Boston Red Sox – MLB Trade Rumors 2020-10-23T23:46:06Z WordPress Steve Adams <![CDATA[Red Sox Interview Luis Urueta, Don Kelly, Skip Schumaker, James Rowson]]> 2020-10-23T23:16:46Z 2020-10-23T23:15:08Z 6:15pm: The Red Sox have also interviewed Marlins bench coach James Rowson, Speier tweets.

5:46pm: The Red Sox have asked the Twins for permission to interview their bench coach, Mike Bell, according to Speier.

3:33pm: Boston has also interviewed Padres associate manager Skip Schumaker, Kevin Acee of the San Diego-Union Tribune tweets.

10:45am: The Red Sox interviewed Diamondbacks bench coach Luis Urueta for their vacant managerial post last week, ESPN’s Enrique Rojas reports. It’s the second time in the past year that Urueta has interviewed for the position. He was also a candidate after Alex Cora was let go, although the team opted to instead stick with an internal option in Ron Roenicke, who won’t return as skipper in 2021. Meanwhile, Alex Speier of the Boston Globe reports that the Sox interviewed Pirates bench coach Don Kelly as well.

Urueta, 40 in January, has held his current position in Arizona for three seasons. He’s previously served as Arizona’s minor league field coordinator in addition to managing the Diamondbacks’ Rookie-level affiliate, managing in the Dominican Winter League and managing Team Colombia in the 2017 World Baseball Classic.

The 40-year-old Kelly has fast risen as a popular managerial candidate after retiring as a player following the 2016 season. The longtime Tigers utilityman began working in Detroit’s player development part upon retiring and moved to their scouting staff the next year. He was hired as Houston’s first base coach for the 2018 season and hired as the Pirates’ bench coach under rookie skipper Derek Shelton last offseason.

There’s considerable speculation that Cora could return to Boston after his suspension for his role in the Astros’ 2017 cheating scandal has been served. That ban runs through the current postseason. However, the Red Sox have also reportedly interviewed Cubs third base coach Will Venable and, per MLB Network’s Jon Heyman, could talk to Dodgers first base coach George Lombard.

Connor Byrne <![CDATA[Mariners Claim Domingo Tapia From Red Sox]]> 2020-10-23T20:03:51Z 2020-10-23T20:03:51Z The Mariners announced that they have claimed right-hander Domingo Tapia from the Red Sox via waivers. Seattle now has 34 players on its 40-man roster.

Tapia, formerly a farmhand with the Mets and Reds, joined the Red Sox on a minor league contract last December. The hard-throwing 29-year-old wound up making his major league debut with Boston this past season and tossing 4 1/3 innings of one-run, four-hit ball with four strikeouts and two walks. Tapia has also spent time at the Triple-A level, where he has pitched to a 4.34 ERA and posted 6.8 K/9 against 3.9 BB/9 over 134 2/3 innings.

Mark Polishuk <![CDATA[How The Brewers Tried To Trade For Mookie Betts]]> 2020-10-23T02:46:17Z 2020-10-23T02:46:17Z Could Mookie Betts have blossomed to stardom in a Brewers uniform?  It could have been a reality if former Milwaukee GM Doug Melvin had had his way, as he tried to acquire Betts from the Red Sox in 2013 in exchange for closer Francisco Rodriguez, according to’s Adam Berry and Adam McCalvy.  As a fifth-round pick for Boston in the 2011 draft, “Mookie sort of went under the radar if you went by the so-called MLB Pipeline or whatever.  I don’t think at the time he was in their top 10-15 prospects,” Melvin said.  Both the Brewers’ analytics and scouting departments agreed on Betts’ potential, however, so the pitch was made to then-Red Sox general manager Ben Cherington, who wisely declined the offer.

