Friday, December 31, 2010

Red Sox Re-Sign Okajima

Today, the Red Sox re-signed a beloved member of the Red Sox' bullpen over the past few years in Hideki Okajima. The Red Sox non-tendered Okajima about a month ago after an off year in 2010, when he went 4-4/4.50/33. He will probably wind up being the Red Sox' lefty out of the bullpen in 2011, since he held lefties to a .284 average in 2010, but has a career mark of .214 against lefties, which probably means that the Sox are out on Brian Fuentes. The deal is pending a physical, and is set for only one year, which means the Red Sox aren't tied to him for long. I think the Red Sox did the right thing in keeping Okajima and that this move could definitely pay off for them he does the same as he did in either 2007, 2008, or 2009.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Red Sox Back In On Fuentes

After the Red Sox signed Dan Wheeler, people assumed that they were not in on Brian Fuentes anymore. However, they are now back in on him, and they are one of many teams trying to sign the 35 year old reliever. He went 4-1/2.81/47 in 2010, following a season in 2009 when he had 55 saves for the Angels. There have been 11 teams reported to be interested in Fuentes, after a couple of days ago, the Red Sox seemed to be the only one. Fuentes is asking for a 3 year, $15 million contract, but the Red Sox seem more likely to give him a one or two year deal. Fuentes would be a great acquisition to the bullpen and I hope they can sign him.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Hill Seems To Be Favorite For Open Bullpen Job

The bullpen appears to be pretty much decided for the Red Sox in 2011, with Jonathan Papelbon, Daniel Bard, Bobby Jenks, Dan Wheeler, Felix Doubront, Tim Wakefield, and one open spot. That open spot could be given to Rich Hill (right), Andrew Miller, Lenny DiNardo, or Matt Albers. Rich Hill appears to be the favorite for this job, though, after he did pretty well in a limited time period for the Sox last year, going 1-0 and allowing no runs in 4 innings. If Hill makes the team, he will earn $580,000 in 2011, so he would be very affordable, and has the potential to be a great pitcher, judging by his 2007 season of 11-8/3.92/183. I think Hill is the best option among those four and I'm glad the Red Sox are considering him.

Monday, December 27, 2010

Red Sox Looking For Lefty In Bullpen

The Red Sox have gone to great lengths to improve their bullpen, and team in general, this offseason. One question remains for their bullpen, however, do they need a left-handed relief pitcher? I think it would definitely be good if they had at least one lefty of the 'pen, and there are many options to fix that hole. The most likely appears to be from within their organization, rookie Felix Doubront (right), who went 2-2/4.32/23 last year in 12 games. Other options from outside the organization include Brian Fuentes, Ron Mahay, Dennys Reyes, and Joe Beimel. Fuentes (4-1/2.81/47) has been linked to the Red Sox, as I think it is possible they will offer him a one year deal. I would like to see the Sox go out and get one of these players, however, I think they are most likely to stick with Doubront.

Friday, December 24, 2010

Red Sox On Santa's Nice List In 2010

I guess the Red Sox were on Santa Claus's nice list this year, because he left some good presents under the tree. If you agree with me, those big presents in Adrian Gonzalez and Carl Crawford, plus the medium-sized ones in Bobby Jenks and Dan Wheeler, then the little stocking stuffers with Matt Albers, Andrew Miller, and Rich Hill. Plus, what makes it all better is that the Yankees were on the naughty list this year, after they pursued Cliff Lee and got coal in return. We should all thank Santa for the Red Sox presents we all felt, even if Christmas came early for us Red Sox fans.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Pujols Contract Not Going To Effect Gonzalez Deal

Adrian Gonzalez seems to be a good man, he has said that if Albert Pujols signs a deal with the Cardinals before the season, he will not use it as a blueprint. He also says that he will make negotiations with the Red Sox during the 2011 season. He continues to use Ryan Howard's 5 year, $125 million contract and Mark Teixeira's 8 year, $180 million as a blueprint. The Red Sox and Gonzalez were reported several weeks ago to be closest to a deal worth 7 years for $154 million. I think he is worth that, even though Albert Pujols may make a huge contract that would be worth up to $30 million a year. Both sides say that they are confident that this deal will get done before Gonzalez becomes a free agent next offseason. Gonzalez is a great player and I hope they can work out a deal before long.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Red Sox Name Their PawSox Manager For 2011

