MLB Player News
Boston Red Sox manager John Farrell said Jackie Bradley will be the team's starting center fielder if he manages to hit consistently, WEEI.com reports.
Bradley re-established himself in Boston's outfield picture with a monster 27-game stretch from Aug. 7 to Sept. 7, but he finished the season hitting .138/.247/.263/.510 in the final 25 games. Those types of peaks and valleys are what Farrell is talking about. Bradley needs to minimize stretches of offensive futility.
Boston Red Sox manager John Farrell said having Hanley Ramirez (shoulder) play winter ball is not a sure thing, WEEI.com reports.
Farrell said Ramirez, like all the other players on the team, had some specific physical goals to achieve during the offseason, mentioning Ramirez's shoulder, some low-back pain, and getting to an optimum playing weight. The manager wants to be sure those issues have been addressed before the organization gives him the go-ahead to play. As evidence of Ramirez's slimmed-down physique, he posted this image on his Instagram account.
Hanley Ramirez told ESPN Deportes that he plans to play winter ball for the Licey Tigers in the Dominican Republic, WEEI.com reports.
Ramirez, who will be moved from left field to first base in 2016, said he'll get a jump on the new position, but will mainly serve as a designated hitter for Licey. Meanwhile, Boston general manager Dave Dombrowski said there's no plan in place for Ramirez to play this winter and that the ESPN Deportes report is only a rumor.
Rusney Castillo projects to open 2016 as Boston's starting left fielder, MLB.com reports.
Manager John Farrell indicated Castillo will be in left with Mookie Betts in right, flanking Jackie Bradley in center. Castillo signed a record-breaking $72 million contract in August of 2014, but an oblique injury and Betts' emergence pushed him to Triple-A to start 2015. He eventually came up to hit just .252/.288/.359 in 80 games with the Boston Red Sox , with a .225/.263/.292 line in September. Chances are, Castillo will have to swing his way out of a bottom-third spot in the batting order.
Mookie Betts projects to open 2016 as Boston's starting right fielder, MLB.com reports.
The Boston Red Sox seemed pleased with Betts' progress in center last season, but Jackie Bradley is clearly the best defensive outfielder on the team. Bradley is expected to take over in center and push Betts to right, with Rusney Castillo set to start the year in left field. This news does not affect Betts' fantasy outlook for 2016, as his playing time and spot atop the order should be secure no matter where he plays in the outfield.
The Boston Red Sox are leaning toward going with Jackie Bradley as their primary center fielder in 2016, MLB.com reports.
Mookie Betts got better as the season progressed and proved to be a capable center fielder in 2015, but manager John Farrell rightfully acknowledged that Bradley "is the best defensive outfielder" on the team. Betts is expected to move to right, but of course, Bradley will need to continue to hit to maintain a starting role throughout the year. The 25-year-old surprised a lot of people in that regard last season, batting .249/.335/.498 with 10 homers in 74 games with Boston.
Michael Choice was designated for assignment Wednesday, Jordan Bastian of MLB.com reports.
The Cleveland Indians acquired the former 10th overall pick from the Rangers in August and quickly opted to jettison him off their 40-man roster after acquiring Kirby Yates on Wednesday. Choice recorded a .239/.308/.393 slash line to go along with 13 home runs and 67 RBI with two different Triple-A affiliations in 2015, so it seems likely the Indians would like to see the 26-year-old remain with the organization if he passes through waivers unclaimed.
L.J. Hoes was traded to the Baltimore Orioles in exchange for cash considerations on Wednesday, Eduardo Encina of the Baltimore Sun reports.
Hoes was DFA'd by the Astros in November, despite a fairly strong year at Triple-A Fresno, where he hit .295/.383/.400 with 26 seals. The 25-year-old has appeared in 112 major league games, and while he's yet to prove he's an everyday outfielder, he's been effective enough to warrant spot starts off the bench.
Shannon Wilkerson re-signed with the Minnesota Twins on Monday, Mike Berardino of the St. Paul Pioneer Press reports.
Wilkerson has never been in the majors, but batted .292/.355/.378 in his 49 games for Chattanooga in 2015. His numbers were impressive enough that the Twins elected to keep him and to continue to develop him further.
Bubba Starling 's contract was selected by the Kansas City Royals on Friday.
Once considered a bust, Starling took great strides in 2015, and therefore the Royals wanted to protect him from the Rule 5 draft. While most of the big names from Starling's 2011 draft class have already debuted in the majors, his time may not come until 2017, as he has not yet played above Double-A.