Red Sox Notes: Tanaka, Starters, Drew, Ortiz

Red Sox GM Ben Cherington covered a host of topics an interview with's Alex Speier and Rob Bradford (all links to Speier's Twitter feed unless otherwise noted). The full interview can be heard here, but here are some of the highlights, and the latest out of Boston:

  • As noted earlier this evening, Cherington indicated that the Red Sox have yet to schedule a meeting with Masahiro Tanaka and agent Casey Close. The Boston GM left the impression that, after some preliminary chats, both team and player were still guaging whether more serious discussions were warranted. Jason Mastrodonato of has more of Cherington's comments regarding Tanaka.
  • Meanwhile, Tanaka is holding up the potential trade market for Boston's arguable excess of starting pitching, writes Brian MacPherson of the Providence Journal. But interest could pick up in the Sox' arms once Tanaka and the other top starters exit the open market, MacPherson reasons, since most teams in baseball still having plenty of room to upgrade their rotations.
  • The Sox have "kept the dialogue going" with shortstop Stephen Drew over the off-season, Cherington said. But the sides have not talked since the holidays, he noted. With Drew seemingly finding it hard to land a multi-year offer, and internal options already in the fold in Boston, Cherington has enviable leverage.
  • Meanwhile, Cherington said that the team will "probably" have some discussions with DH David Ortiz about a contract extension during the coming year. "When someone like that expresses their strong interest in staying, that's a good thing," said Cherington. "We want him to finish his career as a Red Sox." We heard last month that Ortiz was interested in exploring an extension. The 38-year-old Relativity Baseball client is in the second and final year of the $26MM contract he inked back in November of 2012. 

39 Responses to Red Sox Notes: Tanaka, Starters, Drew, Ortiz Leave a Reply

  1. NimbusStev 2 years ago

    “We want him to finish his career as a Red Sox.”

    Does that mean a singular player for the Boston MLB team is officially called a “Red Sox.” I always said “Red Sock.”

    • NomarGarciaparra 2 years ago

      Yep, I remember in Nomar’s press conference, he kept saying “retiring as a Red Sock”

    • Conquerbeard 2 years ago

      I’ve never understood the pluralization, either. You don’t hear “He’s a Yankees” or “He’s a Dodgers”. “Red Sock” just sounds right for one player.

    • Vmmercan 2 years ago

      I always interpreted a Red Sox and the Red Sox to just be spelled the same and pronounced differently. “Socks” is not spelled with an X, so to me, it’s like fish and fish or something like that. You would pronounce “sock” but still spell it “Sox”.

      • Karkat 2 years ago

        It’s actually the British plural of sock. It was chosen by the Chicago Tribune and later stuck because it was the most efficient for newspaper headlines (“Sox Win!” is a lot nicer than “Stockings Win”). The reason for its use in the US at the turn of the 20th century was largely due to a sociolinguistic phenomenon at the time that was pushing for simpler language and fewer redundant structures (‘cks’ vs ‘x’).

        • Vmmercan 2 years ago

          So there IS a method to the madness? OK, so it’s still true through, Sox and Sox are singular and plural and pronounced “sock” and “socks”?

          • Karkat 2 years ago

            The actual singular of “sox” should be spelled and pronounced “sock,” but it seems that “Sox” the proper noun is singularized to “Sox,” pronounced “socks.” At least that’s how it usually seems to go.

    • Jeffrey 2 years ago

      I’ve always said a player is a “Red Sock” but always spelled it “Red Sox.” Obviously, the brand doesn’t support the singular spelling, but I think verbalizing is less egregious.

    • bobbie922 2 years ago

      I always avoid the pluralization of “Sox” by phrasing it something like “We want him to finish his career as a member of the Red Sox” instead of saying “We want him to finish his career as a Red Sock/Sox” because I could never figure out which is correct. I’ve always assumed the singular would be “I am a Red Sock” but I’ve always been reluctant to test the waters.

    • RyanWKrol 2 years ago

      And you are correct. The Red Sox are in fact the Red Socks, or Red Stockings. But those names were so in fashion that both the Red Stockings and White Stockings decided to do something clever and shortened their names with “X” at the end instead of “ck”. So when referring to one Red Sox or White Sox player, it is correct to call him a “Red Sock” or “White Sock”.

    • I prefer “wearing Red Sox” or “in Red Sox” both to tip my cap to “in pinstripes” which the Yankees seem to indicate they own notwithstanding several other teams that wear pinstripes…) and to almost point out the obvious oddness of “as a Red Sox.”

    • I prefer “wearing Red Sox” or “in Red Sox” both to tip my cap to “in pinstripes” which the Yankees seem to indicate they own notwithstanding several other teams that wear pinstripes…) and to almost point out the obvious oddness of “as a Red Sox.”

    • Karkat 2 years ago

      Typical conventions re: individual Sox players defy normal singularization rules. You pretty much hear everyone within the organization (players, execs, etc) refer to a single player as “a Red Sox.”

  2. pft2 2 years ago

    I think Big Papi plays better when he is hungry. His decline started shortly after his first extension, although that was arguably due to his wrist injury in 2008, but his HR output dropped noticeably in 2007 despite an otherwise good year. Papi had his chance as a free agent and obviously wants to stay in Boston. I hope Ben can hold off until mid season.

    The Yankees should have been all over him after 2012 but they were fixated on 189 in 2014 and saving the DH spot for Arod and Jeter. The interesting thing about the numbers 189 is they are the same numbers in 1918. Reverse curse?