Today, the Red Sox named Arnie Beyeler as the manager for their AAA affiliate, the Pawtucket Red Sox. He has been working up the ranks of managing the Red Sox farm system, as he spent the last 4 years managing their AA affiliate, the Portland Sea Dogs, and before that at A affiliates, the Lowell Spinners and Augusta Green Jackets. This may not be incredibly important to the Red Sox, but I am trying to keep you all updated, and it could make a difference to some of the Red Sox' prospects. Beyeler has worked with some of the Red Sox' younger players, most notably Ryan Kalish, Josh Reddick, and Felix Doubront. I hope he's a good manager, even though it won't make a huge difference for the Red Sox.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Jenks Passes Physical, Makes Signing Official

Today, Bobby Jenks passed his physical for the Red Sox, making the 2 year, $12 million signing that was first announced Thursday official. Jenks had his worst year in 2010, going 1-3/4.44/61, as he is a bit like Jonathan Papelbon in the fact that his stats have fallen in the past few years, but he is due for a rebound. Jenks saved 27, out of 31 games in 2010, his lowest total since he broke into the big leagues, his highest being in 2006, with 41. Today, the Red Sox also designated outfielder Brent Dlugach for assignment. I am very happy that the Red Sox made this move to fill out their bullpen, and I think the group of Papelbon, Jenks, Daniel Bard, and Dan Wheeler are going to change the Red Sox' bullpen from one of the worst to one of the best.

Bill Hall Signs With The Astros

Yesterday, the Astros signed somebody who, in my opinion, was one of the best Red Sox players last year. He was a great utility man, playing 7 positions, including pitcher, along with doing quite well at the bat, going .247/18/46. However, now he signed with the Astros for one year and $3.25 million. This year, the Red Sox' bench is looking like Jason Varitek, Mike Cameron, Jed Lowrie, and somebody else who could be Darnell McDonald, Ryan Kalish, Lars Anderson, etc.. That last person could have been Bill Hall except that for some reason, the Red Sox never really seemed interested in resigning him. Adrian Beltre also appears to be close to signing onto the Angels as they offered him 6 years for $90 million. I hope Bill Hall does well in 2011, and we'll all remember his extremely versatile year in 2010.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Red Sox Come To Terms With Dan Wheeler

Today, the Red Sox added reliever Dan Wheeler to their bullpen, fresh off the acquisition of Bobby Jenks. With Jenks and Wheeler in their bullpen, it looks to me like the Red Sox' bullpen is pretty much set. Wheeler had a great year with the Rays in 2010, going 2-4/3.35/46, but it was not a fluke, as Wheeler also had great years in 2009 and 2008. The deal is reported to be worth only one year, as the Red Sox said a few days ago, that they would not give him a multi-year option. Theo Epstein has been a real go-getter this offseason, making a bunch of big moves, and filling up their main hole, the bullpen. I think Dan Wheeler will be a great acquisition for the Sox, and I am really proud to be a Red Sox fan about now.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Red Sox To Resign Rich Hill

Today, as the Red Sox' 4th somewhat important move of the day, they resigned pitcher Rich Hill. The Red Sox acquired Hill rather late in the season in 2010, and he only pitched in 6 games for them, but he did alright, going 1-0/0.00/3 in 4 innings. Hill's best season came in 2007, when he went 11-8/3.92/183, as he really came into his own that year. The contract they signed him to is a minor league deal, much like Andrew Miller's. Hill could be a very nice acquisition for the Red Sox if he transfers from his recent years back to his younger self. I think that it was definitely not a bad decision to keep Hill in Boston.

Red Sox To Keep Andrew Miller

Today, after a long day of bullpen acquisitions, the Red Sox made one last move, keeping Andrew Miller. Earlier this season, the Red Sox traded for Miller from the Marlins, but they non-tendered him a few weeks ago. In 2010, Andrew Miller had a bad year, going 1-5/8.54/28, but his best season was in 2009, even though it wasn't too great as he went 3-5/4.84/59. The deal is going to be a minor league deal for one year, and an unknown (for me, at least) amount of money. The Red Sox also completed the Adrian Gonzalez deal by trading Eric Patterson to the Padres. All in all, this was a really big day for the Red Sox as they made three changes to the bullpen and one to the lineup.