  • Cubs third base coach Will Venable spoke with the Tigers about their managerial vacancy, NBC Sports Chicago’s Gordon Wittenmyer reports.  Venable was first cited as a potential candidate for the Tigers job back in September, and Venable has also recently interviewed with the Red Sox about their managerial job.  Beyond the Red Sox and Tigers, “other clubs also have sought the Cubs’ permission to talk with Venable about other, non-managerial openings in their organizations,” Wittenmyer writes.  A veteran of nine MLB seasons, Venable has spent the last three years in Wrigleyville as a special assistant to Theo Epstein, as well as a first base and third base coach.  This is the second straight winter that Venable has been a popular candidate, as the Cubs considered him for their own manager’s job last offseason, and the Astros and Giants also interviewed him for their managerial openings.
TC Zencka <![CDATA[Red Sox Interview Will Venable For Manager]]> 2020-10-22T15:50:40Z 2020-10-22T15:50:40Z The Red Sox are beginning the process of bringing in candidates for their managerial opening. Cubs coach Will Venable has already come in to interview, while George Lombard of the Dodgers and Don Kelly of the Pirates are likely on the list of incoming interviewees, per MLB Network’s Jon Heyman (via Twitter). Venable has been a popular managerial candidate recently. He interviewed for openings with the Astros and Giants last season, ultimately returning to the Cubs to serve as their third base coach in 2020. The former player moved back into the dugout for the 2018 season after being hired by the Cubs as a special assistant. For the Red Sox opening, however, Alex Cora continues to be seen as the favorite, though he will not be able to interview for the role until his suspension lifts after the conclusion of the World Series.

TC Zencka <![CDATA[Latest On Red Sox’ Upcoming Roster Decisions]]> 2020-10-17T20:15:38Z 2020-10-17T20:15:38Z The Red Sox have 53 players that must be on the 40-man roster or else be cut or exposed to selection in the Rule 5 draft, writes Chris Cotillo of That’s quite the roster puzzle to put together, though it’s not so different from the roster quandaries that every team faces this time of year. Cotillo suggests that Connor Wong, Hudson Potts, Jeisson Rosario, Jay Groome, Bryan Mata, and Connor Seabold are the prospects Boston will add to to 40-man roster in the coming weeks. Outfielder Marcus Wilson is also a fair bet to make that list.

Some of the departures are easy to spot, such as free agent to be Jackie Bradley Jr., or DFA candidates like Jose Peraza, , Matt Hall, Zack Godley, Andrew Triggs, Cesar Puello, Tzu-Wei Lin. Dustin Pedroia is also a likely removal, despite the $12.125MM he is owed for 2021.

The fact is, the Red Sox more likely to move on from much more than just 13 players, the number it would take to get their 40-man roster down to 40. They’ll need space to add players, as well. Especially for a team like the Red Sox – given their place in the rebuilding cycle – they are more likely to add a flyer or two, as well as make a selection in the Rule 5 draft.

Of course, arbitration is a particularly tricky process this season, complicating DFA decisions, which the Athletic’s Chad Jennings runs down using projections from MLBTR’s Matt Swartz as a guide. Rafael Devers has an interesting case as he enters his first season of arbitration. His .263/.310/.483 line with 11 home runs in 57 games this season was somewhere between his best and worst campaign, but without knowing how arbitration panels will handle the shortened season, projecting his salary is anyone’s guess. Swartz pegs Devers as being in line for somewhere between $3.4MM and $6.3MM. That’s quite the spread for one player, which only highlights the struggle roster architects have ahead of them this winter.

Mark Polishuk <![CDATA[BoSox Asked A's For Permission To Speak With Billy Beane In 2019]]> 2020-10-13T20:05:13Z 2020-10-13T19:58:57Z
  • Since front office hiring negotiations aren’t usually recreated as movie scenes, it is common knowledge that the Red Sox tried to lure Billy Beane away from Oakland in 2002.  However, the Athletic’s Evan Drellich (Twitter link) reports that the Sox made a much more recent overture for Beane’s services, asking the Athletics for permission to speak with Beane just last year when the Sox were looking for a new front office boss.  Chaim Bloom ended up being hired as the Red Sox chief baseball officer, though it’s possible Bloom could have been hired to work under Beane, as Red Sox ownership wanted “a senior voice for someone more inexperienced.”  As it turned out, Bloom became the top voice in Boston’s baseball operations pyramid and Beane remained with the A’s, though Beane’s future has become the subject of speculation in recent days.
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    Anthony Franco <![CDATA[Billy Beane’s MLB Future Uncertain]]> 2020-10-13T00:52:04Z 2020-10-12T23:27:18Z Athletics executive vice president of baseball operations Billy Beane is co-chair of RedBall Acquisition Corp., a company in talks with current Red Sox ownership, Fenway Sports Group, about a potential merger that would see RedBall take over a 25% ownership stake in the Boston franchise. Those talks are in their early stages and a deal isn’t an inevitability, but there’d be an obvious conflict of interest if the parties do eventually come to an agreement. (Beane also has an approximate 1% ownership stake in the Athletics, notes Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle).

