The latest from Boston:
- This is supposed to be designated hitter David Ortiz’s final season, but given his remarkable production, Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe believes the Red Sox – namely owner John Henry, chairman Tom Werner and president of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski – must do everything in their power to convince the potential future Hall of Famer to return as a 41-year-old in 2017. The Sox should be prepared to offer $20MM-plus million to Ortiz, who’s playing this year on a $10MM club option that could reach $16MM with incentives, writes Cafardo. Although Ortiz has been an excellent hitter for the lion’s share of his career, no one expected him to slash .320/.405/.695 with 10 home runs in the first 148 plate appearances of his farewell campaign. He remains far and away the best offensive player Boston has, which is no small feat considering its lineup’s outstanding production as a whole.
- Ortiz may be indispensable, but the opposite is true in regards to right-hander Clay Buchholz, offers Cafardo. Buchholz’s stuff and his past moments of brilliance could appeal to teams looking to land a starter, per Cafardo. “He’d be on anyone’s list to acquire if he were made available,” an American League scout told Cafardo on Saturday, when Buchholz allowed five runs in six innings against the Astros and saw his ERA rise to 6.11. The 31-year-old was terrific as recently as last season, though, as he spun 113 1/3 frames of 3.26 ERA/2.68 FIP/3.30 xFIP ball to accompany an 8.5 K/9 and 1.83 BB/9. An acquiring team would have the chance to retain Buchholz next year on a $13.5MM club option.
- Evan Drellich of the Boston Herald provided a look at how the Red Sox’s front office is operating in its first full season under Dombrowski. The former general manager of the Expos, Marlins and Tigers is thought of as an old-school executive, as Drellich notes, but Dombrowski says Boston’s front office is “very innovative.” That innovation can be found in two areas – Sox Science and Sport Science – according to Drellich. The former focuses on numbers, while the latter is concerned with off-field endeavors and deals with the training and medical fields. “Medical is becoming a huge area that teams are invested in, all the way around, however you slice the medical part of it,” said GM Mike Hazen, who added that the club is “doing a lot of things that are looking to help maximize the performance of our player.” Dombrowski acknowledged that the franchise’s financial clout has a sizable impact on its ability to assemble a deep, forward-thinking front office. “Here, you can put the major league payroll (high) and still do the other things. And I think that really is a difference, and an enjoyable difference,” he told Drellich.