Boston Red Sox – MLB Trade Rumors 2021-01-27T14:29:26Z https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/feed/atom WordPress Steve Adams <![CDATA[Red Sox, Matt Carasiti Agree To Minors Deal]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=358553 2021-01-27T14:29:26Z 2021-01-27T14:29:26Z The Red Sox have agreed to a minor league deal with right-hander Matt Carasiti, per WEEI’s Rob Bradford. He’ll be invited to Major League Spring Training.

Carasiti, 29, last pitched in the Majors with the Mariners in 2019, when he tossed 9 2/3 innings and yielded five runs on 11 hits and five walks with 10 strikeouts. He’s also spent time in the big leagues with the Rockies, who drafted him in the sixth round back in 2012. The right-hander may have been in the mix for some innings with the Giants last year had he not required Tommy John surgery after a handful of Spring Training appearances.

Carasiti is a Connecticut native who brings to the Red Sox a career 3.15 ERA in 100 Triple-A innings, where he’s punched out 26.2 percent of the hitters he’s faced against a 9.9 percent walk rate. The righty also spent a year with Nippon Professional Baseball’s Yakult Swallows in Japan, working to a 4.18 ERA in 94 2/3 frames. Given the timing of his Tommy John surgery, he probably won’t be ready to pitch come Spring Training, but he’ll give the Sox some Triple-A depth with a bit of big league experience once he’s ready to take the mound.

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TC Zencka <![CDATA[Red Sox Notes: Ottavino, Luxury Tax, Bradley Jr.]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=353569 2021-01-25T22:57:01Z 2021-01-25T22:51:18Z Red Sox’ Chief Baseball Officer Chaim Bloom addressed a number of questions about the offseason moves they have (and haven’t) made so far this winter, per the reporters present, including Chris Cotillo of MassLive.com, Alex Speier of the Boston Globe, and the Athletic’s Jen McCaffrey. The call was prompted by the club’s recent (and rare) transaction with their chief rival. Bloom noted that they looked “under the hood” at Adam Ottavino’s 2020 numbers and believe the assumption of his poor performance in 2020 may be misguided. In particular, he notes one particularly poor outing against the Blue Jays in which he surrendered six earned runs without recording an out. Take out that September 7th appearance, and Ottavino’s ERA drops from 5.89 to 2.95. Of course, that outing did happen. Even so, there’s a positive read in Ottavino’s 2020 stat line:  3.52 FIP, 3.62 SIERA, 29.4 percent strikeout rate, and 10.6 percent walk rate suggest the right-hander was close to the same guy he ’d been in 2019, when he formed an important part of the Yankees’ bullpen. Ottavino figures to play a heavy role in the back-end of Boston’s bullpen, though the dispersal of responsibilities between Ottavino and incumbent closer Matt Barnes is TBD. More from Bloom…

  • The Yankees moved Ottavino to trim enough salary to duck the $210MM luxury tax line, but according to Bloom, it’s not a foregone conclusion that the Red Sox will do the same. With Ottavino in the fold, the Red Sox luxury tax payroll appears to be around $206MM, which certainly doesn’t leave very much room to spare. While the plan is to avoid the tax, that’s not a firm mandate, Bloom notes.
  • Even taking Bloom at his word, it’s hard to imagine the Red Sox going over the luxury tax when so many teams these days work so diligently to avoid it – especially in a season where the Red Sox are largely projected to be an afterthought to the Rays, Yankees, and Blue Jays in the AL East. The Red Sox aren’t probably quite as quick to write off their 2021 season, of course. Still, it’s fair to wonder if they have the funds remaining to bring back Jackie Bradley Jr. The team remains in contact with Bradley, however, and plans to do so “until his free agency resolves.” Though your read may differ, Bloom’s passive word choice doesn’t project the picture of an aggressive forthcoming attempt to woo Bradley back to Fenway, despite his point here being that a reunion remains possible.
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Steve Adams <![CDATA[Yankees Trade Adam Ottavino To Red Sox]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=353267 2021-01-25T20:20:23Z 2021-01-25T19:15:14Z 1:15pm: The teams have announced the trade.

