February 19th, 2014 at 12:48 PM
By Ron Juckett
Oh, come on now, when old number 34 goes up on the right field façade at Fenway Park within the next 10 years, are you seriously going to remember David Ortiz negotiating extensions of his contracts with the Boston Red Sox? Of course not.
It is indeed a contract year for the designated hitter. The only crime committed by the popular slugger is his open desire to get paid lots of money.
Ortiz is not looking at a five-year deal for $80 million that would put the Red Sox in a bind for the future. It is not even clear that he wants anything more than a two-year deal roughly in the neighborhood of what he is making now. He simply wants to get paid what he thinks he is worth.
Look, the weather here in New England is awful. It is cold and snow blankets anything and everything.
The Red Sox are getting set for Spring Training down in sunny Fort Myers and—unless you are hopelessly addicted to the Stephen Drew saga or Jake Peavy cutting his finger—there is absolutely nothing truly newsworthy to talk about. The extensions that are coming Ortiz and Jon Lester’s way are a question of when, not if.Read more... Join the Conversation...
February 18th, 2014 at 1:08 PM
By Ron Juckett
Unless he has a terrible spring, Felix Doubront will be the Boston Red Sox fifth starter in 2014.
If there was one player that benefited from Ryan Dempster’s departure from baseball, it was Doubront. Both players, along with Brandon Workman, were going to see increased work in Fort Myers to determine who would grab that last spot and who would start the year working long relief out of the bullpen.
Make no mistake, the chances of Doubront or Workman going back down to Triple-A Pawtucket were slim, even if Dempster earned the last spot. Workman can work an inning or two if needed and Doubront could have pitched a couple times a week waiting for the inevitable injury to another starter that would have seen him slide back into the rotation.
With Dempster out of the way, Doubront—who arrived in camp in much better shape than he did last year—now can concentrate on getting his work in and get ready for the long season ahead.
The improvement between Doubront’s first two full seasons in the rotation were noticeable, even if fatigue pulled him out at the end of last year.Read more... Join the Conversation...
February 17th, 2014 at 11:31 AM
By Ron Juckett
The Boston Red Sox are bringing in ex-closer Francisco Cordero down to Fort Myers for an extended look. If the 39-year-old makes the club, he stands to make $1 million.
Cordero is one of a long line of non-roster invitees the Red Sox have invited to camp, in an effort to bolster one of baseball’s strongest bullpens. If he does in fact make the team, he would join Edward Mujica and Koji Uehara on the roster as pitchers with closing experience.
Cordero spent seven seasons as the primary closer for the Texas Rangers, Milwaukee Brewers and Cincinnati Reds between 2004 and 2011. A three-time all-star, his best year was in 2004 with Texas as he saved 49 games, fanning 79 in 71.2 innings and posting an ERA of 2.13.
For his career, Cordero has notched 329 saves in 800 appearances, good for 13th all-time.
Boston, who seemingly only has one or two spots open for the bullpen, is trying to find an insurance policy if Uehara cannot match his magical run from last year. Primarily a starter for most of his career, he did close one season for the Yomiuri Giants of the Japanese Pacific Coast League in 2007 and for a short stint with the Baltimore Orioles in 2010.Read more... Join the Conversation...
February 16th, 2014 at 11:24 AM
By Ron Juckett
Citing injuries and a desire to spend time with family, Ryan Dempster announced at a press conference in Fort Myers Sunday morning that he will not be pitching this season.
In front of his fellow starting pitchers and members of the press, Dempster said:
“I don’t feel like I am capable of performing to the ability and standard that I am accustomed to. I feel it’s in the best interest of both the club but most importantly myself to step away from playing baseball at this time. The time is right. I’m not saying retirement but I definitely won’t be playing this season."
Dempster will be placed on the Restricted List by the ballclub and the Red Sox will not pay him the $13.25 million he was due this year.
Coming over as a free agent from the Texas Rangers last offseason, Dempster started 29 games for Boston last year. In compiling an 8-9 won/loss record in 29 starts, with an ERA of 4.57, he moved from the starting rotation into a long relief role in the bullpen to end the season, eventually taking a mop-up role in the playoffs.Read more... Join the Conversation...
February 16th, 2014 at 9:59 AM
By Ron Juckett
The Boston Red Sox and Andrew Miller avoided arbitration Saturday night by agreeing on a one-year, non-guaranteed contract for $1.9 million. Miller coming to terms means that all 40 players on the expanded roster are under contract for 2014.
The 28-year-old left-handed reliever pitched in 37 games for the Red Sox before an injury shut him down in early July. Throwing 30 2/3 innings, he finished 11 games and had a very good ERA of 2.64.
A strikeout artist, Miller fanned a career-high 14.1-per-nine last year. However, control is a problem as his walk rate is 5.3-per-nine in his career. He throws many pitches in limited action.
Miller’s 2014 salary is an increase of $425 thousand from his $1.475 million salary in 2013. A converted starter, Miller spent the last two seasons with the Red Sox as strictly a reliever.
Acquired via trade from the Florida Marlins on November 12, 2010 for Dustin Richardson, the Red Sox converted Miller from a spot starter that was not only wild, but also extremely hittable, into that crafty lefty that can come in and strike out a left-handed bat when needed.Read more... Join the Conversation...