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Red Sox's Chris Sale: Returns to full strength
Sale (shoulder) isn't expected to face any restrictions in spring training after returning to full health, Pete Abraham of The Boston Globe reports.
As expected, Sale will be ready to roll for the start of spring training after receiving some much-needed rest. He battled with tendinitis in his shoulder during the 2018 campaign, limiting him to 27 starts. "I feel normal again," stated Sale. "I'm able to throw free and easy and feel loose and kind of have that whip back. It's obviously a nice feeling."... See More ... See Less
Red Sox's Dustin Pedroia: Resumes running
Pedroia (knee) began a running program Thursday, Christopher Smith of MassLive.com reports.
While this is an encouraging sign for Pedroia, who appeared in just three games last season due to his injured left knee, it's still too early to tell if he'll be ready to go by the start of the season. Look for his status to clear up as he continues to ramp up his running program. If Pedroia isn't back to full health by Opening Day, a combination of Brock Holt and Eduardo Nunez would likely hold down the keystone until the veteran is ready.... See More ... See Less
Red Sox's Blake Swihart: Entering camp as catcher
President of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski said Swihart will enter camp with a chance to open the season as the starting catcher, Chris Cotillo of MassLive.com reports. "He's coming to camp to compete to be our starting catcher," Dombrowski stated.
After appearing at six different positions for the Red Sox in 2018, Swihart was told to work out exclusively at catcher this winter, as it sounds like the 26-year-old could get a real chance to take over behind the dish with Dombrowski actively looking to trade one of the team's three catchers (Swihart, Sandy Leon and Christian Vazquez). Swihart hit a lackluster .229/.285/.328 with three homers in 207 plate appearances last season, though some of his struggles could be attributed to his sporadic playing time. He's also the least expensive of the three catchers, which for a team trying to get under the luxury tax threshold, gives him a leg up to start the season as one of Boston's two catchers.... See More ... See Less
Red Sox's Carson Smith: Set to miss beginning of season
President of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski said "it'll be awhile" before Smith (shoulder) will be able to pitch in games, Chris Cotillo of MassLive.com reports.
Smith is recovering from shoulder surgery that he underwent in June and isn't expected to be ready for the early part of the 2019 season. The hope is that the right-hander will be able to pick up a throwing program sometime during spring training, after which a more concrete timetable for his return could emerge. Smith posted a 3.77 ERA with 18 strikeouts across 14.1 frames in 2018 before getting hurt.... See More ... See Less
Red Sox's Tyler Thornburg: Candidate for saves in 2019
President of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski said Thornburg is an option to close for the Red Sox in 2019, Chris Cotillo of MassLive.com reports.
Thornburg joins Ryan Brasier, Matt Barnes and Steven Wright as internal options who could potentially take over as the team's closer with Craig Kimbrel heading to free agency. While Brasier and Barnes appear to be the two frontrunners at the moment, Thornburg has the most ninth-inning experience out of the bunch -- he saved 13 games for the Brewers back in 2016. That said, the southpaw has pitched just 24 innings over the past two seasons due to injuries, struggling to a 5.63 ERA and 1.58 WHIP over those outings, so he'll need to prove himself in spring training before emerging as a serious contender for the gig.... See More ... See Less
Red Sox's Steven Wright: Could see saves in 2019
President of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski said Wright is an option at closer in 2019, Chris Cotillo of MassLive.com reports.
With Craig Kimbrel hitting the free agent market, Dombrowski named Wright, Ryan Brasier, Matt Barnes and Tyler Thornburg as possible options to take over as the team's closer, though he noted Barnes and Brasier are the two frontrunners. The veteran knuckleballer was solid when healthy in 2018, posting a 2.68 ERA and 1.25 WHIP across 53.2 innings. He underwent a scope on his left knee earlier in the offseason but should be good to go for the start of spring training.... See More ... See Less
Red Sox's Matt Barnes: Could close in 2019
President of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski said Barnes is a candidate to close for the Red Sox in 2019, Chris Cotillo of MassLive.com reports.
With Craig Kimbrel still a free agent, Dombrowski named Barnes, Ryan Brasier, Steven Wright and Tyler Thornburg as internal options who could potentially take over as Boston's closer in 2019. Barnes and Brasier are apparently the two frontrunners for the gig, though the Red Sox could also bring in another capable back-end arm prior to the start of the season. The 28-year-old righty compiled a 3.65 ERA and 96 strikeouts in 61.2 innings of relief in 2018.... See More ... See Less
Red Sox's Ryan Brasier: Mentioned as option for saves
President of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski said Brasier is a candidate to close for the Red Sox in 2019, Chris Cotillo of MassLive.com reports.
