Mike Aviles Rumors

Red Sox Hire John Farrell

The Red Sox have announced the hiring of John Farrell as their new manager and his agreement to a three-year deal that will run through 2015. As compensation to the Blue Jays, to whom Farrell was under contract through 2013, the Red Sox traded shortstop Mike Aviles for right-hander David Carpenter

The Red Sox confirmed in their press release they sought and received permission from the Blue Jays to talk directly to Farrell and made the agreement late last night. Blue Jays GM Alex Anthopoulos told reporters, including Shi Davidi of Sportsnet.ca (via Twitter), that Farrell approached him one week after the season to tell him, if the opportunity to manage in Boston came up, he wanted to pursue it calling it a dream job. 

"I’m extremely excited to be returning to the Red Sox and to Boston," said Farrell in the Red Sox's statement. "I love this organization. It’s a great franchise in a special city and region, with great fans, and we want nothing more than to reward their faith in us.

"We are thrilled to name John Farrell as our new manager," said Executive Vice-President/General Manager Ben Cherington, who made the announcement. "John has been a major league pitcher, front office executive, coach, and manager. His broad set of experiences, and exceptional leadership skills, make him the ideal person to lead our team. I have known him in various capacities throughout my career, and I hold him in the highest regard as a baseball man and as a person."

Aviles saw his role reduced towards the end of the season in Boston as the club slotted Jose Iglesias in as the starting shortstop for the bulk of September. The 31-year-old took a step back offensively in 2012 as he hit just .250/.282/.381 with 13 homers. In parts of five big league seasons for the Royals and Red Sox, Aviles owns a .277/.308/.408 batting line. Aviles, who earned $1.2MM last season, will head to arbitration once again this winter and is set to hit the open market after the 2014 season.

This marks the second time that Carpenter has been traded this year, as he went from the Astros to Toronto in a ten-player deal this summer. The 27-year-old appeared in 33 games for the two clubs last season, posting a 8.07 ERA with 8.6 K/9 and 4.5 BB/9. He also had a 3.08 ERA with 8.5 K/9 and 2.4 BB/9 in 23 Triple-A appearances.

Boston had been linked to Farrell, their former pitching coach, ever since Bobby Valentine appeared to be losing his grip on the club this year. Meanwhile, Blue Jays General Manager Alex Anthopoulos repeatedly deflected questions about the possibility of Farrell returning to the Red Sox and even instituted a club policy of blocking personnel from leaving for a lateral move. 

Two compensation deals for baseball decision makers were completed last season. Theo Epstein went from the Red Sox over to the Cubs' front office while manager Ozzie Guillen was traded from the White Sox to the Marlins. The White Sox received Double-A reliever Jhan Marinez and Triple-A shortstop Ozzie Martinez for their skipper. While both were ranked highly within the Marlins' farm system, neither player is viewed as an elite prospect. Meanwhile, the Cubs and Red Sox had a long protracted battle over what Epstein's compensation package should be before finally agreeing upon pitching prospects Chris Carpenter and Aaron Kurcz going to Boston for Jair Bogaerts.

Sean McAdam of CSNNE.com (via Twitter) was the first to break the news of Farrell's hiring. Rob Bradford of WEEI.com first reported the inclusion of Aviles and, along with colleague Alex Speier, Carpenter. 

Edward Creech contributed to this post.


East Notes: Red Sox, Aviles, Vizquel, Guillen

Here's a look at the latest out of the AL and NL East..

  • Red Sox shortstop Mike Aviles isn't thrilled about his reduced role but still hopes to remain in Boston next season, writes Rob Bradford of WEEI.com.  Despite that, Aviles insists that he won't dwell too much on his baseball future as a great deal of his focus will remain on his family at home.
  • Blue Jays shortstop Omar Vizquel made it known earlier this summer that 2012 will be his final major league season and the 45-year-old hasn't had a change of heart.  The veteran reiterated today that he plans on retiring as a player effective Wednesday, tweets Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports.
  • In a session today with Spanish-language reporters, Marlins skipper Ozzie Guillen opined that it would be unfair if he is dismissed after just one season at the helm in Miami, writes Joe Capozzi of The Palm Beach Post.  Earlier this week, Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com wrote that Guillen's job appears to be in "serious peril".
  • Red Sox manager Bobby Valentine told ESPN 98.7's Michael Kay that he wished he had listened to a particular piece of advice from former pitcher Al Leiter over the winter, writes Gordon Edes of ESPNBoston.com.  Leiter later told Kay that his advice was to work to get pitcher Josh Beckett on his side as he can be difficult at times.  Beckett, of course, would later be a part of the club's massive payroll purge in their deal with the Dodgers.

