. Ramirez needs to accumulate 1050 plate appearances during the 2017-18 seasons in order for the option to vest.
GM Ben Cherington explained that Ramirez's agent initially reached out to him early in the free agency period to say that his client was interested in signing with the Red Sox. According to Cherington, the idea of bringing Ramirez back to Boston has been "in the back of our minds" for some time. Ramirez started his career in the Red Sox organization before being traded to the Florida Marlins in a package that brought Josh Beckett and Mike Lowell to Boston.Read more... Join the Conversation...
November 25th, 2014 at 2:36 PM
By Sean Penney
The Boston Red Sox held a press conference at Fenway Park this afternoon to officially announce the signing of third baseman Pablo Sandoval to a 5-year, $95 million deal that includes a team option for an additional year worth $17 million.
Upgrading at third base was one of Boston's primary goals this off-season and they managed to do so with the best option available on the market. The former All-Star is a career .294 hitter with an exceptional contact rate that gives him the ability to hit sharp line drives all over the ballpark. As he was introduced, wearing his new No. 48 jersey, Sandoval expressed his excitement about playing at Fenway.
"I'm happy to be here right now. I'm going to enjoy this ballpark," said Sandoval during this afternoon's press conference. "It was one of the things I was thinking about in my decision."
Sandoval also explained that leaving San Francisco – a city that he has helped bring three World Series championships to – was difficult, but he's ready for a new challenge.
GM Ben Cherington sees Sandoval as a great fit for this team, clubhouse and market. Given that he fits a position of need, he called Sandoval an "obvious guy for us."Read more... Join the Conversation...