Felix Doubront Rumors
The Red Sox are no strangers to White House visits over the last decade, though David Ortiz marked yesterday's team trip to Pennsylvania Avenue by taking a memorable selfie alongside another famous face. Here's some more news from Boston...
- With Felix Doubront set to become eligible for arbitration after the season, MassLive.com's Jason Mastrodonato thinks the young southpaw could be an extension candidate if he pitches well in 2014. Mastrodonato notes that Doubront's status becomes particularly important given that Jon Lester and Jake Peavy are both free agents after the season, though Doubront isn't focusing on contract negotiations. "When that moment comes, we’ll talk. You want to stay away from that, for my own good," Doubront said. "If you think about that, mentally it makes things bigger. You just want to stay on the same page. We’ll see what happens after this season."
- Lester's impending free agency was discussed by ESPN's Buster Olney in a radio interview on WEEI's Mut & Merloni Show (partial transcript from WEEI.com's Arjuna Ramgopal). Olney feels the middle ground between Lester and the Red Sox falls in the range of a five-year, $110-$120MM contract and while both sides will "have to go out of their comfort zones," Olney feels Lester will have to budge a bit more. “It’s going to be because Jon Lester makes it happen, the way that Dustin Pedroia made it happen last year. The Red Sox, philosophically, are not going to box themselves in." The Sox and Lester recently tabled their extension talks, though they could be re-open negotiations during the season.
- Xander Bogaerts' rise from an anonymous 16-year-old from the baseball non-hotbed of Aruba to one of the game's top prospects and the Red Sox Opening Day shortstop is chronicled by Sports On Earth's Jorge Arangure Jr. Boston was able to find Bogaerts due to the organization's wide-ranging scouting process, and Bogaerts took it from there, quickly advancing through the Red Sox academy and minor league system.
Earlier today, Ryan Dempster announced he will not pitch in 2014 forfeiting the $13.25MM he was due in the final year of his pact with the Red Sox. Boston, however, does not intend to pursue Ervin Santana, Ubaldo Jimenez, or other free agent starting pitching, writes WEEI.com's Alex Speier. The Red Sox expect to slot Felix Doubront into the starting rotation and Brandon Workman into the swingman role with their stable of pitching prospects providing depth, according to Speier. Elsewhere in the American League:
- Speier notes in the same article the Red Sox have newfound financial flexibility with Dempster's salary now off the books. Boston projects to have a 2014 payroll of $176MM (including $9MM allocated for in-season trades and roster additions), a $13MM cushion against the luxury tax. The Red Sox could re-sign Stephen Drew, but Speier wonders whether common ground can be found.
- GM Ben Cherington passed on the opportunity to discuss the Red Sox's unexpected financial windfall saying the focus should be on Dempster, reports the Boston Globe's Pete Abraham.
- Joel Sherman of the New York Post tweets the Yankees are not considering any additional free agent acquisitions, which would rule them out on Drew.
- Jimmy Paredes, claimed on waivers yesterday by the Orioles, is a prime candidate to lose his 40-man roster spot once the team makes its signing of Suk-Min Yoon official, according to MASNsports.com's Roch Kubatko. Yoon has passed his physical, per multiple reports.
- Mark Mulder, who saw his comeback bid with the Angels end when he ruptured his left Achilles tendon, told reporters, including Alden Gonzalez of MLB.com, he has yet to decide whether he will attempt another return in 2015. "I'd love to say yes, but I don't know. I have to wait and see what the doctors say -- see what the process is of how healthy I can get it, how good it feels." Mulder undergoes surgery Monday and the rehab could last up to eight months.
While David Price has resigned himself to being traded, the Rays appear to be trying to figure out ways to make their ace the focal point of their pitching staff for many years to come, according to Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe. Cafardo notes, however, the Rays' front office realizes it could be a losing battle, so a trade is likely with nearly half of baseball rumored to be interested in the reigning AL Cy Young Award winner. "It's a big name, a big-time pitcher," one National League GM told Cafardo. "Even if you feel you don't need that level of pitcher, you look into it because he's so special and such a game changer. You do more than kick the tires. You try to make something happen, and I think you'll see teams that don't even need him step up." Here's more from Cafardo's column:
- The Red Sox will likely trade one of their veteran starters to make room for their young arms. Cafardo suggests Jon Lester and Jake Peavy could be available while Ryan Dempster, John Lackey, and Felix Doubront are also vulnerable.
- Jacoby Ellsbury is a perfect fit for the Mariners and Carlos Beltran likewise for the Orioles.
- Curtis Granderson will likely receive a qualifying offer from the Yankees and there's a strong possibility he would take it because he could post his biggest numbers at Yankee Stadium.
- The Dodgers will make Andre Ethier and/or Matt Kemp available this winter. Kemp will come with injury concerns, but that shouldn't prevent a team from taking a chance on his talent.