Dombrowski also mentioned Matt Barnes, Steven Wright and Tyler Thornburg as potential internal options for closer, though he noted Brasier and Barnes are the two frontrunners for the gig. Brasier is coming off an impressive 2018 campaign that saw him post a 1.60 ERA, 0.77 WHIP and 29:7 K:BB across 33.2 innings of relief with the Red Sox. Assuming Boston doesn't sign a capable ninth-inning arm prior to Opening Day, Brasier will compete for the closer's role in spring training.... See More ... See Less
Red Sox's Dan Schlereth: Signs with Boston
Schlereth inked a minor-league deal with the Red Sox on Monday, Chris Cotillo of MassLive.com reports.
Schlereth finished the 2018 season within Seattle's farm system at Triple-A Tacoma. He struggled in 12 appearances, posting a 5.40 ERA with a 9:8 K:BB over 8.1 innings as a reliever. While Schlereth seems unlikely to make the big-league roster, he'll add organizational depth for the Red Sox.... See More ... See Less
Red Sox's Darwinzon Hernandez: Future in bullpen?
Hernandez will open the 2019 season as a starter, but Boston president of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski is not ruling out a move to the bullpen, Christopher Smith of MassLive.com reports.
Hernandez finished up 2018 as a reliever for Double-A Portland before the Venezuelan native pitched out of the bullpen in the Arizona Fall League. "We're looking at him going into the season more as a starter," Dombrowski said. "I will say that. Now I can't say later on in the year we may not put him in the bullpen. But we like him as a starter." The 22-year-old lefty might move to the bullpen the closer he gets to the majors. Jason Mastrodonato of the Boston Herald reports there is a strong belief within the organization of that happening.... See More ... See Less
Red Sox's Dustin Pedroia: Set to begin running
Pedroia will begin a running program next week to test out his injured left knee, Jason Mastrodonato of the Boston Herald reports. He missed all but three games last season due to the knee but did not require offseason surgery.
Once Pedroia begins running, the Red Sox can get a better indication of the second baseman's chances of being ready, or not being ready, for the start of the regular season. The Red Sox did not pursue any major league second basemen in free agency, acknowledging they couldn't promise playing time to established players. If Pedroia is unable to start the regular season as a full-timer, then expect to see a rotation of Brock Holt and Eduardo Nunez holding down the position until Pedroia is capable.... See More ... See Less
Red Sox's Matt Barnes: Reaches deal with Red Sox
Barnes agreed to a one-year, $1.6 million contract with Boston on Friday, avoiding arbitration, Alex Speier of The Boston Globe reports.
Barnes made 62 appearances out of the bullpen a season ago, posting a 3.65 ERA and 1.26 WHIP with 96 punchouts over 61.2 frames. He figures to receive plenty of high-leverage opportunities in 2019 and could compete for the closer role if he carries his recent success into spring training.... See More ... See Less
Red Sox's Brock Holt: Receives raise
Holt agreed to a one-year, $3.575 million deal with the Red Sox, avoiding arbitration, Alex Speier of The Boston Globe reports.
This is his final year under team control before hitting the open market. Holt is expected to reprise his utility role, likely spelling Dustin Pedroia at the keystone several times a month, at minimum.... See More ... See Less
Red Sox's Jackie Bradley: Reaches agreement with Boston
Bradley signed a one-year, $8.55 million contract with the Red Sox on Friday, avoiding arbitration, Alex Speier of The Boston Globe reports.
Bradley saw an increase in his salary from a season ago, going from $6.1 million to $8.55 million following a down season. He hit .234 with 13 home runs and 59 RBI (144 games) compared to batting .245 with 17 homers and 63 RBI in 2017 (133 games), although he did set a new career best with 17 stolen bases last year. The Red Sox have shown their faith in Bradley by offering him a fair raise and managing to avoid a hearing.... See More ... See Less
Red Sox's Xander Bogaerts: Agrees to deal with Boston
Bogaerts signed a one-year, $12.0 million contract with the Red Sox on Friday, avoiding arbitration, Alex Speier of The Boston Globe reports.
Bogaerts saw a substantial raise from his $7.05 million salary a season ago, and he earned it by more than doubling his home-run total (10 to 23) and driving in 103 RBI over 136 ballgames. He'll undoubtedly begin the 2019 campaign as the starting shortstop for the defending World Series champions after turning in stellar numbers a year ago.... See More ... See Less
Red Sox's Sandy Leon: Comes to terms
Leon signed a one-year, $2.475 million deal with the Red Sox on Friday, avoiding arbitration, Alex Speier of The Boston Globe reports.
Leon had an abysmal offensive campaign in 2018 with a .177/.232/.279, and was the worst hitter in the league with a 33 wRC+ (minimum 250 plate appearances). The 29-year-old should remain a part of Boston's catching situation in 2019 with Christian Vazquez and Blake Swihart, neither of which performed significantly better offensively last season.... See More ... See Less