New Red Sox reliever Brad Ziegler is a throwback to former Royals submariner Dan Quisenberry, ESPN’s Keith Law writes (subscription only). Like Quisenberry, Ziegler has been an effective closer for years despite not having elite velocity or throwing overhand. He can be a good eighth-inning option for the team, or he can work multi-inning stretches. Law characterizes the Diamondbacks’ return in the deal as being good enough, given that Ziegler is 36 and will be a free agent at season’s end — second baseman Luis Alejandro Basabe runs well and has good plate discipline, and Jose Almonte’s fastball might not be good enough for him to start in the long run. Here’s more on the Red Sox.
- With negotiations for a new collective bargaining agreement looming, MLB Players Association head Tony Clark recently offered his take on a few key labor-related issues, via Evan Drellich of the Boston Herald. In the wake of the Red Sox being punished for circumventing rules governing international amateur prospect bonuses (resulting in several players’ deals with the team being voided), Clark describes both international and domestic baseball prospect development as “the wild, wild west.” He names domestic amateur travel baseball — which he describes as both costly and time-consuming — as one problem. As Drellich notes, amateurs and minor-leaguers are not part of the players union, but they are affected by collective bargaining. “With respect to these young players, to say we are concerned about how they were treated, is an understatement,” says Clark. “So suffice it to say from start to finish we have been and continued to be engaged on everything that’s going on.”
- The Sox did well to hang on to All-Stars Mookie Betts, Jackie Bradley and Xander Bogaerts, Peter Gammons writes. The team held onto all three despite some fans’ insistence the team make a big trade for a pitcher, and they’ve been key to the team’s resurgence this season. Of course, the Red Sox still have a need for starting pitching, partially because not enough of their prospects have developed into good back-end options. This time, though, the trade market is heavy on pitchers who don’t qualify as aces, which means that there likely won’t be much question of whether the Red Sox hold onto top prospects like Andrew Benintendi.