Daniel Bard Rumors

Central Links: Pinto, Mauer, Peralta, Baker, Bard

As the Cubs and Brewers square off in the first of a four-game series that could have serious implications on the 2014 MLB draft (one game separates the two teams who stand to pick fourth and fifth, respectively), let's take a look at baseball's Central divisions…

  • The Twins don't feel that rookie Josmil Pinto is far from being a starting catcher at the Major League level, writes Phil Miller of the Minneapolis Star Tribune. The 24-year-old Venezuelan hit .309/.400/.482 with 15 homers and an 83-to-66 K/BB ratio between Double-A and Triple-A this season and has seven hits in his first 10 big league at-bats. As Miller notes, Pinto's emergence makes Joe Mauer's future position "more unknown than ever." Twins GM Terry Ryan told Miller he "doesn't know exactly what [Mauer is] going to end up doing" in 2014. Minnesota also has 25-year-old Chris Herrmann and veteran Ryan Doumit on the roster. Herrmann and Doumit are both capable of playing the corner outfield positions.
  • Tigers general manager Dave Dombrowski is currently in the process of deciding whether or not to bring Jhonny Peralta back to the club for a potential postseason run, writes James Schmehl of MLive.com. Dombrowski says Peralta was forthright and handled the situation as best he could. The Tigers, of course, acquired Jose Iglesias to man shortstop in Peralta's stead and in the long-term at the trade deadline. Bringing Peralta back would likely displace one of Don Kelly, Matt Tuiasosopo or Ramon Santiago from the roster.
  • Bruce Levine and Jesse Rogers of ESPNChicago.com write that Scott Baker will make his season debut for the Cubs this Sunday — his first Major League start since Sept. 24, 2011. Baker underwent Tommy John surgery in Spring Training of 2012 with the Twins and signed a one-year, $5.5MM contract with the Cubs this offseason. Clearly, Chicago was hoping for an earlier return, but arm soreness in Spring Training of this season shut him down. Baker posted a 3.14 ERA with 8.2 K/9 and 2.1 BB/9 for Minnesota in 2011.
  • New Cubs reliever Daniel Bard told MLB.com's Carrie Muskat that he was ready to hit free agency this offseason after being designated for assignment by the Red Sox and was pleasantly surprised to hear from Cubs president Theo Epstein when he was claimed. Bard doesn't feel that his struggles have resulted from switching from a relief role to a starting role, but rather from trying to change too much about his arsenal in the process: "I could’ve just taken the pitcher I was in the bullpen for four years and plopped that into a starting role and probably would’ve been fine," Bard told Muskat. Instead, he tried to increase his changeup usage, sink the ball more and change speeds on his fastball too often, and he feels that vast array of alterations was his downfall.

AL East Links: Anthopoulos, Betemit, Rays, Bard

It was on this day in 1914 that Babe Ruth hit his first professional home run.  Playing for the Providence Grays of the International League, Ruth went yard during a road game in Toronto, an occasion marked by a historical plaque at Hanlan's Point.  This was the only homer the Bambino would ever hit in the minors, as he spent the entire 1915 season with the Red Sox and never again visited the farm during his legendary career. 

Here are some notes from around the AL East…

  • Blue Jays GM Alex Anthopoulos' job isn't in jeopardy, MLB.com's Gregor Chisholm writes as part of a reader mailbag.  Anthopoulos "appears to have the full backing" of upper management and should continue to do so for at least the next couple of seasons, though obviously the Jays will be expected to contend at some point.  Earlier today, Anthopoulos discussed a number of topics in an interview on Sportsnet 590 radio.
  • Also from Chisholm, he predicts that if the Blue Jays don't extend a qualifying offer to Josh Johnson and he hits the open market, Johnson will likely sign a one-year contract with an NL team to try and re-establish his value for the 2015 free agent market.
  • Wilson Betemit's time with the Orioles is probably coming to an end, as Eduardo A. Encina of the Baltimore Sun writes that the O's "likely won't pick up" the $3.2MM option on his contract for 2014.  Betemit has missed almost all of the season recovering from March knee surgery and the team already seems to have moved on, as Betemit has only nine plate appearances over five games since returning from the DL.
  • St. Petersburg mayor Bill Foster criticized MLB in a memo updating his city council about the Rays' stadium issue, Mark Puente of the Tampa Bay Times reports.  Also in the piece, Puente notes that the Rays' ongoing search for a new ballpark could be an issue for Foster in November's mayoral election.
  • Theo Epstein and Jed Hoyer's history with Daniel Bard made it no surprise that the Cubs would acquire the struggling right-hander on a waiver claim from the Red Sox, manager John Farrell said.  Farrell told reporters, including MLB.com's Jason Mastrodonato, that his team didn't have the time or roster space to nurture Bard back to form but he thinks Bard can do it.  "I guess the most important thing is that we wish him well. We hope he gets back on track. There's still a good pitcher in there once he gets back on track," Farrell said.
  • From earlier today around the AL East, the Astros claimed Eric Thames off waivers from the Orioles, the Nationals claimed Mauro Gomez off waivers from the Blue Jays and the Red Sox aren't sure if they'll be willing to re-sign Jacoby Ellsbury if it will cost much beyond $100MM.

