Tag:Boston Red Sox
Posted on: December 19, 2009 10:24 pm
Edited on: December 19, 2009 10:30 pm

Boston, Texas deal for Lowell falls apart

One of the more intriguing trade agreements from the winter meetings earlier this month in Indianapolis fell apart Saturday when the Rangers nixed the proposed Mike Lowell deal because of the third baseman's thumb injury, CBSSports.com has confirmed.

An examination of Lowell by specialists revealed that the injury, suffered late in the season, remains a problem: Lowell, according to sources, was found to have a torn radial collateral ligament in his right thumb, an injury that will require surgery following the holidays. Expected recovery time is six to eight weeks, which would mean that Lowell should be ready for spring training but might have to start slowly.

As part of the extensive physical examination the Rangers conducted, Lowell saw a hand specialist in Arizona on Friday and then met with other physicians in Arlington, Tex., on Saturday. The Rangers learned enough to scotch a deal that would have sent minor league catcher Max Ramirez and $3 million in cash to Boston with the Red Sox covering $9 million of Lowell's $12 million 2010 salary.

The Rangers have been looking for a middle-of-the-lineup bat and were hoping to use Lowell, who will be 36 on opening day, as a part-time designated hitter, first baseman and even spot him in at third base to give Michael Young the occasional day off.

Lowell, however, has an extensive injury history, most recently the thumb and a troublesome right hip. He underwent surgery on that, for a torn labrum, following the 2008 season. It was because of these two injuries in particular that the Rangers moved along at such a deliberate pace. While the framework of this deal was set in Indianapolis, officials from both clubs cautioned that several things needed to happen before it would be done.

Saturday's news is highly inconvenient for the Red Sox, who were hoping to move Lowell, clearing room for them to do two things: Add a middle-of-the-order bat who also upgrades the club defensively. Among other options, Boston has been courting free agent third baseman Adrian Beltre and keeping in touch with the Padres regarding a possible Adrian Gonzalez deal.

In the latter, which sources say remains an point of intrigue for Boston but is not close to happening, Gonzalez could play first base and Kevin Youkilis would slide over to third.

But the development with Lowell's thumb now will make it impossible for the Red Sox to deal him before spring training. Clubs with any interest will want to see him play first and make sure he's healthy. Lowell batted .290 with 17 homers and 75 RBIs for the Sox in '09 but hurt his thumb taking batting practice during the season's final week.

The news also isn't good for the Rangers, who are trying to add a strong right-handed bat but don't have much money. The club is up for sale amid owner Tom Hicks' serious financial problems. With Boston paying much of the freight for Lowell, the Rangers had found a fairly creative way to improve inexpensively.

Now, without Lowell, the Rangers will look elsewhere -- possibly to designated hitter Vladimir Guerrero, whose run with the Angels has all but come to an official end with Hideki Matsui joining them last week. Texas also is interested in free agent outfielder Jermaine Dye, but unless his demand decrease, the Rangers probably won't be able to be a player there.

Posted on: December 10, 2009 12:17 am
Edited on: December 10, 2009 1:41 am

Rangers exploring deal for Boston's Lowell

INDIANAPOLIS -- The Rangers and Red Sox are exploring a potential deal that would send third baseman Mike Lowell to Texas, and discussions have moved past the inquiry stage and turned serious, a source close to the negotiations told CBSSports.com on Wednesday night.

Lowell would go to Texas for minor-league catcher Max Ramirez. The Red Sox would pick up the tab on either the entire $12 million salary due Lowell in 2010, or almost all of it.

"I can't say that it's going to happen," the source said. "But there are discussions."

The Rangers want to add a right-handed bat but are limited by owner Tom Hicks' financial trouble as to what they can do. There was speculation earlier this winter that they would go after free agent outfielder Jermaine Dye, but he's currently looking for a multi-year deal worth $8 to $9 million a season, and one Rangers' source said that's too far out of their range.

As for Lowell, though he will be 36 on opening day in 2010 and underwent surgery to repair a torn labrum in his hip before the '09 season, he hit 17 homers and collected 75 RBI for the Red Sox last summer. The Rangers would move him around, spotting him at first base, third base and designated hitter in an effort to keep him fresh and his hip healthy.