11:45am: In an ultra-rare swap between AL East rivals, the Yankees have reportedly traded right-hander Adam Ottavino to the Red Sox in exchange for cash or a player to be named later. Boston will receive Ottavino and minor league right-hander Frank German from the Yankees in a move that amounts to a salary dump for the Yanks and the purchase of pitching prospect and a bullpen rebound candidate for the Red Sox.

Adam Ottavino | Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

After acquiring Jameson Taillon from the Pirates and agreeing to terms with DJ LeMahieu and Corey Kluber, the Yankees found themselves with roughly one million dollars separating them from the tax threshold, per Roster Resource’s Jason Martinez. Ottavino came with a $9MM luxury hit by virtue of the three-year, $27MM free-agent deal he signed two years ago, and the Yankees will now shave the bulk of that sum from their luxury obligations. ESPN’s Buster Olney reports that they’re sending $850K to the Red Sox as part of the deal, so the Yankees are freeing up $8.15MM of luxury breathing room.

That space will prove vital, given ownership’s apparent mandate that the front office stay under the tax threshold. The Yankees have recently spoken to Brett Gardner’s camp about a reunion, and the club could yet be in the hunt for affordable rotation depth even after adding Kluber and Taillon. Both are coming off injury-ruined 2020 seasons, after all, and the rest of the team’s rotation comes with similar workload concerns.

The trade between the two teams is the first in six and a half years, when they swapped Stephen Drew and Kelly Johnson in 2014. MLB.com’s Mark Feinsand points out that this is only the second trade that Yankees GM Brian Cashman has ever made with his organization’s top rival.

While finances are the clear driving factor in this trade, it’s unlikely the Yankees would’ve made the move had Ottavino not struggled through a dismal showing in last year’s shortened season. The 35-year-old appeared in 24 games but totaled just 18 1/3 innings of work, yielding a dozen runs on 20 hits and nine walks with 25 punchouts in that time. Ottavino’s 5.89 ERA was his highest since debuting as a rookie with the Cardinals back in 2010, although fielding-independent metrics were more bullish on his work (3.52 FIP, 3.62 SIERA).

Control has never been a strong point for Ottavino, but he dropped his walk rate from 13.8 percent in 2017-19 to 10.6 percent last year. It’s easy to call his ERA a result of a sky-high .375 average on ball in play, but Ottavino’s struggles appeared to be more than a function of simple bad luck. In spite of his improved control, the right-hander’s strikeout rate dipped a bit (31.5 percent to 29.4 percent), and Ottavino yielded hard contact at a career-high rate (90.6 mph average exit velocity; 50 percent hard-hit rate). Ottavino was a high-quality reliever as recently as 2018-19 between the Rockies and Yankees, however, when he logged a combined 2.19 ERA and 33.8 percent strikeout rate through 144 innings of work.

Boston surely hopes that Ottavino will return to form, but the Sox are also using available payroll flexibility to add a pitcher who isn’t viewed as being too far from MLB-ready. The 23-year-old German was a fourth-round pick out of college and a late riser on draft boards in 2018, as Eric Longenhagen wrote last year at FanGraphs. German added muscle to a projectable frame between his junior and senior years of college and saw his velocity spike late in the 2018 NCAA season. He’s continued to add velocity in pro ball, per Longenhagen, though there are concerns about his secondary offerings. MLB.com previously ranked German 24th among Yankees prospects, so he’ll settle somewhere into the middle tiers of the Red Sox’ rankings now.

In many ways underscores, this unexpected trade speaks to how both clubs view Boston’s chances of competing in 2021. If the Red Sox genuinely expected to compete for a division title, would they help the Yankees by giving them further payroll space to operate underneath the tax threshold? And if the Yankees viewed the Red Sox as a threat, would they risk sending a talented reliever — albeit one in need of a rebound — to their nemesis? The optics of a revitalized Ottavino playing a key role in a Red Sox bullpen that marches to the postseason would be brutal for the Yankees.

