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...
November 24th, 2014 at 4:55 PM
By Sean Penney
Former Red Sox stars Pedro Martinez and Nomar Garciaparra are among the group of new Hall of Fame candidates eligible to be enshrined in 2015. The Baseball Writers Association of America announced the list of candidates today, which includes 17 new players and 17 holdovers.
Martinez is a lock for the Hall of Fame, even if he doesn't get voted in the first year. He finished his career with 219 wins, a 2.93 ERA and 3154 strikeouts. The three-time Cy Young winner had some of his most dominant seasons during a 7 year span that he spent in a Red Sox uniform and he was a vital piece to the 2004 team that reversed the curse to bring the franchise it's first World Series title in 86 years.
Garciaparra faces longer odds to make it into the Hall of Fame. His career got off to a blazing start, as he earned the 1997 Rookie of the Year award and was selected to 6 All-Star games. He was once considered among the "holy trinity" of shortstops, along with Derek Jeter and Alex Rodriguez, and seemed destined to make it to Cooperstown one day. Then his tenure with the Red Sox soured mid-way through the 2004 season, he was shipped to the Chicago Cubs and his career was never the same. Injuries piled up to derail his career and cost him the bulk of his remaining few years in the league. He finished as a career .313/.361/.521 hitter with 229 home runs and 936 RBI.Read more... Join the Conversation...
November 24th, 2014 at 12:25 PM
By Sean Penney
It's been a busy weekend for the Boston Red Sox, who are finalizing deals with the two top hitters on this year's free agent market – Pablo Sandoval and Hanley Ramirez.
The team reached an agreement with Sandoval that is believed to be for 5 years and close to $100 million, according to a report from Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com. The Red Sox interest in the free agent third baseman has been well advertised, with earlier reports indicating they sent him an offer for a 5-year, $95 million deal. The San Diego Padres were said to be offering a bit more, but Sandoval was still leaning towards Boston. The Red Sox may have made his decision easier by increasing their offer. Dan Roche from WBZ TV tweeted that sources have informed him the deal is still for 5-years, $95 million, but a 1-year club option has been added.
Sandoval spent the first 7 years of his career with the San Francisco Giants, winning three World Series titles with the franchise. The 28-year old is a career .294/.346/.465 hitter with modest power. He has an outstanding track record in the playoffs, with a .344 career postseason average and he set a record this year for the most hits in a single postseason with 26. The Giants remained in the race to retain Sandoval after he rejected their 1-year qualifying offer for $15.3 million, but weren't able to outbid Boston.Read more... Join the Conversation...
November 23rd, 2014 at 7:14 PM
By Sean Penney
The Boston Red Sox have been as active as any team in free agent discussions this off-season, and they can now add another target to their list. Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com reports that Boston is making a push for free agent Hanley Ramirez.
The news comes as a surprise, considering the Red Sox are considered the favorite to land third baseman Pablo Sandoval. Heyman's report indicates the Red Sox are strongly pursuing both infielders. Sandoval is expected to make a decision later this week, while a deal for Ramirez could come together quickly. Ramirez would be a good back up plan in case the team strikes out in negotiations with Sandoval, but signing both players would be a curious move.
Hanley has primarily played shortstop throughout his career, but he's a poor defensive player (-9 Defensive Runs Saved this year) with range that will only further decline as he ages. Most people around the league think he's better suited to third base at this point in his career, but if Boston also signs Sandoval to play the hot corner, there's no room for Ramirez.Read more... Join the Conversation...