Here’s the latest from Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe:
- The Red Sox are in reasonable position to welcome David Ortiz back to the fold if he chooses to delay retirement. Cafardo points out that there could be many factors getting in the way of an Ortiz return, like the fact that Ortiz retired in the first place, or that his return would have luxury tax ramifications for the club. But the team has avoided substantial commitments to players who might get in his way, and even Mitch Moreland, recently added on a one-year deal, might be more of a replacement for Travis Shaw’s work at first base than Ortiz’s at DH. And Ortiz, of course, recently penned a provocative Instgram post expressing excitement at the Red Sox’ acquisition of Chris Sale.
- The Red Sox would prefer to trade Clay Buchholz, but they would generate more interest from other teams if they were to make Drew Pomeranz available instead, Cafardo writes. Buchholz is set to make $13.5MM next year, while Pomeranz will make about $4.7MM, as MLBTR projected. (I’d add that Pomeranz is also controllable through 2018, while Buchholz is not.) The medicals on both pitchers “probably aren’t that great,” a rival executive says. Buchholz missed time in 2015 with an elbow injury, and Pomeranz had a forearm issue last year.
- It doesn’t sound like Jonathan Papelbon will pick a new team anytime soon. According to his agent, Seth Levinson, Papelbon is dealing with a family matter, and wants to be dedicated to that issue until it’s resolved. “We hope that people can respect his privacy during this time,” Levinson says.
- The Diamondbacks recently added retired righty Dan Haren as a “pitching strategist,” but D’backs manager Torey Lovullo says not to expect Haren to be in the public eye. “I think he’s going to be somebody behind the scenes, and that’s by his choice,” Lovullo says. “He wants to just remain behind the scenes and help our pitchers be successful. I think he has an attachment to Arizona. … So I think there’s a good starting point for him to come in and come up with a game plan as to how to reach some of these guys and how to help them as quickly as possible.”
- Rival front offices have been careful in making trades with Padres GM A.J. Preller, who recently served a 30-day suspension over a failure to disclose medical information. “I think it’s just human nature to keep your eyes open when dealing with him at least for a while,” says one executive.