In an interesting look back at recent history, Rob Bradford of WEEI.com explores the Red Sox’ decision-making process on finding a big bat over the just-concluded offseason. President of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski says the organization zeroed in from the outset on J.D. Martinez, despite knowing it could take a big salary to get a deal done. Giancarlo Stanton’s no-trade rights mostly took him out of consideration, says Dombrowski, while Marcell Ozuna came with too high a prospect price tag — reflecting his value as an outfielder, not just a DH, which was the Sox’ primary need.
Here’s more from the AL East:
- Red Sox top prospects Jay Groome and Michael Chavis will open the season on the disabled list, per Alex Speier of the Boston Globe. Groome, 19, is dealing with a mild flexor strain that is similar to the injury that hampered him in 2017, though farm director Ben Crockett tells Speier that the injury isn’t serious in nature, calling it “pretty mild overall” and noting that Groome has already been symptom-free for “several days.” Chavis, 22, is dealing with an oblique strain that he suffered back in February. He’s begun swinging a bat, however, and could get into extended spring games next week.
- Alex Cobb is nearing readiness to join the Orioles, Eduardo Encina of the Baltimore Sun writes. It seems likely he’ll take the ball on Monday, though that won’t be finalized until the weekend. Baltimore skipper Buck Showalter said the club is mostly allowing Cobb to drive the process while understandably preferring to “err on the side of caution.” Trusting the veteran hurler but maintaining a conservative approach seems wise given Cobb’s health history and the team’s $57MM investment.
- Orioles fans will certainly also want to check out this lengthy chat between righty Kevin Gausman and the Sun’s Jon Meoli. The talented 27-year-old has not quite turned the corner to being a front-line starter, despite showing hints of it at times. He’s now entering an important season in which he’ll try to bounce back from a messy 2017 showing in advance of his final two arb-eligible campaigns. Likewise, VP of baseball ops Brady Anderson recently joined the podcast of MLB.com’s Mark Feinsand. He discussed how his history as a player helped spur his current career, as he began his post-playing involvement in the game by helping his former teammates. Though he’s hardly the only former player with a prominent executive role, Anderson is somewhat unusual in that he still gets down on the field quite a bit.
- Aaron Hicks is confident that he can return to the active roster in time for the Yankees’ upcoming series against the Red Sox, which begins next Tuesday, writes MLB.com’s Bryan Hoch. Beyond that, while recently claimed Trayce Thompson is initially reporting to Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, skipper Aaron Boone tells Hoch that the optional assignment “doesn’t mean he won’t become an option very soon.”