Here’s the latest out of Fenway Park…
- Manager John Farrell told reporters (including WEEI.com’s Ryan Hannable) that the Red Sox are discussing internal and external options for a pinch-running speed threat off the bench. Top prospect Yoan Moncada has been mentioned as a possibility to fill the role, though it is “yet to be determined” if Moncada could be promoted, Farrell said. Arguably the game’s best prospect, Moncada has hit .299/.413/.517 over a combined 476 plate appearances at the high-A and Double-A levels this season, not to mention 44 steals in 56 attempts. His lack of experience at Triple-A wouldn’t necessarily be an obstacle if he was to be used primarily as a pinch-runner, though Moncada is such a highly-touted young player that he might not need much more (or even any) seasoning at the plate. Moncada could also get at-bats against left-handed pitching, and maybe see some time at third base though he is still just learning the position.
- It looks like the Red Sox may exercise their $13.5MM option on Clay Buchholz for 2017 after all, Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe writes in his weekly notes column. Since losing his rotation job earlier this season, Buchholz has pitched well out of the bullpen, posting a 3.05 ERA and holding hitters to a .506 OPS over 20 2/3 relief innings, though he has also stepped out of the pen to deliver some quality spot starts. The Sox are one of the few teams wealthy enough to afford $13.5MM for a swingman, and they could prefer having a familiar option on hand should they face more rotation struggles in 2017.
- Also from Cafardo’s column, he notes that some personal or family issues could be preventing from Jonathan Papelbon from signing with the Red Sox. A reunion between the Sox and their former closer has seemed like a possibility almost as soon as Papelbon was released by the Nationals, though that was two weeks ago and no deal appears imminent despite Boston’s continued interest. The longer he is out of action, presumably the longest it will take for Papelbon to get back into game shape in a minor league assignment, which is another issue since minor league seasons are soon wrapping up. Papelbon would have to sign before Thursday in order to qualify for a postseason roster.
- In other Red Sox news from earlier today on MLBTR, the team talked to the White Sox about Chris Sale or Jose Quintana prior to the August 1 trade deadline, though talks didn’t materialize since Boston didn’t want to deal Jackie Bradley Jr. as part of the deal for either star lefty.