That’s not to write off the Red Sox entirely, of course. There’s still a very talented core group of players in Boston, but the team’s chances of contending in 2021 are largely dependent on a number of unknown elements breaking their way. The Sox don’t yet know how Chris Sale will look in his return from Tommy John surgery, for instance, nor are they certain what they can expect from Eduardo Rodriguez after he missed the 2020 season due to Covid-19 and a subsequent myocarditis diagnosis. Key lineup pieces like J.D. Martinez and Andrew Benintendi are in search of their own rebounds after downturns in 2020, and the Sox lack proven options at first base, in the back of the rotation and the back of the bullpen. Ottavino merely adds another question mark to that lengthy list.

Lindsey Adler of The Athletic first reported (via Twitter) that Ottavino had been traded to Boston. The New York Post’s Joel Sherman added details on the other elements of the swap.

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TC Zencka <![CDATA[Red Sox Were Runner-Up For Profar]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=350303 2021-01-24T00:30:37Z 2021-01-24T00:12:02Z The Mets made a play for Garrett Richards before the veteran righty signed with the Red Sox, notes MLB Insider Jon Heyman (via Twitter). The Mets have made their rotation a project this offseason. They are seemingly in a good place even without Richards, however. Jacob deGrom, Carlos Carrasco, and Marcus Stroman make for a very strong top three, and hopes remain high that David Peterson will maintain a spot behind them. Noah Syndergaard plans to join that group at some point, and even if Seth Lugo returns to the bullpen, the Mets have no shortage of depth options – foremost of which might be the recently-acquired Joey Lucchesi. Beyond the ex-Padre, Steven Matz, Robert Gsellman, Franklyn Kilome, Corey Oswalt, and Jerad Eickhoff surely have eyes for the rotation. In other news…

  • The Red Sox themselves were runners-up in an attempt to sign Jurickson Profar, per the San Diego Union-Tribune. Boston, of course, ended up with Kiké Hernández on a similar, but shorter contract. It’s not clear if the Red Sox preferred Profar to Hernandez, though Hernández signing merely hours after Profar re-upped with San Diego is notable. Still, one does not necessarily follow the other. All we can say for certain is that Profar’s returning to San Diego thinned Boston’s market for versatile utility types. That the Red Sox engaged in parallel negotiations with similar players doesn’t actually speak to their priorities where those players are concerned.
  • After all, they may very well have been interested in signing both players, as Boston remains on the hunt for a lefty bench bat. In a perfect world, the Red Sox would find someone who could complement Bobby Dalbec at first, per Chris Cotillo of MassLive.com (via Twitter). Cotillo floats Marwin Gonzalez, Brad Miller, and Mitch Moreland as some players that might fit the bill. Boston’s bench leans heavily to the right at present, with Jonathan Arauz as one of very few organizational options as a lefty bat off the bench unless Jarren Duran makes the team out of spring training.
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Mark Polishuk <![CDATA[Red Sox To Sign Garrett Richards]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=350118 2021-01-23T20:51:32Z 2021-01-23T18:58:33Z The Red Sox and right-hander Garrett Richards have agreed to a one-year, $10MM deal, ESPN.com’s Jeff Passan reports (Twitter link).  The contract also includes a club option for 2022 that is also worth $10MM, according to The Boston Globe’s Alex Speier (Twitter links), with escalators that could increase both the base value of the option beyond $10MM, and also increase the value of the buyout.  The deal will become official once Richards passes a physical.  Richards is represented by ISE Baseball.

Reports circulated yesterday that Richards and the Sox were making progress towards an agreement, and with Richards now in the fold, Boston has taken another big step towards strengthening its rotation.  Martin Perez was also re-signed last week, and between Richards, Perez, and swingman Matt Andriese, the Red Sox have added some veteran arms to the rotation mix and pushed some less-experienced arms (i.e. Tanner Houck, Chris Mazza) further down the depth chart.

Garrett RichardsOf course, the 32-year-old Richards also cannot be called an entirely sure thing, as he is less than two years removed from a Tommy John surgery that wiped out much of his 2019 season.  Richards did post some solid results in 2020, however, delivering a 4.03 ERA, 21.6K%, and 13.6K-BB% over 51 1/3 innings for the Padres, starting 10 games before being moved to the bullpen for his final four regular-season outings in anticipation for the playoffs.