Quick Hits: Mets, Gerrit Cole, Aviles

The Games of the XXX Olympiad came to a close today in London. Nearly 11,000 athletes from 204 nations took part in over 300 events in 26 sports. But, none of the Olympic pagentry involved baseball. So, let's celebrate America's National Pastime with the latest news, notes and quotes: 

  • Not everyone in the Mets front office is sold that they can be a sustained contender moving forward with Ike Davis at first base, writes Joel Sherman of the New York Post. One internal option would be moving Lucas Duda in from the outfield and some believe that he would be more comfortable at first.
  • Mets owner Fred Wilpon wouldn't speak with reporters following a rare on-field appearance before last night's game against the Braves, but he'll have to start answering questions soon, writes David Lennon of Newsday. There are a lot of unknowns surrounding the Mets, including what their projected payroll will be for 2013 and if the franchise is on the rebound financially.
  • Pirates GM Neal Huntington says Gerrit Cole, last year's top draft pick, will not be a September callup, according to Rob Biertempfel of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review (via Sulia). "We've not talked about it internally. My gut (feeling) is no." Huntington said. "To drop him into bullpen up here in September is not something we have lot of interest in doing. We have a lot of other options, instead of rushing a young prospect." Cole is currently starting at Double-A Altoona.
  • The A's had interest in Mike Aviles prior to the trade deadline, but a deal is unlikely now the Red Sox have placed the shortstop on waivers, reports Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle. Slusser says the chances are slim the A's will acquire a shortstop before the August 31st deadline for playoff-roster eligibility.

Edward Creech contributed to this post.



Kelly Shoppach, Mike Aviles On Waivers

The Red Sox put Kelly Shoppach and Mike Aviles on waivers today, Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe reports (on Twitter). Nick Punto and Carl Crawford have now cleared waivers, according to Cafardo.

Teams routinely place players on waivers, even if they don't plan on trading them, so this is not an indication that the Red Sox intend to move Shoppach or Aviles. If the players go unclaimed, the Red Sox will be able to complete a trade just as easily as they could have before the current waiver period began ten days ago.

If a team claims Shoppach or Aviles, 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 Shoppach and Aviles.


Players Who Cleared Waivers

This is a running list of players who have cleared waivers, based on published reports. Once a player clears waivers, he can be traded to any team (barring a no-trade clause). This list can always be found in the sidebar under MLBTR Features. Player names are linked to the source articles.

Updated 8-31-12

Infielders

Nick Punto, Red Sox - Punto earns $1.5MM this year and will earn the same amount in 2013.

Outfielders

Carl Crawford, Red Sox - Crawford has $102.5MM remaining on his contract after 2012, so he was expected to clear waivers. Crawford can block trades to two clubs, but no team can flip him to the Yankees after acquiring him from Boston.

Alfonso Soriano, Cubs – Soriano can block any trade. He earns $18MM per season through 2014.

Juan Pierre, Phillies – Pierre earns $800K in 2012 and he'll hit free agency after the season.

Catchers

Joe Mauer, Twins – Mauer earns $23MM per season through 2018.

Starting Pitchers

Joe Saunders, Diamondbacks – Saunders earns $6MM in 2012 and will hit free agency after the season.

Roy Oswalt, Rangers – Oswalt earns $5MM in 2012 and will hit free agency after the season.

Kevin Millwood, Mariners – Millwood earns $1MM in 2012 and will hit free agency after the season.

Relief Pitchers

Carlos Marmol, Cubs - Marmol will earn $9.8MM in 2013 before hitting free agency.


Red Sox Notes: Saltalamacchia, Masterson, Ellsbury

The Red Sox have a 51-51 record after taking two of three from the Yankees in New York over the weekend. Here are the latest rumors surrounding the Red Sox as they host the Tigers at Fenway Park…

  • Jarrod Saltalamacchia and Mike Aviles have drawn interest from rival teams, Alex Speier of WEEI.com reports. The Red Sox are looking to add at the trade deadline, but a modest deal is more likely than a blockbuster.
  • The Red Sox remain interested in Justin Masterson, even though they saw him struggle in his most recent start, Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe reports (on Twitter). The Indians have told teams they will consider trading Masterson, who pitched for the Red Sox in 2008-09.
  • A few teams inquired on Jacoby Ellsbury, but the Red Sox will likely wait until the offseason to seriously consider trading him, Cafardo reports (on Twitter). The Reds asked about Ellsbury, according to Gordon Edes of ESPNBoston.com (on Twitter).
  • The Rangers have pursued Red Sox players more aggressively than other teams, Cafardo reports (Twitterlinks). Texas has scouted both Aaron Cook and Kelly Shoppach and while Rangers officials have backed off on Cook, they maintain interest in Shoppach.
  • Here’s the latest on Josh Beckett.