Red Sox Agree To Terms With Bobby Jenks

Today, the Red Sox appear to be set to sign reliever Bobby Jenks, who has spent all of his career with the Chicago White Sox. Jenks had an off year in 2010, going 1-3/4.44/61, but he has had better years, most notably being 2007 and 2008, when he went 3-5/2.77/56 and 3-1/2.63/38. The contract is pending a physical, and it is worth 2 years for $12 million. This is definitely the biggest step that Theo Epstein and the Red Sox management crew have taken to upgrade the bullpen all year. Jenks' 2010 season was by far the worst of his career, and if he does anything like he has for the past 5 years before that, he will be a great fit in Boston. I am very happy that the Red Sox made this move, and I think it will really help them.

Red Sox To Bring Back Lenny DiNardo

Last night the Red Sox came close to finalizing a deal that would bring former Red Sox pitcher, from 2004-2006, Lenny DiNardo, back to Boston. DiNardo has not been the greatest pitcher, as he did not even pitch in 2010, and his best season was in 2007, when he went 8-10/4.11/59. DiNardo's best season came with the Oakland A's, pitching coach, Curt Young's former team, so maybe Young can help DiNardo get his act together again. The Red Sox are also close to a deal with Dan Wheeler, although unfortunately, yesterday, Matt Guerrier was signed by the Dodgers and Jesse Crain was signed by the White Sox. Lenny DiNardo and Matt Albers are both small steps, but I would really like to see them sign Brian Fuentes or maybe make a trade for somebody good.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Red Sox To Sign Former Oriole, Matt Albers

Last night, the Red Sox began the process of upgrading their bullpen by agreeing to a contract with relief pitcher, Matt Albers. Albers had a pretty tough season in 2010, going 5-3/4.52/49, but a few years ago, in 2008, he went 3-3/3.49/26 so he has potential. He may not be one of the key aspects of their bullpen, but he will be competing for a spot in Spring Training, and if he does well we may see him. The signing is not yet official, and I don't know what the contract is (though probably not much), but they will probably end up signing him. This is a small jump, but hopefully some of the other relievers they are looking at, like Jesse Crain, Brian Fuentes, and Matt Guerrier accept the Red Sox' offers. This a very small step in their bullpen but it may be the beginning of a marathon.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Yankees Go Off The Cliff

Last night, Cliff Lee dealt the Yankees a huge blow by, instead of signing with the Yankees (the obvious favorites), going to the Phillies. The most painful part of this for the Yankees is that he left them for 2 years and $60 million less than what the Yankees were offering (7 years, $160 million, rather than the Phillies' 5 years for $100 million). Cliff Lee had a great year in 2010, going 12-9/3.18/185, as he is without a doubt, a great pitcher. I think that without Lee, the Yankees and Rays really aren't going to be much competition for the Red Sox in 2011. I'm really happy that the Phillies swooped in and made this move much like the Red Sox with Carl Crawford. The Yankees are going to be pretty depressed for a while, don't be too hard on 'em, Red Sox fans! ;)

Monday, December 13, 2010

Red Sox Looking At Trio Of Twins

To upgrade their bullpen, the Red Sox have been targeting 3 main relief pitchers, all from the Twins. They are Jesse Crain (right), Brian Fuentes, and Matt Guerrier, all of which are pretty good pitchers and had good years in 2010. Jesse Crain went 1-1/3.04/62, Brian Fuentes went 4-1/2.81/47, and Matt Guerrier went 5-7/3.17/42, as I would probably be happiest with acquiring Fuentes. The model contract seems to be set by Scott Downs and Joaquin Benoit as being around $15 million for 2 or 3 years. I think these are all able relief pitchers and it would be fantastic if the Red Sox got any of them. I think one or two of these players could change the Red Sox from a bad bullpen into a top notch one.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Red Sox Pushing Yankees Even Harder

It has been reported that at the Winter Meetings, the Red Sox gave Cliff Lee a 7 year offer with the sole purpose of raising the price for the Yankees. The Red Sox offer was pretty low on the money end, so they really aren't interested in him. Cliff Lee had a great season in 2010, going 12-9/3.18/185, so we definitely rather see him going back to the Rangers than winding up in New York. The Red Sox offer also served the purpose on focusing the Yanks on Lee so the Red Sox could sign Carl Crawford for 7 years of his own. The Rangers and Yankees seem to be the main contestants in the Cliff Lee race and I really hope he chooses Texas. The Red Sox need to improve their bullpen really badly, but they don't really need starting pitching anyways.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Carl Crawford Is Now An Official Red Sock