Richards did have a 4.55 SIERA last year, and his Statcast numbers aren’t much to write home about apart from two key categories — a 99th percentile curveball spin rate, and a 97th percentile spin rate on his fastball.  Those types of elite metrics could hint at Richards reaching another level of production under the guidance of a more analytical front office and coaching staff, like the one chief baseball officer Chaim Bloom has assembled in Boston.

Perhaps moreso than unlocking spin-rate potential, the biggest issue facing Richards and the Red Sox is just how much durability can be expected from a pitcher who has thrown only 198 2/3 total innings since the start of the 2016 season.  In this sense, Richards becomes another injury question mark on a team that already has Nathan Eovaldi and Eduardo Rodriguez as its top two starters until Chris Sale makes his expected midseason return from his own Tommy John surgery.  The presence of Houck, Andriese, Mazza, Nick Pivetta and company allows the Sox some flexibility in the event of an injury, and if everyone is healthy, the club can get creative in resting pitchers or moving spot starters into the rotation to keep everyone fresh.

With Richards and the newly-signed Enrique Hernandez now on the books, the Red Sox have a projected (as per Roster Resource) luxury tax number of just under $198.5MM, putting them within shouting distance of the $210MM tax threshold.  If the Sox wish to stay under the threshold, some creativity may be required in carving out more payroll space, which could be part of the reason Andrew Benintendi’s name has been floated in trade speculation.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images

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Mark Polishuk <![CDATA[Red Sox Notes: Ozuna, Miller, Moreland, Semien]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=349870 2021-01-23T15:59:18Z 2021-01-23T15:51:44Z
  • The Dodgers, Brewers, Yankees, and Red Sox are among the teams interested in Marcell Ozuna, according to Hector Gomez of Deportivo Z 101 (via Twitter).  These four clubs are new additions to Ozuna’s market, while the Twins and Mets (also mentioned by Gomez) were linked to the slugger earlier this winter.  Ozuna is looking for at least a four-year contract, Gomez writes.  While financial demands weren’t mentioned, it can be assumed that Ozuna is looking for enough money to put the Dodgers and Yankees well over the $210MM luxury tax threshold, so it’s possible their interest is somewhat limited.  Such a signing would also put Boston close to the threshold, and while the Brewers are nowhere near the tax line, it would represent a very bold move by a Milwaukee team that wasn’t expected to spend much this winter.  It has been a relatively quiet offseason for Ozuna on the rumor mill, as his market may be dependent on whether or not the NL has a designated hitter spot available in 2021 and beyond.
  • Garrett Richards is one player who seems to no longer to be under consideration for the Blue Jays, as Cotillo reports that the Jays aren’t one of the teams still looking to sign the free agent righty.  “At least other teams” besides the Red Sox are still vying for Richards, Cotillo writes, though Boston seems to be relatively far along in discussions with Richards’ camp.
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    Connor Byrne <![CDATA[Red Sox, Enrique Hernandez Agree To Deal]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=349230 2021-01-23T03:44:09Z 2021-01-23T03:43:49Z 9:43pm: The contract includes deferrals, Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic tweets.

    7:24pm: It’s a two-year, $14MM pact for Hernandez, Feinsand reports. As Chris Cotillo of MassLive.com points out, this is the biggest free-agent deal chief baseball officer Chaim Bloom has given out since he took over Boston’s front office last offseason.

    7:00pm: Boston has agreed to a multiyear deal with Hernandez, per Mark Feinsand of MLB.com. Hernandez is a Wasserman client.

    3:5opm: The Red Sox and free-agent utilityman Enrique Hernandez have made progress toward a contract and could have an agreement by the end of the weekend, according to Jon Morosi of MLB.com.

    A Boston-Hernandez agreement wouldn’t come as any surprise, as the two sides have been linked in rumors for at least the past few weeks. Plus, as Morosi notes, Red Sox manager Alex Cora was Team Puerto Rico’s GM in the 2017 World Baseball Classic when Hernandez was part of the club.