Red Sox Notes: Sweeney, Bard, Aviles, Ross

The Red Sox head into the All-Star break 2.5 games out of the Wild Card race with a 43-43 record. Here are the latest notes and rumors surrounding the team:


Players Avoiding Arbitration: Tuesday

Dozens of arbitration eligible players have agreed to deals with their respective teams today and we've been tracking all of the developments right here.  Several teams, including the Rays, Nationals, Marlins, White Sox, Blue Jays, Braves, and perhaps Astros, are known for committing to going to hearings if they get to the point of filing.  Keep track of all the madness with MLBTR's arbitration tracker, which shows settlement amounts, filing figures, and midpoints.  Today's players to avoid arbitration on deals worth less than $4MM:

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AL East Notes: Aviles, Rays, Blue Jays, Jenks

Mariano Rivera recorded his 601st career save yesterday against the Blue Jays, tying Trevor Hoffman for the all-time mark. John Harper of the New York Daily News writes that, while Joe Girardi isn't about to keep Rivera out of a save situation if one arises today, it would be nice if the Yankees didn't have to use their closer again in Toronto. New York begins an eight-game homestand tomorrow, which could allow Rivera to notch the record-setting save in Yankee Stadium. Here are the rest of this morning's AL East notes:

  • Mike Aviles told Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports that he asked the Royals to trade him at the deadline this season, knowing he wasn't a part of the team's long-term plans. Aviles has been an important acquisition for the Red Sox, given the injuries to Jed Lowrie and Kevin Youkilis. The utility man has hit .361/.373/.458 in part-time action since arriving in Boston.
  • Within the same piece, Rosenthal notes that you could argue the Rays should have added a bat at the deadline, given their current presence in the Wild Card race. However, the club was 8 1/2 games out of the Wild Card at the time, and didn't want to compromise their team defense for an offensive upgrade.
  • John Tomase discusses Alex Anthopoulos and the Blue Jays in a piece for the Boston Herald, and the Jays GM offers a few interesting quotes. Anthopoulos says the primary challenge of the AL East isn't going up against the massive payrolls of the Red Sox and Yankees, but rather competing with a handful of smart general managers who know how to run a team.
  • More Anthopolous, on the most efficient way for the Blue Jays to add talent: "The trade route where we are right now is important for us. It's going to be a big part of what we're doing and it is. Free agency is the last route we want to go. At some point we'll have to start delving into it a little more, but I still want to try to avoid it at all costs. If we try to do this through the draft, it's going to be a while. And it's not going to work and we're not going to get it to time properly."
  • Bobby Jenks tells Michael Vega of the Boston Globe that he's disappointed the first season of his two-year deal with the Red Sox turned out so poorly. He's optimistic about being ready for Spring Training and being able to contribute in 2012 though. The reliever says that although he hasn't undergone his spine surgery yet, the doctors are talking about "weeks and not months" for the recovery.

AL East Notes: Robertson, Granderson, Aviles

A few items of note out of the AL East, where the Yankees lead the Red Sox by 2 1/2 games through Thursday's action …

  • Yankees setup man David Robertson has pitched so well this season that Joel Sherman of the New York Post wonders whether we're watching the development of Mariano Rivera's heir apparent as New York's closer. Rivera is under contract through next season.
  • Yankees center fielder Curtis Granderson is in the thick of MVP talks because of his stellar season, writes Jerry Crasnick of ESPN.com, but he's also an affable, charitable, humble and highly intelligent person. He's the Yankees' player rep for the MLBPA and is one of two league-wide reps along with Craig Counsell of the Brewers. Crasnick's piece is an excellent read.
  • Not much was thought of it when the Red Sox acquired Mike Aviles from the Royals, but the utility infielder is preparing himself for what could be an important postseason role, writes Rob Bradford of WEEI.com. Aviles isn't a prototypical burner but is an efficient basestealer, according to Bradford, and could pinch-run in the postseason in a big spot — a la Dave Roberts in 2004.