Today, the Red Sox formally introduced left fielder Carl Crawford as a member of the Red Sox. He has now officially signed the 7 year, $142 million contract that the Red Sox gave him on Wednesday. Crawford will hopefully continue his distinguished career as a great hitter, fielder, and most of all, baserunner. Crawford had a great season in 2010, going .307/19/90, which was his best year production-wise. He also stole 47 bases, which shows just how amazing he is, because that is a low number for him. He will bring a refreshing burst of speed to a team whose leading base stealer last year (Ryan Kalish) stole 10 bases. I am really happy about this move and I think this move along with Adrian Gonzalez will make the Red Sox a great team in 2011.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Red Sox Finalize Jason Varitek Deal

Today, the Red Sox closed the deal on the 1 year, $2 million contract that the Red Sox agreed to with Jason Varitek last week. Varitek had a rough year last year, due to injuries, going .232/6/17, he is a good backup catcher, but I think as starting catchers go, Jarrod Saltalamacchia is the stronger option. Varitek is a pretty good defensive catcher other than the fact that he does not have a good arm, as the Red Sox all together last season only threw out 9% of base runners. The Red Sox are also competing with the Yankees and Blue Jays for former Dodgers' catcher Russell Martin. The Dodgers non-tendered Martin last week, and the Red Sox and Yankees especially appear to be trying to bolster their catching positions with him. I am glad that they made this move, but I think that the Red Sox should try to acquire Martin or some other catcher as well.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Red Sox On Verge Of Signing Crawford

Last night, the Red Sox came to terms with Carl Crawford that would send him to Boston for a 7 year stint! The contract would be worth $142 million over 7 years, which would give him an average of a little bit more than $20 million a year. In 2010, Crawford had a fantastic season, going .307/19/90 which was arguably his best season, as it gave him career highs in home runs and RBIs. He is also fabulously fast, as he stole 47 bases last year and 60 in 2010. There are a few implications to be worked out such as a physical, but other than a few things, the deal is basically complete. If this deal works out, which is appears it will, I think it will be the best move they've made since signing Manny Ramirez.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Red Sox Looking At Beltran, Ordonez

Today the Red Sox discussed a trade for outfield bat, Carlos Beltran (right) with the Mets. Beltran will receive $18.5 million in 2011, meaning the Mets will probably have to pay at least part of his contract as he is definitely not worth the money, as he went .255/7/27 last season, but he is a good player. Magglio Ordonez (left) is a free agent, who the Red Sox have been interested in for a while. He had a pretty good year last year, despite playing only 84 games, going .303/12/59. He is a free agent who will probably make between $10 and $15 million next year even though he is 37 years old. I'm not quite sure which one of these players I would rather have, but I would have to say Magglio Ordonez, just because he would cost less. In any case, I think they are both great players and I would be thrilled to get either one.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Red Sox Finalize Gonzalez Trade

This morning the Red Sox finalized the deal that will send Adrian Gonzalez to Boston in exchange for Casey Kelly, Anthony Rizzo, and Reymond Fuentes. After a tumultuous weekend, the result we all wanted ended up happening when the Red Sox held a press conference this morning where the slugging first baseman tried on his new hat and jersey. Kevin Youkilis looks like he will be playing 3rd base next year while Adrian Gonzalez, who isn't too shabby on defense will take over on first base. I hope the Red Sox can work out a long contract extension with him so that this will be a long, happy relationship. I am very glad to be seeing Adrian Gonzalez in that new Red Sox hat!

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Adrian Gonzalez Deal Is Back Again

I'm really confused, so first the Red Sox trade for Adrian Gonzalez, then they nix the deal, then they revive the trade. The slugging first baseman that went .298/31/101 last season is apparently going to come to Boston after all. The reason the Red Sox nixed the deal is they couldn't get a contract by 2:00 p.m. today, but they might have worked one out after all, but aren't going to announce it until April to avoid the luxury tax. I defnitely wouldn't want our top prospects to go for a one year option. Casey Kelly, Anthony Rizzo, and Reymond Fuentes will end up in San Diego I suppose, hopefully it is worth it. I'm very happy about this deal and hopefully it actually happens this time.