    The 29-year-old Hernandez was a sixth-round pick of the Astros in 2009, but he has since been part of trades that have sent him to the Marlins and Dodgers. He found a home in Los Angeles from 2014-20, where he proved to be a useful cog as someone capable of playing all over the diamond (primarily second baseman and the outfield). He also recorded roughly league-average offensive production as a member of the Dodgers, with whom he batted .240/.312/.425 (98 wRC+) with 68 home runs 1,874 plate appearances. However, Hernandez’s numbers tailed off from 2019-20, so he shouldn’t come at an especially high price this offseason.

    If he does join the Red Sox, Hernandez would be an obvious candidate to get significant reps at second base, where the club finished 25th in fWAR (minus-0.2) last season. Michael Chavis and Christian Arroyo are the only healthy second basemen on Boston’s 40-man roster at the moment. Of course, they also some have questions with Jackie Bradley Jr. a free agent and Andrew Benintendi a trade candidate, so Hernandez could also be a factor in the grass.

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    Connor Byrne <![CDATA[Red Sox Reportedly "In Active Discussions With Garrett Richards]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=349472 2021-01-23T03:02:31Z 2021-01-23T02:15:04Z The Red Sox and free-agent right-hander Garrett Richards “are in active discussions,” Jon Morosi of MLB.com writes. However, there has been more than one team talking with Richards as of Friday, Morosi adds. The starter-needy Red Sox were rumored to be pursuing Richards as of a week ago. Richards was once at the front end of the Angels’ rotation, but a series of injuries limited him from 2016-19. The 32-year-old stayed healthy and produced decent results with the Padres last season, though, throwing 51 1/3 innings of 4.03 ERA/4.55 SIERA ball and averaging 95 mph on his fastball. [UPDATE: Talks between the Red Sox and Richards “are active and evolving,” according to Chris Cotillo of MassLive.com.]

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    Steve Adams <![CDATA[Red Sox Still In On Odorizzi, Who Seeks 3-Year Deal]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=348882 2021-01-22T20:15:58Z 2021-01-22T20:14:10Z Right-hander Jake Odorizzi’s current market includes the Angels, Giants, Blue Jays, Twins and Red Sox, tweets MLB.com’s Jon Morosi. Most of those clubs have been at least speculatively linked to Odorizzi at some point this winter, although it’s of at least some note that there’s still interest after those teams have added other pieces to their rotation already. The Angels agreed to a deal with Jose Quintana earlier this week, and the Twins inked J.A. Happ on a matching one-year deal. The Red Sox have brought back Martin Perez, while the Giants have brought in Anthony DeSclafani and Alex Wood. Odorizzi is still seeking a three-year deal, tweets MLB Network’s Jon Heyman. He and the Twins are still not seeing eye to eye in terms of the length of a potential contract or the total guarantee, Heyman adds.

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    Connor Byrne <![CDATA[Red Sox, Enrique Hernandez Have Had Talks "In Recent Days"]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=348028 2021-01-22T03:51:27Z 2021-01-22T03:32:02Z
  • The Red Sox continue to have interest in utility player Enrique Hernandez, as Chris Cotillo of MassLive.com reports that the two sides have held talks “in recent days.” However, Cotillo adds that it’s unknown if the Red Sox and Hernandez are nearing an agreement. In Boston, the former Dodger would be a candidate to rack up plenty of reps at second base, where he has played frequently. The Sox currently have Christian Arroyo, Michael Chavis and Yairo Munoz as in-house candidates to handle the keystone.
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    Jeff Todd <![CDATA[Minor MLB Transactions: 1/20/2021]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=347631 2021-01-21T06:15:47Z 2021-01-21T06:15:47Z Let’s check in on the latest minor moves from around the game …