Cubs Claim Daniel Bard, Designate Cole Gillespie

The Cubs announced that they have claimed Daniel Bard off waivers from the Red Sox.  To make room for the reliever, outfielder Cole Gillespie has been designated for assignment.

The former top-100 prospect was designated for assignment on Sunday.  Bard, 28, emerged as a dominant late-inning reliever in 2010, but didn't respond well when the team attempted to convert him back into a starter in 2012.  He's been beset by injuries this season and walked 27 batters in 15 1/3 minor league innings.  

Bard will be arbitration eligible for a third time this winter and still has an option remaining.  However, because he's only accumulated four days of Major League service time in 2013, he is now controllable through at least the 2016 season instead of the 2015 season, as previously projected.  If Bard can rediscover his 2009-11 form, he could be a rare example of a player who is eligible for arbitration five times.  In fact, if Bard accumulates fewer than 94 days of service time between now and the end of the 2014 season, the Cubs would gain another year of team control, giving them rights to Bard through the 2017 campaign.  In that scenario, Bard would be eligible for arbitration six times.  Baseball's collective bargaining agreement states that a player is eligible for arbitration so long as he has between three and six years of Major League service time (or qualifies as a Super Two) and is on a 40-man roster, so theoretically, a player could be eligible an infinite number of times.  Of course, all of this assumes that Bard will be tendered a contract for the 2014 season, which is certainly not a guarantee given his 2013 performance.

Gillespie, 29, was claimed off waivers from the Giants in July.  In 28 combined big league games this season, the outfielder hit just .203/.294/.237.  His Triple-A numbers have been much stronger as he posted a .277/.361/.455 line in 74 games this season.

Steve Adams contributed to this post.



Twins Notes: Bard, Colabello, Morneau, Hamburger

Here’s a look at the latest on the Twins..

  • The Twins “are in the due diligence phase” on Daniel Bard, whose brother Luke is a Minnesota farmhand, 1500ESPN.com’s Darren Wolfson tweets. Injuries have plagued the 28-year-old’s 2013 campaign, as he’s pitched just one inning in the majors this year and has a 6.46 ERA in 15 1/3 minor league innings. Still, Bard has two years of arbitration remaining and posted a 3.33 ERA in 73 innings for Boston as recently as 2011, so he may be worth a claim.
  • Chris Colabello‘s opposite-field power could help him earn the Twins’ first base job following the departure of Justin Morneau, Berardino writes. Colabello, 29, has managed just a .193/.270/.360 line in 126 plate appearances for the Twins this year, but was hitting .352/.427/.639 for the club’s Triple-A affiliate before being called up in May.
  • The Twins have signed well-traveled right-hander Mark Hamburger to a minor league deal, Mike Berardino of the St. Paul Pioneer Press reports. Hamburger, who was originally signed out of an amateur tryout camp by the Twins in 2007, managed to catch on long enough with the Rangers to pitch eight major league innings in 2011. However, the 26-year-old hasn’t pitched in the majors since. He’ll have to serve a 50-game suspension for testing positive a second time for a drug of abuse before he can play a game, Berardino notes. 