The purpose of moving Lowell for the Red Sox would be to clear space in the lineup for the addition of another big addition. It is not a salary dump, because Boston would still be paying most of the freight for Lowell.

The replacement for Lowell could wind up being free agent third baseman Adrian Beltre. Boston is described as being "in the mix" for Beltre by a source close to the third baseman, who is looking for a multi-year contract. The Red Sox also could attempt to resurrect trade talks for San Diego first baseman Adrian Gonzalez -- or add a different first baseman -- and move Kevin Youkilis over to third.

Posted on: October 23, 2009 5:52 pm

Padres to name Jed Hoyer GM early next week

Jed Hoyer will be named as the next general manager of the San Diego Padres, according to CBSSports.com sources, with the official announcement expected to come early next week, probably Monday.

Hoyer, 35, currently Boston's senior vice-president and assistant GM, will replace Kevin Towers, who was the longest tenured GM in the game until he was fired at season's end.

The hire will be the second time that Jeff Moorad, San Diego's chief executive officer, has gone to Boston to hire a GM. Current Diamondbacks GM Josh Byrnes, like Hoyer, was an assistant under Red Sox GM Theo Epstein in Boston when Moorad hired him in Arizona in 2005.

The Padres' job will be Hoyer's first as the man in charge (though he did serve a 44-day stint as Boston's "co-GM" in '05 when Epstein briefly left the organization.

Hoyer was hired by the Red Sox in 2003, when he was just 28, and has since become one of Epstein's most trusted assistants. A native of Plymouth, N.H., and a 1996 graduate of Wesleyan University, Hoyer has aided Epstein in all aspects of Boston's baseball operations department including player acquisitions and evaluations and contract negotiations.

Hoyer also is a student of blending scouting and quantitative analysis, which is part of what Moorad clearly  meant when, in dismissing Towers after 14 seasons with the organization, he said he wanted a GM with more of a "strategic approach." At the time, he referred to Towers as a "gunslinger."

The Red Sox are noted for blending sabermatrics -- statistical analysis -- and scouting as well as any franchise in the game.

The Padres last season finished strong, compiling a winning record in August and September to go 75-87 and finish fourth in the NL West. Hoyer is said to have been impressed with the job manager Bud Black did as several other losing clubs, such as Pittsburgh, Washington and Kansas City, slogged through miserable Septembers.

He is, however, expected to make some changes in the baseball operations department. Among those who could be on their way out are Grady Fuston, vice-president of scouting and player development, and Bill "Chief" Gayton, the club's director of scouting. The Padres have had a string of several disappointing drafts over the past decade.

The status of executive vice-president Paul DePodesta, former Dodgers GM, is unclear. Before he left, former club president Sandy Alderson set DePodesta up with a three-year contract believed to be worth $800,000 annually that does not expire until after the 2011 season.

Kim Ng, the Dodgers' vice-president and assistant GM, also interviewed for the Padres job.

Hoyer played baseball while at Wesleyan, pitching and playing shortstop for a team that reached the NCAA Division III championship game.

The Red Sox celebrated Hoyer earlier Friday, ESPN's Peter Gammons tweeted, by holding a going away lunch for him.



Posted on: October 9, 2009 11:10 pm

Francona good, Angels travel late, Howrie to SD?

ANAHEIM, Calif. -- Boston manager Terry Francona appeared over his food poisoning by the time Game 2 started. He said he felt much better following a rough night and was left with only a headache.

"I had a bad night," Francona said. "I just flat-out got food poisoning. Everybody's probably had it.

"Believe me when I tell you, I got rid of it."

 Staying in their comfort zone: In an unusual move, the Angels have decided to work out in Angel Stadium on Saturday before flying to Boston later in the day for Game 3 on Sunday.

Often, clubs leave immediately after the game and fly through the night to reach their destination and work out in the opposing ballpark the next day. In the past, the Angels have left on the morning of their travel day and then worked out in the opposition ballpark upon arrival.

"We did that last year and waited an hour-and-a-half for our [equipment] bags," manager Mike Scioscia said, recalling yet one more unpleasant Boston experience for the Angels. We finished the workout about midnight. So we're going to work out here [Saturday] before our flight. And then we'll get into Boston and get a good night's sleep and get ready to play."