    • The Red Sox have a deal of the minor-league variety with right-hander Zac Grotz, per Chris Cotillo of MassLive.com (via Twitter). Grotz receives an invitation to MLB Spring Training in the agreement. He’ll be looking to reach the majors for the third-straight year after reaching the professional ranks as a 28th-round pick. The former Mariner has surrendered twenty earned runs with a 22:19 K/BB ratio through 24 2/3 MLB innings.
    • The Winnipeg Goldeyes of the indy ball American Association have announced the addition of a pair of former big league hurlers. 31-year-old Ryan Dull will seek to earn his way back into the affiliated ranks after a series of tough campaigns. He excelled for the Athletics in 2016 but has struggled with injuries and performance lapses since. Also coming aboard is righty Josh Lucas, who has thrown 37 1/3 innings of 5.54 ERA ball at the game’s highest level (including a brief stint alongside Dull with the Athletics in 2018). Additionally, former Phillies farmhand Kyle Martin will be back to reprise his role as a top slugger for the Goldeyes.
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    Connor Byrne <![CDATA[Red Sox May Have Wanted Different Contract Structure For Corey Kluber]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=347214 2021-01-21T00:55:14Z 2021-01-21T00:55:14Z
  • The Red Sox “were ready to move on” two-time AL Cy Young-winning righty Corey Kluber before he agreed to a one-year, $11MM deal with the archrival Yankees last week, but they might have wanted to structure his contract differently, Alex Speier of the Boston Globe reports. With the Red Sox unlikely to contend in 2021, Speier suggests their preference may have been to sign Kluber to a one-year pact with an option. Kluber is a Massachusetts resident, but with New York more likely to push for a World Series in 2021, he found the Yankees to be a more appealing pick than the Red Sox.
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    Steve Adams <![CDATA[Red Sox Interested In Jeremy Jeffress]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=340300 2021-01-19T21:17:11Z 2021-01-19T21:17:11Z
  • MLB.com’s Mark Feinsand tweets that Jeremy Jeffress is on the radar of several clubs, including the Red Sox, Cubs, Astros, Dodgers, Mets, Phillies, Nationals and Blue Jays. It’s a wide field, though the level of interest of each team surely varies. The 33-year-old Jeffress was dominant back in 2018 but hasn’t replicated that form since. He did post an aesthetically pleasing 1.54 ERA and 54.4 percent grounder rate in 23 1/3 innings with the Cubs last year, but the rest of his numbers were something of a mess. Jeffress’ 13.6 percent walk rate was his worst since establishing himself as a consistent presence in MLB bullpens, while his 19.3 percent strikeout rate was 10 percent lower than his 29.8 percent clip from that brilliant 2018 campaign. Last year also saw Jeffress post career-worsts in average fastball velocity (93.3 mph), average exit velocity (89.9 mph) and hard-hit rate (45.6 percent). If Jeffress can rediscover his ’18 form, he’d be a premium late-inning option, but last year’s ERA was propped up by a .161 average on balls in play that is miles south of his career .308 mark.
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    Mark Polishuk <![CDATA[Red Sox Notes: Pedroia, Benintendi, Sale, Lester]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=343377 2021-01-19T18:52:42Z 2021-01-19T18:52:42Z “A resolution” between Dustin Pedroia and the Red Sox could come at some point this month, The Boston Globe’s Pete Abraham reports (Twitter link).  Knee injuries limited Pedroia to just nine games in 2018-19, and he didn’t play at all during the 2020 season, with Abraham adding that Pedroia isn’t intending to make one final comeback attempt.  2021 marks the final season of the eight-year, $110MM extension Pedroia signed in July 2013, and the second baseman is owed $12MM for the coming season.

    There has been an expectation that Pedroia could be cut loose in one fashion or another once the Sox were in need of a 40-man roster spot, as their 40-man is currently full.  Some type of buyout rather than an outright release is probably the likelier route, since “given Dustin’s status, [the Sox will] want to do this correctly,” Abraham notes.  One of the key figures in this era of Red Sox baseball, Pedroia hit .299/.365/.439 over 6777 career plate appearances (all in a Sox uniform), with a resume that includes the 2008 AL MVP Award, four All-Star appearances, and World Series rings from Boston’s 2007 and 2013 championship seasons.