Quick Hits: Waiver Trades, Hamilton, Blazek, Bard

Twins GM Terry Ryan says he has no qualms about blocking potential August trades by making waiver claims, Mike Berardino of the St. Paul Pioneer Press writes (via Twitter). Ryan says he was surprised that Marlon Byrd — who's having a strong season and makes a paltry $700K — made it all the way through waivers until the Pirates claimed him. The Reds, for example, had waiver priority on the Pirates and might well have chosen to claim Byrd, both because Byrd would have cheaply improved their own team and also to prevent the rival Pirates from getting him. Here are more notes from around baseball.

  • The Cardinals are the first big-league team that will have to figure out how to stop Billy Hamilton of the Reds, Max Schmetzer of MLB.com writes. Of course, that means that the basestealing phenom will have to battle against Cardinals catcher Yadier Molina. "We have film on [Hamilton]," says Cardinals manager Mike Matheny. "We're not going to ask the pitchers to be quicker on him or the catchers to throw quicker." Before the season, Hamilton was ranked the No. 20 prospect in baseball by Baseball America and No. 30 by ESPN's Keith Law. Even in a disappointing 2013 season, Hamilton managed to swipe 75 bases for Triple-A Louisville.
  • Reliever Michael Blazek spent several days in "limbo" before being shipped from the Cardinals to the Brewers in the John Axford deal, Adam McCalvy and Kevin Massoth of MLB.com write. The Cards technically optioned Blazek to Triple-A Memphis on Thursday, but he was actually just waiting in his hotel in St. Louis, presumably to be called up when rosters expanded on Sunday. Instead, in his third day away from the team, he learned he was headed to Milwaukee.
  • Daniel Bard was recently designated for assignment by the Red Sox, but claiming him on waivers could be a tricky proposition, Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe writes. That's because the claiming team would have to decide by early December whether to take Bard to arbitration, where he would receive a minimum of about $1.5MM next year. That might be a lot to pay a player who appears to be nowhere near the pitcher he was in 2009 through 2011, when he was a solid relief option.

Aaron Steen contributed to this post.


Red Sox Notes: Bard, Uehara, Saltalamacchia

As he moves from Baseball America to MLB.com, Jim Callis spoke with WEEI.com's Alex Speier about his two decades covering the Red Sox farm system. Anyone interested in the Sox system or prospect rankings more generally should listen in as Callis effectively passes the baton to Speier. Here's some more Red Sox chatter …

  • When Boston acquired John McDonald just before the August 31st post-season roster deadline, it became the infielder's eighth major league team in his career and his fourth club this season, Rob Bradford of WEEI.com notes. “I’ve been getting closer to home, going from Arizona, to Pittsburgh, to Cleveland to Philly to Boston,” said the 38-year-old, who was drafted out of Rhode Island's Providence College in 1996. "It might be baseball's way of telling me something. But I’m not ready to listen." 
  • The implosion of Daniel Barddesignated for assignment yesterday by the Sox — resulted from the "worst misstep" of GM Ben Cherington's early tenure at the helm, writes the Boston Herald's Scott Lauber. Switching Bard to the rotation, rather than making him the team's closer, not only aligned with the onset of Bard's various issues but triggered a series of ill-fated trades involving late-inning relievers.
  • While the team had hoped that new manager John Farrell would help turn Bard around, he does not sound sanguine about that possibility at this point, and leaves the impression that the team is moving on. While a change of scenery "can help," said Farrell, "to say that that’s the sole reason, that would be wishful thinking.” So what went wrong? “It was a combination of delivery issues that were being ironed out and certainly confidence issues,” Farrell said. “That’s where the question was, which comes first. We felt like performance was going to lead to confidence. It looked like he was on his way, and unfortunately, it didn’t happen.”
  • For another look at Bard's downfall, the Providence Journal's Tim Britton provides an interesting timeline of quotes from Bard and others.
  • In spite of the rocky history of the Red Sox closers of late, Koji Uehara has brought clarity to the situation. WEEI.com's Rob Bradford argues that he could be the most important player in the entire American League because of the way he settled down a potentially disastrous situation. Even as Uehara creeps closer to guaranteeing himself a $5MM payday next year through his contract's vesting option – he is just five games finished away – Boston will surely be glad to pay up.
  • Catcher Jarrod Saltalamacchia has done everything he could to set himself up for a big contract when he reaches free agency this off-season as a 28-year-old, writes Brian MacPherson of the Providence Journal. As the Sox decide whether and how much to bid on Salty, one important and hard-to-quantify question is the extent to which the team values his handling of the team's pitching staff. MacPherson suggests that his rapport with the club's arms could make him more valuable to Boston than other organizations. Of course, this is an area where the Sox have an information advantage on the rest of the market.