    If the potential RedBall-FSG merger were to go through, Beane would likely step down from his position with the A’s, report Jared Diamond, Joshua Robinson and Miriam Gotffried of the Wall Street Journal. Slusser hears the same, noting that the deal might be finalized by the end of the calendar year. Beane leaving the A’s wouldn’t be surprising under those circumstances, but he’s not planning to make the jump to the Red Sox front office. Rather, Beane would step away from MLB front office work altogether, per the reports, likely to pursue a position with a European soccer club. The 58-year-old has spoken about his affinity for soccer in the past, and he was part of a group that purchased English club Barnsley FC in 2017, as Eric Chesterton of detailed at the time.

    Red Sox principal owner John Henry has long had an affinity for Beane. Henry tried unsuccessfully to coax Beane out of Oakland in 2002 to take over the Red Sox baseball operations, shortly before the publication of Moneyball helped make the latter one of the most famous sports executives in history. The two men also share a passion for soccer, with Fenway Sports Group purchasing Premier League club Liverpool FC in 2010.

    It’s worth reiterating that nothing is yet official between RedBall and FSG. Beane was part of the A’s season-ending media call with general manager David Forst and manager Bob Melvin last week and gave no indication he was contemplating an imminent exit, the Wall Street Journal notes. Beane has declined comment regarding his future, but one source told Slusser he might “like a new adventure.” The A’s front office was especially frustrated with ownership’s decision to institute widespread layoffs and furloughs over the summer, Slusser adds, although it’s unclear if that has any impact on Beane’s thought process.

    If Beane were to step away, the A’s would unsurprisingly hand the reins to Forst, Slusser reports. The 44-year-old has been in the organization since 2000 and served as GM for the past five seasons. Forst signed a long-term extension two years ago and has longed seemed the baseball operations leader of the future in Oakland.

    TC Zencka <![CDATA[Changes Made To Red Sox Coaching Staff]]> 2020-10-12T15:51:33Z 2020-10-12T15:34:45Z The Boston Red Sox announced a couple of changes to their coaching staff. Bench coach Jerry Narron and bullpen coach Craig Bjornson will not be returning in 2021, per WEEI’s Rob Bradford and others (via Twitter).

    The Red Sox will bring in a new manager at some point this winter after announcing the dismissal of Ron Roenicke in September. Roenicke was promoted from bench coach when Alex Cora was fired following MLB’s investigation into the Astros’ sign-stealing scandal. There have been rumblings that Cora could come back to resume his role as Red Sox manager, with MLB Insider Jon Heyman going so far as to say he is the favorite for the role.

    In the meantime, many other members of the coaching staff appear to be returning in 2021 regardless of who takes the top job. Hitting coach Tim Hyers, assistant hitting coach Peter Fatse, pitching coach Dave Bush, assistant pitching coach Kevin Walker, third-base coach Carlos Febles, first-base coach Tom Goodwin, and coach Ramon Vazquez are all said to be returning, per Alex Speier of the Boston Globe (via Twitter). It’s still certainly possible that more changes could come whenever the manager role is filled.

    Mark Polishuk <![CDATA[Red Sox Ownership Group Exploring Taking Company Public]]> 2020-10-10T15:36:22Z 2020-10-10T15:15:44Z Fenway Sports Group LLC is in negotiations with special purpose acquisition company RedBall Acquisition Corp that would eventually see Fenway Sports (owners of the Red Sox and Liverpool FC of the Premier League) go public, Cara Lombardo and Miriam Gottfried of the Wall Street Journal report.