    Some more from Fenway Park…

    • The Red Sox have asked at least one team for “a younger corner outfielder along with a minor-league pitcher not necessarily on the 40-man roster” as the trade return for Andrew Benintendi, WEEI.com’s Rob Bradford writes.  While Benintendi has drawn interest from several teams, the Phillies and Reds haven’t been involved in talks.  (The Rangers are also not in the mix, as Bradford originally reported last week.)  Former Red Sox president of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski is now running the Phils’ front office and the Reds have explored a Benintendi trade in the past, so there was speculation that those two clubs could be looking into acquiring Benintendi this time around.
    • Chris Sale’s return from Tommy John surgery is likely to come on the higher end of the usual 12-15 month recovery timeline, as ESPN.com’s Buster Olney writes that the Sox are “expected to be deliberate” in bringing the southpaw back to action.  Sale underwent his TJ procedure at the end of last March, putting him on track to return in late June or early July.  (Assuming the 2021 schedule goes as planned, it is easy to see a scenario where Sale doesn’t pitch until after the July 12-14 All-Star break.)  Since Sale is under contract through at least the 2024 season, the club is “apt to take a conservative approach” to ensure that Sale is fully recovered and ready for 2022 and beyond, rather than rushing him in any way this season.
    • The Red Sox hadn’t been in touch with Jon Lester as of December 9, Rob Bradford reported last month, and Bradford tweeted yesterday that there hadn’t been any new contact between the two sides prior to Lester’s new deal with the Nationals.  While Boston has been looking at a wide range of starting pitching options this offseason, it seems like a reunion with Lester was simply not on the club’s radar.
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    Steve Adams <![CDATA[Red Sox Trade C.J. Chatham To Phillies]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=340314 2021-01-18T18:23:28Z 2021-01-18T18:03:42Z The Phillies have acquired minor league infielder C.J. Chatham from the Red Sox in exchange for a player to be named later, per announcements from both teams. Right-hander Victor Arano has been designated for assignment in order to clear a roster spot, the Phillies added. MLB.com’s Jonathan Mayo reported (via Twitter) that Chatham was likely headed to Philadelphia just prior to the announcement.

    Chatham, 26, was the Red Sox’ second-round pick back in 2016, during Dave Dombrowski’s time as the team’s president of baseball operations. It seems as though Dombrowski, now heading up the Phillies’ baseball ops department, is still a firm believer in Chatham’s skill set. Chatham has yet to make his big league debut but spent the 2020 season at Boston’s alternate training site, where he continued to build on a solid 2019 showing in the upper minors. In 467 plate appearances between Double-A and Triple-A that year, Chatham hit .298/.333/.408 while logging time at both middle infield positions.

    Both Baseball America and MLB.com ranked Chatham 14th among Boston farmhands this past summer. BA tabs him as at least a bench piece in the Majors and perhaps even a passable regular option at second base. Chatham has fanned in just 18.2 percent of his minor league plate appearances and has an all-fields, contact-oriented approach at the plate due to a lack of power, per those scouting reports. He’s a versatile defender who could handle any infield spot, and Chatham still has a pair of minor league options remaining, which gives the Phils some flexible depth for the next couple of seasons.

    From Boston’s vantage point, a roster spot was needed to make Martin Perez’s new one-year deal with the team official. The Sox have yet to announce the Perez signing, but that’ll happen once he passes a physical.

    As for the 25-year-old Arano (26 next month), he spent the 2020 season in the Phillies’ 60-man player pool but didn’t make it to the Majors. Arano was limited to just three appearances in 2019 due to elbow surgery, and he missed a chunk of the 2018 campaign due to shoulder issues — rotator cuff inflammation, more specifically. He made his big league debut back in 2017 but has still managed to tally just 74 1/3 frames, in large part because of injury.

    Of course, Arano has also been impressive when he’s been healthy enough to take the hill. In those 74 2/3 innings, he boasts a 2.65 ERA and 3.38 SIERA. He’s also punched out 26.3 percent of the hitters he’s faced and walked a very manageable 7.6 percent of opponents. Arano is a fly-ball pitcher with average fastball velocity (93.6 mph) who leans heavily on his slider that has helped him to post an impressive 16.6 percent swinging-strike rate in his young career. The Phils have a week to trade Arano, release him or place him on outright waivers.

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