Red Sox Designate Daniel Bard For Assignment

The Red Sox have designated reliever Daniel Bard for assignment, reports Alex Speier of WEEI.com. The move creates a 40-man roster spot for the call-up of recent acquisition Quintin Berry.

The former top-100 prospect established himself as a dominating late-inning reliever in 2010, but melted down when the team attempted to convert him back into a starter last season. This season, his control issues have reached (and exceeded) Rick Ankiel levels. In an injury-shortened campaign, Bard is allowing 15.8 BB/9 in 15 1/3 minor league innings.

Bard's 2013 salary is $1.8625, and he remains arbitration-eligible for 2014-15. As Speier notes, Bard does still have an option remaining, making it plausible that a team would roll the dice on him with a 40-man roster spot. For a further read on Bard's struggles, check out this excellent piece from Matthew Kory of Sports on Earth. 


Cafardo On Morneau, Perez, Cishek, Bard, Papelbon

NIck Cafardo of the Boston Globe asked 30 people from around baseball who they would build their team around, regardless of age or experience.  The leading vote-getter was Yadier Molina, with Buster Posey in second place.  Here's more from today's column..

  • There's a lot of uncertainty in the Twins' organization surrounding Justin Morneau.  People wonder what happened to his power, which hurts his trade value.  The Twins are a very loyal organization so they certainly won't give him away.  If a deal for a prospect comes up, however, they would likely let him go.
  • When closer Chris Perez is back in action he may be a piece the Indians would look to move.  Despite his troubles, he would draw interest considering the shortage of available closers out there. “If a team can get him and he’s amped up because of a change of scenery, that’s all they’re looking for,” said one special assistant to an American League GM. “It’s all about getting bang for your buck during those two months-plus after you acquire him, if you don’t have to give up a lot of inventory to get him.
  • Speaking of closers, the Marlins' Steve Cishek is garnering attention and the Red Sox seem to have interest.  However, clubs will have to consider whether he can handle the adjustment of going to a bigger market like Boston or Detroit.
  • One National League GM believes that the Red Sox will have to give up on Daniel Bard at some point if things don't turn around.  Because of his natural talent, a lot of teams would line up to trade for him in hopes that a change of scenery would turn him around.
  • The Phillies declared last week that Jonathan Papelbon was not available, but Cafardo cautions not to believe it, especially in the wake of his public criticism of teammates.
  • Nationals right-hander Drew Storen is an interesting alternative for a team looking for a closer. Storen was the Nationals’ closer two years ago but hasn't been as sharp in 2013 as he was in years past.
  • Marlins right-hander Ricky Nolasco could be the first pitcher dealt as we near the deadline, even ahead of Bud Norris.  Cafardo says not to be shocked if teams like the Orioles or Giants make a move on him sooner rather than later.
  • One scout who saw Manny Ramirez in Taiwan said, “He can still hit with the best of them.”  That doesn't mean that a team will be bold enough to sign him, however.

Players Avoiding Arbitration: Friday

Dozens of players will agree to terms with their respective teams today and avoid arbitration. We'll have detailed posts on the top earners around MLB, and we'll track more modest agreements — those worth less than $4MM — right here. MLBTR's Arbitration Tracker will have all of the details.