As miserable as Boston has been for the Angels, why not? And maybe they caught a break

 Jed Hoyer, Red Sox senior vice-president and assistant manager, is a strong candidate to succeed Kevin Towers as San Diego GM, according to industry sources. Hoyer is with the Sox here but declined comment on his candidacy for the Padres job, going so far as to refuse to even say whether or not he's interviewed. It's believed that he has.

 Most fascinating story of the weekend might be watching how the Cardinals respond following their gut-wrenching Game 2 loss to the Dodgers. Tony La Russa always is incredibly tightly wound anyway. If he's even worse and it reflects in his team, it could be three and out for the Cards. Here's their best chance: Joel Pineiro, who is underrated and has had a very good year, steps up to the challenge in Game 3. Then, you've got to like ace Chris Carpenter on short rest over the Dodgers' backsliding Chad Billingsley. Then, you could be looking at 2-2 and everyone heading back to Dodger Stadium for Game 5 on Tuesday.

Likes: Watching the Phillies' Charlie Manuel manage and never knowing what to expect next. Do you think he'll use any of his relievers the rest of the way? ... Love the time of year when every single pitch carries far-reaching and dramatic implications. ... Heroic effort from Minnesota starter Nick Blackburn in Game 2, but the Yankees are just too talented and too deep. ... Bobby Abreu's batting eye. The guy walked in each of four plate appearances in Game 1. Not the most exciting stuff, but you've really got to admire his discipline. "I've got my strike zone and I swing whenever I have to swing," Abreu says. "It's not like I'm going to waste my at-bat to make somebody happy." ... Dance the Night Away remains Van Halen's best song (and I like a lot of them). ... KLOS, 95.5 FM, Los Angeles' classic -- in every sense of the word -- rock station. ... Congratulations to the Falcons from Monroe (Mich.) St. Mary Catholic Central High, who won another huge football game Friday night. My Falcons whipped Milan 25-13 in a Huron League game to run their record to 6-0 in the league and 6-1 overall. Another outstanding job of coaching (so far) by my old classmate and buddy Jack Giarmo.

Dislikes: Randy Marsh, CB Bucknor, Phil Cuzzi ... the list of umpires failing to distinguish themselves continues to grow.

Rock 'N' Roll Lyric of the Day:

"You love her
"But she loves him
"And he loves somebody else
"You just can't win
"And so it goes
"Till the day you die
"This thing they call love
"It's gonna make you cry
"I've had the blues
"The Reds and the pinks
"One thing for sure
"Love stinks"

-- J. Geils Band, Love Stinks

Posted on: July 31, 2009 2:32 pm
Edited on: July 31, 2009 3:23 pm

Red Sox acquire Victor Martinez from Cleveland

Striking late and dramatically, the Boston Red Sox bolstered their lineup by acquiring All-Star catcher Victor Martinez from Cleveland less than two hours before Friday's non-waivers trade deadline, CBSSports.com has learned.

The Indians will receive three young pitchers in exchange: Right-handers Juston Masterson and Bryan Price and left-hander Nick Hagadone.

The blockbuster deal comes following several days during which the Red Sox were hot on the trail of Martinez, San Diego slugger Adrian Gonzalez and Toronto ace Roy Halladay. Martinez, a three-time All-Star, was batting .284 with 15 homers and 67 RBI in 99 games for the Indians this season and arrives in Boston with the Red Sox having fallen into second place in the AL East, two games behind the New York Yankees.

The addition of Martinez is a huge boon for the Red Sox, who are concerned with the health of catcher Jason Varitek, 37, and who have watched slugger David Ortiz regress some this season. Martinez can catch, play first base and, of course, serve as designated hitter.

Masterson was 3-3 with a 4.50 ERA in 31 appearances with the Red Sox this season. Over the past two seasons, he has worked for manager Terry Francona both out of the bullpen and as a spot starter. Hagadone is a big, 6-5 lefty who was Boston's first-round sandwich pick (55th overall) in the 2007 draft. Price. 22, was a first-round sandwich pick (45th overall) in last year's draft.

The trio fits what Cleveland now is looking to accomplish, re-stocking its system with as many young arms as possible, after trading two Cy Young winners in the past two seasons -- Cliff Lee this week and CC Sabathia last July.