    The proposed merger would eventually see Fenway Sports valued at $8 billion (including debt) after going public.  RedBall would spend roughly $1.575 billion to become minority partners in this overall enterprise, with Red Sox owner John Henry and his Fenway Sports Group partners retaining majority control.

    As Lombardo and Gottfried put it, “the talks are in the early innings and could still fall apart,” so it could still be some time before we see any concrete news.  And, it could be that the biggest impact takes place on the soccer front rather than the baseball front, as Lombardo and Gottfried hear that a Fenway Sports/RedBall partnership could look to buy more soccer clubs around Europe.  RedBall are already the majority owners of Toulouse FC, buying the French team last July.

    Perhaps the most intriguing baseball-related aspect of this deal is that longtime Athletics executive Billy Beane is RedBall’s co-chair.  (A’s minority owner Lew Wolff is also on the board.)  The other co-chair, Gerry Cardinale, also has some significant MLB ties, as Cardinale sits on the Yankees’ board and was involved in the development of the YES Network — Cardinale’s private equity firm, RedBird Capital, still owns a minority share of YES.

    Should the Fenway Sports/RedBall venture go forward, it’s hard to imagine Beane would continue to remain with the A’s if he is that heavily involved in the ownership group of a rival team’s parent company.  Following the 2018 season, Beane signed a contract extension of unknown length to remain as the Athletics’ executive VP of baseball operations.  Beane also has a four percent ownership stake in the A’s, as per an earlier contract extension from back in 2005.

    Mark Polishuk <![CDATA[Red Sox Won’t Retain Ron Roenicke For 2021 Season]]> 2020-09-27T17:58:39Z 2020-09-27T17:23:41Z Ron Roenicke won’t be managing the Red Sox in 2021, the team announced.  In an official press release from the Sox, chief baseball officer Chaim Bloom said the following:

    “Throughout this difficult season, Ron’s consistency and professionalism kept the environment in our clubhouse productive and gave all of our players room to grow and develop.  While we believe that, moving forward, we will benefit from new leadership and new energy, that does not diminish how strongly we feel about Ron.  He is a man of the highest character who cares about our players and the Red Sox organization.  As bench coach, he helped this team win a world championship.  As manager, he showed poise and leadership in navigating an extremely challenging year.  We are grateful for all of his contributions in our uniform.”

    The release also stated that “a search for a new manager will begin immediately,” though speculation has already focused on whether or not this search will somewhat quickly center around Boston’s old manager — Alex Cora.  The Red Sox fired Cora last January, a day after he was implicated as a major instigator of the Astros’ sign-stealing scandal in his previous role as Houston’s bench coach.  The Sox interviewed several names as Cora’s replacement before deciding to promote Roenicke from bench coach to interim manager (and then eventually, full-time manager once the interim tag was removed in April).

    Major League Baseball ended up suspending Cora for the 2020 season for his role in the Astros’ scandal, and it’s worth noting that back in April, Bloom and Red Sox president Sam Kennedy both indicated that there were no plans to eventually bring Cora back into the fold.  Barring any updated statements from Red Sox brass or from Cora himself, the speculation about a potential reunion is likely to continue until a new manager has been hired.

    If Cora isn’t the choice, it will be fascinating to see who Bloom chooses in his first proper managerial hire since taking over Boston’s front office last year.  Former coaches and players with ties to the Rays (Bloom’s old organization) will surely be mentioned as candidates, and one would imagine a new skipper might be a first-time hire who is both relatively young and not far removed from a playing career.  This fits the description of both Rays manager Kevin Cash and Cora at the time of his initial hire with the Sox, so both Bloom and Red Sox upper management might feel comfortable with this type of modern managerial profile.

    Roenicke will manage today’s game, looking to end a tough season on a high note.  The Red Sox are 23-36 and currently in last place in the AL East, thanks in large part to a lack of pitching.  Injuries (Chris Sale and Eduardo Rodriguez chief among them) were a big culprit, though the Sox seemingly lacked rotation depth even when those two arms were expected to be part of the 2020 staff.  Between the on-field struggles, the twin aftermaths of Cora’s firing and the Mookie Betts trade lingering over Fenway Park, and the unforeseen circumstances of the COVID-19 pandemic, Bloom’s description of 2020 as “an extremely challenging year” is an understatement.