Teams had until 12pm CDT today to exchange filing numbers with their arbitration eligible players. Generally speaking the deadline creates lots of discussion and leads to early deals. Plus, for ‘file and trial’ teams this marks the final chance for negotiations in advance of a hearing. Here are the latest agreements from around MLB…

  • The Padres announced that they have avoided arbitration with Edinson Volquez.  Terms of the deal were not disclosed.
  • The Red Sox announced that they avoided arbitration with Andrew Bailey ($4.1MM), Daniel Bard ($1.8625MM), Andrew Miller ($1.475MM), and Franklin Morales ($1.4875MM).  Terms courtesy of WEEI.com's Rob Bradford.
  • The Mets and Bobby Parnell avoided arb with a $1.7MM deal, Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com reports (on Twitter).
  • The Red Sox avoided arbitration with Alfredo Aceves, agreeing to a deal worth $2.65MM plus incentives, according to O'Connell Sports Management, Aceves' agency (on Twitter via Jon Heyman).
  • The Cubs avoided arbitration with James Russell and Jeff Samardzija, Jesse Rogers of ESPNChicago.com reports (on Twitter). Samardzija obtains $2.64MM while Russell gets $1.075MM, Bruce Levine of ESPNChicago.com reports (on Twitter).
  • The Diamondbacks announced that they avoided arbitration with Chris Johnson ($2.2875MM). The team also avoided arbitration with Brad Ziegler ($3.15MM), agreeing to a one-year deal, ESPN.com's Jayson Stark reports (on Twitter).  Terms courtesy of Nick Piecoro of the Arizona Republic (on Twitter).
  • The Nationals announced that they agreed to terms with Tyler Clippard, avoiding arbitration (via Amanda Comak on Twitter). The Nationals avoided arbitration with Ian Desmond, agreeing to a one-year, $3.8MM deal, Amanda Comak of the Washington Times reports (on Twitter). The Nationals also avoided arb with Roger Bernadina according to the outfielder's agent, James Wagner of the Washington Post reports (on Twitter). The Nationals and Ross Detwiler agreed to a one-year, $2.3375MM contract, according to CAA (via Twitter).
  • Brennan Boesch and Phil Coke avoided arbitration, agreeing to one-year deals with the Tigers, Jason Beck of MLB.com reports (on Twitter). Boesch will earn $2.3MM while Coke will earn $1.85MM. The Tigers also avoided arbitration with Alex Avila, agreeing to a one-year, $2.95MM deal, Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com reports (all Twitter links). Austin Jackson agreed to a deal worth $3.5MM for 2013, Heyman reports. Doug Fister obtained a one-year, $4MM deal from Detroit, Heyman reports.
  • The Dodgers and A.J. Ellis avoided arbitration, agreeing to a one-year, $2MM deal, Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com reports (on Twitter). Ronald Belisario agreed to a one-year, $1.45MM deal, MLB.com's Ken Gurnick reports (on Twitter).
  • The Mariners announced that they avoided arbitration with Kendrys Morales and Brendan Ryan on one-year agreements for 2013. Morales will obtain $5.25MM plus performance bonuses, Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com reports (on Twitter). Ryan obtained $3.25MM, Heyman reports (on Twitter).
  • The Rockies avoided arb with Tyler Colvin, agreeing to a one-year deal, the team announced (on Twitter). Colvin will earn $2.275MM, Troy Renck of the Denver Post writes (on Twitter).
  • The Braves avoided arbitration with Cristhian Martinez, agreeing to a one-year deal, MLB.com's Mark Bowman reports (on Twitter). The Braves avoided arb with Kris Medlen, David O'Brien of the Atlanta Journal Constitution reports (on Twitter). Medlen will earn $2.6MM in 2013. They also avoided arb with Jason Heyward, agreeing to a one-year, $3.65MM deal, Bowman reports (onTwitter). The Braves agreed with another young player, avoiding arb with Jonny Venters, O'Brien reports (on Twitter). It's a $1.625MM deal. Earlier today the Braves agreed to a one-year deal with Eric O'Flaherty, avoiding arbitration, Bowman reported (on Twitter). He'll earn $4.32MM plus awards bonuses, Bowman adds.
  • The Athletics announced they avoided arb with Jerry Blevins and Brandon Moss, agreeing to one-year deals for 2013.
  • The Cardinals avoided arb with Mitchell Boggs and Edward Mujica, B.J. Rains of FOX Sports MidWest reports (on Twitter).
  • The Indians announced that they avoided arb with Matt Albers and Justin Masterson. Albers will earn $1.75MM in 2013, MLB.com's Jordan Bastian reports (on Twitter). Masterson will earn $5.6875MM according to Bastian (on Twitter). The Indians and Joe Smith avoided arbitration with a one-year, $3.15MM deal, Bastian reported earlier today (on Twitter). The Indians also avoided arbitration with Lou Marson, Bastian reports (Twitter links). The catcher will earn $1MM on a one-year deal in 2013.