Posted on: July 31, 2009 2:37 am

Padres continue talking Gonzalez with Boston

The Boston Red Sox continued to work feverishly on multiple trade possibilities late Thursday night, sources with knowledge of the discussions said, continuing conversations with Cleveland regarding slugging catcher Victor Martinez and with San Diego regarding first baseman Adrian Gonzalez.

It is believed that Clay Buchholz would be part of a package sent to the Indians for Martinez, if the Red Sox elect to go that route.

The Padres, looking for young arms, likely would require some combination of Buchholz, Michael Bowden, Daniel Bard and others in the deal. One source with knowledge of the talks said late Thursday night that the Padres also were discussing Gonzalez with another unidentified team.


Posted on: July 30, 2009 3:03 pm

Ortiz has long denied PED use

As soon as Manny Ramirez was popped for violating baseball's performance-enhancing drugs policy, David Ortiz knew that he, too, would be linked with his ex-Boston teammate.

Only this wasn't back in 2003, when, as the New York Times revealed Thursday, Ramirez and Ortiz each failed tests.

This was in May, just a few days after Ramirez was suspended for 50 games.

I sat with Ortiz in the visiting dugout in Angel Stadium in the midst of Ortiz's horrible start this season while doing a column on him.

And as he and I sat and talked, I told Ortiz that, even as he maintained he was clean, Ramirez's suspension would cause lots of people to link the two of them anyway.

Ortiz acknowledged that was true and it made him angry.

"(People) must be saying that all over the place already," a disgusted Ortiz said. "I don't care. Why do I gotta make the mistake he just made? If a reporter does bad things, I've gotta blame you because you're his friend? It's not fair.

"It's wrong. Totally wrong. Manny is one person. I'm another person. I'm not Manny's babysitter.

"Why should people blame me because he f----- up?"

This was five days after Ramirez was socked with the 50-game suspension.

Thursday, approached before a game with Oakland by a New York Times reporter regarding the paper's story, Ortiz declined comment.

Posted on: July 30, 2009 12:21 am
Edited on: July 30, 2009 12:24 am

Pads talk Gonzalez with Boston, Bell with Florida

The Boston Red Sox continue to swing for the fences, exploring impact trades on all fronts: As of Wednesday night, according to CBSSports.com sources, they were in on Toronto ace Roy Halladay, Cleveland slugger Victor Martinez and, in a very intriguing twist, San Diego first baseman Adrian Gonzalez.

The Gonzalez development is the most recent. The Red Sox had approached the Padres several weeks ago but were told at that time that Gonzalez was staying put. San Diego now appears to have had a change of heart and is at least exploring a potential deal for its All-Star slugger less than 48 hours before Friday's 4 p.m. EDT non-waivers trade deadline.

The cost-cutting Padres are looking for young, controllable players, especially starting pitchers. To move Gonzalez, it probably would cost Boston multiple young arms, likely from the group of Clay Buchholz, Michael Bowden and Daniel Bard, and probably a young position player or two.

Those also are pitchers about whom Toronto has inquired during talks for Halladay, according to sources. So Red Sox general manager Theo Epstein, who has proven adept in the past at multi-tasking down parallel trade lines, has some serious decisions to make in these last 30-some hours.

Meantime, the Padres are fielding several inquiries about closer Heath Bell and appeared to be engaged in serious discussions with the Florida Marlins. One source with knowledge of the talks said the Padres are asking for premier young pitchers and that there might not be a match.

If there is, and the Padres wind up shipping Bell to Florida and Gonzalez to Boston, then they probably could fill their closer's role with one of the young arms they acquire, such as Bard.

As for the Red Sox, it's clear that they have their sights set on an impact trade. Gonzalez or Martinez would be a huge boost to a slumping lineup. Left fielder Jason Bay, for example, was batting just .203 in the month of July into Wednesday night's game with Oakland. He had just one homer and five RBI in the month, with 24 strikeouts in 69 at-bats.

In the Halladay deal, Boston is said to be willing to part with  Buchholz, he of the no-hitter two summers ago. But the Red Sox reportedly will not include outfielder Ryan Westmoreland and pitcher-shortstop Casey Kelly -- each a 2008 draft pick -- in any potential deal.



The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com