Gonzalez Deal To Be Nixed

Well, the Red Sox got our hopes up again, the deal for Adrian Gonzalez was nixed today. The Red Sox could not work out a contract extension with Gonzalez so, at least for now, the trade is off. On the lighter side, we still have Casey Kelly, Anthony Rizzo, and Reymond Fuentes; who were rated, respectively, #1, #3, and #6 in the Red Sox' farm system. Still, it was kind of depressing after all the news yesterday, him being a fantastic player, going .298/31/101 last season in a bad hitters' park. Next week are the Winter Meetings and the Red Sox seem to be looking for a big bat, like Carl Crawford or Jayson Werth, and some help in the bullpen, like Matt Guerrier or Scott Downs. The deal is off for now, but at least the Sox have their prospects.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Red Sox Trade Top Prospects For Adrian Gonzalez

This morning, the Red Sox appear to have worked out a deal that will send first baseman Adrian Gonzalez over to Boston for three high-end prospects. Adrian Gonzalez is a fantastic baseball player who the Sox have been looking at for several years and went .298/31/101. The Red Sox traded 3 of their best prospects, in Casey Kelly, Anthony Rizzo, and Reymond Fuentes, but hopefully it will be worth it. In this move, Adrian Beltre will probably not be signed, and Kevin Youkilis will be moved the third base presumably. The Red Sox are probably going to work out a contract with Gonzalez because he will be a free agent after 2011, and is said to be looking for a Mark Teixeira-like contract, of 8 years for $160 million. All things considered, you can't imagine how happy I am that they made this move!

Red Sox Non-Tender Three Players

Yesterday the Red Sox non-tendered, or didn't offer a contract, to Hideki Okajima (right), Taylor Buchholz, and Andrew Miller. The last of these two were signed off-waivers by the Red Sox this offseason. Hideki Okajima was the biggest name in this because just 3 years ago, in 2008, he went 3-2/2.61/60 and the year before that, he went 3-2/2.22/63. However, Okajima was a lot worse this year going 4-4/4.50/33. Taylor Buchholz, 1-0/3.75/9 was actually not bad, while Andrew Miller's 1-5/8.54/28 was pretty bad. I'm a bit surprised the Sox didn't offer these people contracts but I suppose it might be for the best.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

The Captain Returns Again!

Today, the Red Sox settled a deal with Jason Varitek so that he is going to return by signing a 1 year, $2 million contract. In 2010, Varitek went .232/7/16, hitting 7 home runs in the first two months as a backup but doing pretty badly from then out. He broke his right foot in June which hampered his performance for the rest of the season. I think at this point in his career, Jason Varitek is a better backup than a starter, and I think the Red Sox should go for Rod Barajas or somebody like that. However, I think he is probably a better option than Jarrod Saltalamacchia if Saltalamacchia continues the way he's been playing the last couple of years. I'm glad the Sox resigned Varitek, don't get me wrong, but they need a better catcher to complement him.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Crawford Meets With Red Sox

I never really thought the Red Sox were going to make a push for Carl Crawford, I always thought they were going to go more for Jayson Werth. However, today the Red Sox had a meeting with Carl Crawford in Houston. In 2010, Crawford had yet another fantastic season, going .307/19/90, along with an excellent 47 stolen bases. 2010 was actually probably Crawford's best hitting season, but in 2009, he stole 60 bases including 6 in one game against the Red Sox. Crawford will probably be looking for a similar contract to Matt Holliday's contract that he signed last offseason, for 7 years and $120 million. I think it would be great if they signed Crawford or Werth since they met with both of them.

Beltre and Lopez Reject Red Sox Arbitration

Yesterday, two of the players that the Red Sox offered arbitration last week, Adrian Beltre and Felipe Lopez. Beltre also declined Boston's $10 million option for 2011 a while ago, which means the Red Sox are going to have to offer him a big contract if the Sox want to keep him after his monster season of .321/28/102. Apparently he is seeking a contract close to the one Torii Hunter signed recently that was 5 years and $90 million, averaging $18 million a year. Adrian Beltre is also a Type A free agent, while Felipe Lopez is a Type B free agent, meaning that the Sox get a prospect if Beltre signs elsewhere but not if Lopez does. I hope the Sox can sign both of them, especially Beltre!