  • The Astros avoided arb with Wesley Wright, agreeing to a one-year deal, MLB.com's Brian McTaggart reports (on Twitter).  Wright will earn $1.025MM, according to Heyman (on Twitter). Earlier today the Astros and Bud Norris avoided arb with a one-year, $3MM deal, McTaggart reports (on Twitter). The Astros and Jed Lowrie avoided arbitration with a one-year, $2.4MM deal with awards bonuses, according to his representatives at CAA Baseball (on Twitter).
  • The White Sox announced that they avoided arbitration with Alejandro De Aza, agreeing to a $2.075MM deal for 2013. The White Sox also avoided arb with Gordon Beckham, agreeing to a one-year deal worth $2.925MM for 2013, MLBTR has learned.
  • The Orioles announced that they avoided arb with Chris Davis and Brian Matusz (Twitter link). Matusz gets a base salary of $1.6MM while Davis gets $3.3MM, Dan Connolly of the Baltimore Sun reports (Twitter links). The Orioles also avoided arbitration with Troy Patton. The sides agreed to a one-year, $815K deal, his agency, CAA Sports, announced on Twitter
  • The Brewers avoided arb with right-hander Marco Estrada and reliever Burke Badenhop, Tom Haudricourt of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports (Twitter links). Estrada will earn $1.955MM while Badenhop will earn $1.55MM, Haudricourt reports.
  • The Rays avoided arbitration with Matthew Joyce and Ryan Roberts, Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times reports (on Twitter). Joyce will earn $2.45MM and Roberts will earn $2.95MM plus incentives, the Rays announced. The Rays also avoided arbitration with Sam Fuld, agreeing to a one-year, $725K deal, Topkin reported (on Twitter). Earlier today the Rays avoided arbitration with Jeff Niemann. The sides agreed to a one-year, $3MM deal, Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com reports (on Twitter).
  • The Royals announced that they avoided arbitration with Luke Hochevar, agreeing to a one-year deal for 2013. Hochevar will earn $4.56MM plus performance bonuses, Pete Grathoff of the Kansas City Star reports (on Twitter).
  • The Yankees avoided arb with Boone Logan, agreeing to a one-year, $3.15MM deal (via CAA Sports on Twitter).
  • The Padres avoided arb with John Baker, agreeing to a $930K deal (via CAA Sports on Twitter).
  • The Twins and Brian Duensing avoided arb with a $1.3MM deal for 2013 (via CAA Sports on Twitter).
  • The Marlins avoided arbitration with Ryan Webb, agreeing to a $975K deal, Clark Spencer of the Miami Herald reports (on Twitter).
  • The Blue Jays announced that they avoided arbitration with Emilio Bonifacio by agreeing to a one-year, $2.6MM deal. The Blue Jays also announced that they avoided arbitration with J.A. Happ, agreeing to a one-year, $3.7MM deal for 2013.
  • The Angels and Tommy Hanson avoided arbitration with a one-year, $3.725MM deal, Jeff Fletcher of the Orange County Register reports. 
  • The Giants avoided arb with Gregor Blanco, agreeing to a one-year, $1.35MM deal, Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com reports (on Twitter).
  • The Phillies announced that they avoided arbitration with Antonio Bastardo with a $1.4MM contract for 2013.
  • Gaby Sanchez and the Pirates have reached agreement on a one-year, $1.75MM deal plus bonuses to avoid arbitration, according to the Beverly Hills Sports Council (on Twitter).

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Bard, Melancon, Mortensen On Waivers

The Red Sox have placed Daniel Bard, Mark Melancon and Clayton Mortensen on revocable waivers, Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe reports (on Twitter). The Red Sox have placed many players on waivers since the current waiver period opened at the beginning of August; this is by no means an indication that they intend to trade more players.

 If the right-handers go unclaimed, the Red Sox would be able to trade them to any team (the players wouldn’t be eligible for postseason rosters). If a team claims one of the players, the Red Sox will have three choices. They can let the player (and his contract) go to the claiming team, they can complete a trade with the claiming team, or they can pull the player back off of waivers. American League teams will have claiming priority on the three Red Sox pitchers.