    The 64-year-old Roenicke took on a big league managerial post for the second time in his career, following a five-year stint with the Brewers from 2011-15.  Beyond his managerial jobs in Boston and Milwaukee, Roenicke has over 20 years as a Major League coach and as a minor league coach and manager.  Roenicke’s coaching resume includes a pair of World Series rings, one in 2002 as the Angels’ third base coach and another in 2018 as Boston’s bench coach.

    Connor Byrne <![CDATA[Latest On Chris Sale, Eduardo Rodriguez]]> 2020-09-25T21:12:25Z 2020-09-25T21:11:02Z SEPT. 25: The Red Sox received “really good news” regarding Rodriguez on Friday, Roenicke told Ian Browne of and other reporters. Rodriguez has been cleared to start walking again in a couple of weeks, and the Red Sox are hopeful he’ll be able to have a normal offseason.

    SEPT. 24: The Red Sox have gone all season without their two best starters, left-handers Chris Sale and Eduardo Rodriguez, because of health problems. Thanks in part to their absences, the Red Sox have gone a horrible 22-34 – the second-worst record in the American League. However, the hope is that the Red Sox will have one or both of the Sale-Rodriguez tandem back when the 2021 campaign commences.

    Manager Ron Roenicke issued updates on Sale and Rodriguez on Thursday, saying (via Jen McCaffrey of The Athletic; Twitter links) that the former is coming along well in his recently started throwing program and the latter will meet with doctors in the coming days to determine next steps. Sale has been on the shelf since undergoing Tommy John surgery in March, while Rodriguez has been down with myocarditis after a bout with the coronavirus.

    For Boston’s starting staff, there’s no doubting the importance of Sale or Rodriguez. Sale, a longtime ace, signed a five-year, $145MM extension before the 2019 season, and while his numbers dipped after that, he remained an above-average starter. He still has four guaranteed seasons left on that deal. Rodriguez has given the Red Sox solid production since he debuted in 2015, and with next season being his final year of arbitration eligibility, it could be a crucial campaign for him.

    Without Sale and Rodriguez, the Red Sox’s rotation has struggled to the majors’ second-worst ERA and FIP in 2020. They’ve completely lacked solutions beyond Nathan Eovaldi and Martin Perez, who could return to the team next year as complements to Sale and Rodriguez if the latter two are well enough to pitch by then.

    Connor Byrne <![CDATA[J.D. Martinez Doesn’t Expect To Opt Out]]> 2020-09-25T20:31:54Z 2020-09-25T20:30:17Z Red Sox designated hitter J.D. Martinez will face an opt-out decision at season’s end, but the slugger told Jen McCaffrey of The Athletic and other reporters Friday that he’s unlikely to leave behind the remainder of his contract.

    “Given the situation, I’m probably not leaning that way,” said Martinez, who will discuss the matter with agent Scott Boras.

    It wouldn’t be at all surprising to see Martinez stay put, as he’d otherwise be vacating the final two years and $38.75MM left on his deal. Martinez is slated to earn that money as part of the five-year, $110MM contract he signed before 2018, at which point the former Astro, Tiger and Diamondback was one of the sport’s most feared sluggers. Martinez continued to thrive in his first year in Boston, which he helped to a World Series then, but has since seen his production tumble.

    While Martinez remained a terrific hitter last year, when he slashed .304/.383/.557 with 36 home runs in 657 plate appearances, those numbers still fell well shy of the otherworldly output he managed from 2016-17. Martinez could have opted out after last season, but he elected not to do so.

    As for this season, it’s shocking how poorly Martinez has performed, as the 33-year-old owns a .217/.293/.389 line with a mere six homers over 222 trips to the plate. It’s the worst production Martinez has offered since 2013, his final season with the Astros and the last year before he broke through as a star offensive player.

    Even if Martinez had another fine campaign, opting out would have been risky because of the uncertain economic landscape a pandemic-shortened season will present for baseball. Martinez even expressed leeriness about the upcoming free-agency period three weeks ago. Now, it looks even less likely he’ll return to the open market in the coming weeks.