- James Loney has rebuilt his value with a strong season in Tampa (.299/.348/.430 with a 2.1 oWAR in 158 games and 598 plate appearances). Loney could find a market with the Rangers, if the Rays don't re-sign the free agent first baseman.
- Reds pitching coach Bryan Price appears to be the front-runner to replace Dusty Baker as manager in Cincinnati while Nationals bench coach Randy Knorr is in a strong position to take over from Davey Johnson, unless ownership wants a bigger name as its new manager.
Red Sox left-hander Felix Doubront was claimed on waivers by an unidentified team yesterday, Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports reports. American League teams had waiver priority on Doubront, who has put together a solid season in Boston's rotation.
The 24-year-old has a 4.79 ERA with 8.9 K/9 and 3.8 BB/9 in 127 2/3 innings over the course of 23 starts for the Red Sox. He won't be arbitration eligible before the end of the 2013 season (he's a possible super two player) and will remain under team control through 2017.
Doubront was reportedly on waivers as early as August 16th. Either he’s on waivers for the second time (in which case the waivers are no longer revocable) or there’s been an erroneous report. Rosenthal has suggested the Red Sox could send Doubront to the Twins in a possible trade for Joe Mauer, who was recently placed on waivers.
The Red Sox have placed Aaron Cook, Felix Doubront, and Andrew Miller on trade waivers, according to Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe. Cafardo notes that while Doubront won't be going anywhere, Cook is a trade candidate.
In ten starts this season, Cook has a 4.58 ERA with 1.1 K/9 and 1.6 BB/9. The 33-year-old inked a minor league deal with Boston over the winter, worth $1.5MM prorated upon his promotion to the big leagues. The Red Sox waited until the 11th hour to call him up rather than trigger his opt-out clause, but ultimately putting him on the big league roster in early May.
Some interesting items to pass along from around the AL "Beast" ...
- The Red Sox were gauging trade interest in some of their out-of-options pitchers at the GM Meetings this week, a source tells Alex Speier of WEEI.com. Franklin Morales, Andrew Miller, Felix Doubront, Michael Bowden and Scott Atchison are all out of options but aren't locks to make next year's bullpen, according to Speier, so Boston may decide to add or remove some of these players from the 40-man roster based on relative trade interest.
- The Rays are hopeful of extending the contract of manager Joe Maddon, tweets Jon Heyman of SI.com. Maddon is entering the final year of a three-year extension he signed in 2009.
- The Yankees may shy away from pursuing Japanese right-hander Yu Darvish if he's posted because of the club's history with busts Hideki Irabu and Kei Igawa, opines Heyman (Twitter link), although owner Hal Steinbrenner told reporters, such as the New York Post's Joel Sherman and Newsday's Ken Davidoff, that the team will evaluate each player on a case-by-case basis.
- The Blue Jays are interested in free agent DH David Ortiz, tweets Scott Miller of CBSSports.com.
- Yankees second baseman Robinson Cano said that last month's rumors that he was angling for a contract extension was the result of a joke gone awry, according to Spanish-language Web site DiarioLibre.com. “I’m not thinking about the contract. My lawyer told a journalist as a joke that I was looking for a contract extension, and that’s what got published… I’m not thinking about that. The team has a $14MM option for next year." Thanks to MLBTR's Nick Collias for the translation.
In the latest edition of Full Count from Ken Rosenthal, we learn how this year's trade deadline could have turned out drastically different..
- The Rockies wanted five of Boston's top prospects for Ubaldo Jimenez: Will Middlebrooks, Kyle Weiland, Josh Reddick, Felix Doubront, and Ryan Lavarnway. The Red Sox would have gotten more than just Jimenez in return as Rosenthal tweets that the Rockies offered Jimenez and outfielder Seth Smith in return for the quintet of prospects. There were other possible fits in such a deal including Ryan Spilborghs, Chris Iannetta, and Rafael Betancourt.
- The Rangers had enough prospects to get Carlos Beltran in addition to Koji Uehara and Mike Adams at the deadline. To do that, they would have needed to take either Robbie Erlin and Joe Wieland out of the Adams deal as the Mets are fond of both. Rosenthal was told that one of the two pitchers was in the offer for Beltran.
- The Indians traded their two best pitching prospects to land ace Ubaldo Jimenez but the deal wasn't just for this season. Cleveland is mindful of the big picture and they have their key pieces locked up for the next few years. Jimenez, Asdrubal Cabrera, and Shin-Soo Choo are under control for the next two seasons while Justin Masterson and Chris Perez are under control for the next three. If the Tribe doesn't win in the next few years, they can always flip some of those players for prospects.
Though he's well-compensated and has full no-trade protection, Mets right fielder Carlos Beltran is the best available hitter. The latest:
- The Red Sox aren't willing to part with the prospects the Mets want, according to Gordon Edes of ESPNBoston.com. The Mets are interested in Josh Reddick, Ryan Kalish, Jose Iglesias, Anthony Ranaudo, Felix Doubront and Will Middlebrooks, according to Edes. Scott Lauber of the Boston Herald hears that the Red Sox are focusing on internal solutions, particularly Reddick.