  3. UltimateYankeeFan 2 years ago

    Ortiz is actually in the 2nd year of a $30MM contract he inked back in Nov. 2012. The contract he signed then included a $4MM bonus to be added to his $11MM 2014 salary if he stayed off the DL a certain number of days. That bonus vested when he stayed healthy. My guess is an extension will be worked out prior to the end of the 2014 season probably another 2 year deal.

    • BoSoXaddict 2 years ago

      Ortiz said himself that he’s only looking for 1 additional year

  4. murph180 2 years ago

    I really wish this Stephen Drew situation will end already… Will the Mets pony up a second year or is he going back to Boston?

    • For the Mets, it’s likely a third year that would matter. He’d take one year in Boston over two with the Mets.

      • murph180 2 years ago

        Really? You think he’d take 1 year $11-12 million over 2 years $18-20 million?… Seems kinda risky

  5. dmm1047 2 years ago

    Boras needs to be asked that if Drew is so good, how come nobody is even knocking on Drew’s door, let alone beating it down to get him? If the Sox do sign Drew, then someone needs to explain to me how the Sox went from 2 “can’t miss SS phenoms” to neither one playing that position for the Sox.

    • dc21892 2 years ago

      At this point, Drew either becomes a situational player, or Middlebrooks is moved/demoted and Bogaerts handles third for the year. Eventually though, they have to get him to SS, because Cecchini is projected for third. Granted, that could change, but you also don’t want to stunt Bogaerts growth when it comes to SS defense.

      • BoSoXaddict 2 years ago

        Don’t forget there’s also Marrero who is an excellent defensive SS.

    • Tko11 2 years ago

      Bogaerts being a “SS phenom” was always primarily due to his bat (not that his glove is bad or anything). But Drew returning make the infield better overall as you get great defense at SS and a decent glove and good bat at third with Bogaerts as opposed to Middlebrooks there. Bogaerts is still the future SS even if Drew comes back for a year. Not sure who the other SS phenom you are talking about is.

    • Karkat 2 years ago

      Is the other “can’t miss SS phenom” supposed to refer to Iglesias? Because he never had that reputation, since it was very well known that he can miss…… the ball with his bat. He was an elite defensive prospect but it was never a given that he’d stick long-term in the majors. Still isn’t.

      • johnsilver 2 years ago

        Marrero is a Drew type also, glove 1st who should hit some, but won’t be a big bat, just should be better than Iglesias overall and then there is Lin several years away.

        Bogaerts could still end up in LF in a few seasons, we don’t know. Lots of good IF prospects on the way up and will be interesting to see how they shake out and where they all end up playing at.

  6. Cyyoung 2 years ago

    Why wouldn’t the Sox just give him a QO?

    • They did that with him before the 2012 season under the old arbitration system and he accepted. While the QO is less awkward since it’s a fixed salary, I doubt that’s what he or the Sox really want for a franchise player who just won them a World Series.

      • Cyyoung 2 years ago

        So you think a team would risk a 1st rounder or a latter rounder for him, at this stage of his career? Just accept it and move on.
        QO shows good faith, no? Just like an extension to me.

        • After the season he had, maybe. That kind of production is rare on the open market for the short term that he’d require. Purely hypothetical since there’s almost no chance he goes anywhere else.

          That’s not the point though. The point is that letting the negotiations go to the QO stage would be perceived as stiff arming or snubbing Ortiz. He’s not going anywhere, but they still need to treat him right.

          • Cyyoung 2 years ago

            QO’s are like 5 days after the WS, interesting you think its stiff arming.

          • If you followed what happened before the 2012 season, you’d see how unhappy he was with the way things turned out.

          • Cyyoung 2 years ago

            OK, Good discussion.

  7. Cherington should follow Tanaka around and pitch Dempster or Peavy to all the other GM’s after the meeting is over.

  8. frogbogg 2 years ago

    Peavey 14.5M. Dempster 13.25M. 27.75M for one rotation spot… why not trade both and allocate those funds for Tanaka? Lester, Buch, Lackey, Tanaka and Doub. Leave the kids to make spot starts, the farm is more than adequate to fill that need should it arise.

    • It’s unlikely that they’d be able to move them both without sending money. That also doesn’t change the fact that every other big market team is in on Tanaka. They can allocate all the funds they want, but it doesn’t mean anything. He’s a very rare type of free agent who will be very difficult to sign.

      • Croagnut 2 years ago

        Peavy could be moved easily without sending any money, but Sox would lose out of draft pick comp at end of season (most likely he’ll be worth a QO). Dempster could also be moved for little or no money, if they just wanted to dump him (Dempster could probably get close to one year/13mil contract if he were a FA). But I’d rather they stick with what they have (maybe move Dempster) and go hard after Scherzer next year.

        • I was looking at it from an angle of it being difficult to find two teams willing to take on the full salaries of questionably good starters, though Peavy seems to have his act together. It’s almost a moot point since I doubt both would get moved anyway.

  9. Oswald did not act alone 2 years ago

    I would truly love it if the Sox made the splash and signed Tanaka. They have been so quiet all off season. Making minor moves. I guess Napoli’s wasn’t minor, but everyone knew he wanted to come back.

    I think the Sox would get the most back for Lackey. Since he’s set to only make $500K next season. His trade value is never going to be higher. I know no one wants to trade him now (couldn’t say that a year ago), but if you want value back and send no $$$, lackey’s your best best.

    Peavy & Dempster… it would be like when Angels sent Wells to NYY. You’re going to have to pay for 1/2 their money and it will count towards your luxury tax.

    Trade Lackey, Keep Peavy and move forward with 6 pitchers.

    The Sox have a ton of money coming off the books after this year. And while the sox have a ton of pitching prospects, they’re prospects.

    They’ll have the money to renegoitate with lester, extend him.

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