    Connor Byrne <![CDATA[Nick Pivetta To Make Red Sox Debut Tuesday]]> 2020-09-22T02:29:28Z 2020-09-22T02:29:28Z
  • Right-hander Nick Pivetta will make his Red Sox debut Tuesday with a start against the Orioles, Jim Salisbury of NBC Sports Philadelphia relays. Pivetta, whom the Red Sox acquired from the Phillies last month in the teams’ trade centering on relievers Brandon Workman and Heath Hembree, pitched to a 5.50 ERA/4.64 FIP in 396 1/3 innings from 2017-20.
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    Anthony Franco <![CDATA[Minor MLB Transactions: 09/19/20]]> 2020-09-20T03:01:38Z 2020-09-20T03:01:38Z Today’s minor moves:

    • The Red Sox have selected the contract of outfielder César Puello. Right-hander Zack Godley has been placed on the 45-day injured list, while infielder Yairo Muñoz went on the 10-day injured list (retroactive to September 18) with a lower back strain. The 29-year-old Puello only has 186 MLB plate appearances to his name, but he’s built a strong track record in Triple-A. In parts of five seasons at the minors’ highest level, Puello has put up a .292/.391/.446 line.
    Mark Polishuk <![CDATA[Red Sox Chairman: “We Expect To Be Competitive Next Year”]]> 2020-09-19T14:56:20Z 2020-09-19T14:54:53Z On the heels of what team chairman Tom Werner described as “a very disappointing season,” Werner said the Red Sox are planning for a return to form in 2021.  In an interview on NESN’s Gameday Live show yesterday (hat tip to’s Chris Cotillo), Werner noted that the Sox were hampered by multiple injuries this season, though “we’re not going to make any excuses.  The only thing I’ll say is that there were a number of bright spots this year.  We’re already attacking the challenges and we expect to be competitive next year.”

    The Red Sox are 19-33, a record that puts them in last place in the AL East and 28th of 30 teams (ahead of only the Pirates and Rangers) in winning percentage.  Injuries were indeed a factor as Werner mentioned, most notably Chris Sale being lost to Tommy John surgery and Eduardo Rodriguez missing the entire season after developing myocarditis stemming from a bout of COVID-19.  While the pitching staff never recovered from the loss of those key arms, there were also issues on the position player side, as the likes of J.D. Martinez and Andrew Benintendi underachieved at the plate.

    With the postseason out of reach early, the Red Sox did some selling at the deadline, trading such players as Mitch Moreland, Brandon Workman, Heath Hembree, and Kevin Pillar.  However, the fact that Boston didn’t move any true long-term assets was the first hint that the club wasn’t planning any sort of big overhaul.

    We don’t want this to be a long rebuilding process….We’ve got a lot of assets and, as everybody knows, we spend and we’re not a small-market team,” Werner said.  “We’re going to be back next year.”

    After two years of luxury tax payments, the Red Sox got their payroll under the tax threshold in 2020, thus resetting their penalty limit to zero and allowing the team to surpass the 2021 threshold ($210MM) if necessary with only a minimal penalty fee.  Of course, last year’s hiring of former Rays executive Chaim Bloom as chief baseball officer indicates that the Sox are likely planning a more efficient approach to spending that would keep them from regularly crossing the tax line, even if Boston will surely still have one of the sport’s higher payrolls.

    Xander Bogaerts, Rafael Devers, Alex Verdugo, and promising rookie Bobby Dalbec are bolstering a lineup that is still quite productive, though “there’s no secret to the fact that pitching wins pennants for you….It’s going to start with pitching,” Werner said.  Rodriguez and Nathan Eovaldi project as Boston’s top two starters next year, Martin Perez seems like a good candidate to return on a $6.25MM club option for 2021, and Sale is on track to return in June or July given the usual Tommy John recovery timeframe.  It seems very likely that the Red Sox will augment this group with at least one new pitcher, though it is yet to be known if Bloom will aim to make a big splash or if he will score on a lower-cost acquisition.