- SI's Jon Heyman runs through ten Beltran suitors, naming the Phillies the "clear favorite." The Mets' first target would be Domonic Brown, a concession Matt Gelb can't see happening.
- Boston's talks with the Mets about Beltran have not advanced beyond preliminary discussions, reports WEEI's Alex Speier. Eight to ten teams are said to be in the mix, with the Red Sox among the top six.
- Some Mets officials feel a deal could get done well before the July 31st deadline, writes Joel Sherman of the New York Post. Sherman agrees with a previous Ken Rosenthal report that the Phillies and Red Sox are the most aggressive suitors. Sherman says they're followed by the Braves, Giants, Indians, and Pirates. He notes that the Mets "have been somewhat surprised by Detroit's disinterest."
- Yesterday the Mets provided Beltran with a short list of teams to consider, and the Phillies are believed to be on it, report Tim Brown and Jeff Passan of Yahoo. The writers add that the Mets have indicated a willingness to pay much or all of the $6MM owed to Beltran depending on the return. They list the Red Sox, Giants, and Yankees as other suitors, and wonder if the East Coast teams have an edge since Beltran lives in New York. Brown and Passan named the Brewers as a dark horse, but they don't have much in the way of top prospects.
John Tomase from the Boston Herald has some notes about several Major League topics in his latest article:
- Tomase reminds us that at the 2009 deadline, the Red Sox reportedly offered the Mariners any five of the following prospects in exchange for Felix Hernandez: Clay Buchholz, Daniel Bard, Michael Bowden, Josh Reddick, Yamaico Navarro, Nick Hagadone, Felix Doubront, and Justin Masterson. While a Boston official disputed the specific names, Tomase says the reports were in the ballpark.
- Regarding a trade though, Tomase quotes King Felix himself as saying that he wants to stay in Seattle: "I don’t know what’s going to happen. I’m not trying to think about it. I’d love to stay here (with the Mariners). I’m part of Seattle now and I’d like to be in Seattle."
- San Diego's Anthony Rizzo, acquired in the Adrian Gonzalez trade, is off to a blazing start at Triple-A. Rizzo has posted a monstrous line of .400/.471/.744 with seven homers, eight doubles, and a triple through 102 PAs, but despite that production the Padres aren't giving up on Brad Hawpe yet. Manager Bud Black cites Hawpe's career success, but it'll be hard to ignore his .149/.194/.194 line much longer.
- Manny Ramirez's abrupt retirement had many questioning a Rays' lineup that was struggling to score runs, but as Tomase points out, the Rays have gone 14-5 since Manny called it quits. The Rays were 0-6 with Manny on board.
Tomase's article also features several more quotes from Felix on his appreciation for Seattle as well and is a good read all-around.
Here's the latest on the Red Sox, including some continued fallout from the blockbuster Adrian Gonzalez deal...
- The Red Sox are interested in adding a complementary right-handed bat, GM Theo Epstein tells Scott Lauber of the Boston Herald (Twitter link).
- The Red Sox have offered Taylor Buchholz a minor league deal and are one of 12 teams to express interest in the right-hander, according to Brian MacPherson of the Providence Journal.
- Felix Doubront, Jed Lowrie, and Jacoby Ellsbury's names were all discussed in the Boston/San Diego trade talks, says John Tomase of the Boston Herald. Ellsbury was the only one that drew much interest from the Padres, but they decided against him since Ellsbury's forthcoming arbitration raise would make him too expensive and a trade candidate himself in the near future.
- Also from Tomase, both Chicago teams were "finalists" for Gonzalez and were offering at least one major league player in their trade packages. Ultimately, San Diego decided that it preferred the prospects in Boston's offer.
- John Boggs, Gonzalez's agent, talks to WEEI.com's D.J. Bean about the contract extension negotiations that nearly held up the trade on the weekend. "We’re not working in a spirit to get [the Red Sox] by the jugular or squeeze every nickel, or set a precedent-setting deal," Boggs said.
- The agent for Hideki Okajima tells ESPNBoston.com's Gordon Edes (Twitter link) that he will talk with the Red Sox "soon," though there has been "pretty strong" interest in Okajima from some other clubs.
- It's not often the Red Sox are priced out of a signing, but FOXSports.com's Ken Rosenthal says Jayson Werth's contract with Washington may have made Carl Crawford too expensive for Boston's liking, especially since the Sox now have to fit a Gonzalez extension ("the parameters" for which are $154MM over seven years) into their budget. The Red Sox may instead focus on acquiring relievers or finding a cheaper outfield option, like trading for Josh Willingham.
- Adrian Beltre's asking price is $85MM over five years, Rosenthal reports. Boston would be interested in re-signing the third baseman if "the market for Beltre collasped," but the plan is to play Kevin Youkilis at third with Gonzalez taking over at first. Rosenthal says the Red Sox aren't considering moving Youkilis to left field to make room for Beltre.