|11.05.13 at 8:13 am ET|
Talking on The Bradford Files podcast Monday, Jarrod Saltalamacchia expressed some frustration that the Red Sox hadn’t reached out to negotiate a new contract. (To listen to the podcast, click here.)
Saltalamacchia is a free agent, and he did not receive a qualifying offer by the Red Sox prior to Monday afternoon’s deadline. The Sox did extend qualifying offers to Mike Napoli, Stephen Drew and Jacoby Ellsbury, allowing each of those players the opportunity to accept a one-year, $14.1 million deal for 2014.
‘Obviously a lot of teams have already called,” Saltalamacchia said. “They called the day the World Series ended. It’s really flattering and it makes me realize other teams do appreciate what I’ve done. Now on the other side, it would feel good if the Red Sox ‘¦ we really haven’t had any conversation with them. It would be nice to have them call and appreciate that as well and show their appreciation by saying, ‘This is what we’re willing to do. We’re willing to go to this, that and the other thing.’ We really haven’t had discussions, but they may call and do that, so maybe I’m premature in saying this. But that’s part of the process and you have to keep an open mind and the same time you have to be humbled enough to realize you’re taking good criticism with the bad criticism and let it play out.
‘I’m a little surprised with not more conversation going on just because I thought we had a common idea of where we wanted to be. I put so much time and effort into the team and into the organization and they’ve done the same for me. But like I said, I may be premature and they might call out of nowhere, or might have already called and I just don’t know yet.’
By not receiving a qualifying offer, Saltalamacchia figures to garner more interest in the free agent market with teams not having to surrender a draft pick if they sign the 28-year-old.
‘I’m not going to be hurt by anything or surprised by anything,’ the catcher said about not receiving a qualifying offer. ‘I’m a ballplayer, I’m going to go play and let everything take care of itself.’
|11.04.13 at 9:20 pm ET|
The Red Sox announced that they outrighted outfielder Quintin Berry and corner infielder Brandon Snyder off the 40-man roster and onto the roster of Triple-A Pawtucket. Both players rejected the outright assignments and elected free agency.
Berry, 29, was acquired by the Sox from the Royals for Clayton Mortensen in August as a pinch-running specialist in the postseason. He saw action in three playoff games, and was successful on all three stolen bases he attempted.
Snyder, 26, was signed as a minor league free agent at the end of March following his release by the Rangers. In 27 big league games, he hit .180/.212/.360 with two homers.
Meanwhile, right-handed pitchers Andrew Bailey and Alex Wilson, outfielder Ryan Kalish and left-handed pitcher Andrew Miller were reinstated from the 60-day disabled list. The Red Sox’ 40-man roster now stands at 36 players.
|11.04.13 at 4:43 pm ET|
For front offices, the schedule of the baseball calendar is typically relentless. There’s little time to sit back and reflect. Something else always looms on the horizon.
Red Sox GM Ben Cherington and manager John Farrell, five days removed from celebrating their World Series triumph, are now fully invested in offseason planning, trying to amass the team that can prove a worthy successor to the 2013 championship club. They had, by Farrell’s sort-of-joking account, about half a day to enjoy the fruits of their labors from the past season (with Farrell receiving a congratulatory phone call from President Barack Obama on Monday afternoon). The offseason is now well underway, with teams already able to call free agents and teams having to decide whether to make one-year, $14.1 million qualifying offers to free agents in hopes of either retaining them or, should they leave, getting a draft pick as compensation for their departures.
“The game doesn’t stop. The baseball calendar doesn’t stop just because we played till nearly Halloween,” said Farrell. “I think we take on this next challenge and look to address it the best we can, and that is, assemble the best team possible, continue to know that we have good young players coming and in time, we’re definitely going to be eager to get on the field in Fort Myers again. The day after we finished the World Series here, walked into the coaches room and [third-base coach Brian Butterfield] and [bench coach Torey Lovullo] and the other guys were in there and were like, ‘What do we do now?’ You know what we do? We go back to the drawing board. That means we don’t skip any steps along the way. That’s what we’re doing right now with Ben’s work and constructing the roster. But that will be no different when we take the field in Fort Myers. It’s not to rest on our laurels. It’s not to say that we’ve already accomplished something. We have to get back to the mindset we took to the field Day 1 with this year and look to build that through the entire season next year.”
Cherington and Farrell addressed some of what lies ahead in a 35-minute media session. Among the details:
— Cherington confirmed that the Red Sox would make one-year qualifying offers to free agents Jacoby Ellsbury, Mike Napoli and Stephen Drew. If any of those three accept, they would be under contract to the Red Sox for $14.1 million in 2014. If they reject the qualifying offer, they will be free to negotiate with all 30 teams, including the Sox.
— Cherington said that the Sox have degrees of interest in bringing back each of those three players as well as the team’s other three free agents (Jarrod Saltalamacchia, John McDonald and Joel Hanrahan), though what becomes of that interest remains to be seen.
“Really with all of our free agents, there’s interest in every one of them. I also think it’s unlikely that every one of them will be back, just because that’s the nature of the game. It’s difficult to do that,” said Cherington. “There’s all sorts of permutations and combinations that could work and we’re going to have to, again, keep a conversation going with all of them and also with alternatives and see how the market shapes up for them and ultimately see what makes sense for us. … In a vacuum, we’d like to have all of them back. We’ll just have to see how it goes and we’ll continue to talk to all of them and see how the market shapes out.”
— The Sox’ most obvious needs are defined by that pool of free agents. The team doesn’t yet have defined solutions for next year at catcher, first base, shortstop or center field. Internally, the team has options at all four positions, with Jackie Bradley Jr. in center, Xander Bogaerts a candidate at shortstop, Ryan Lavarnway at catcher (with Christian Vazquez having reached Triple-A at the end of the year) and internal options like Daniel Nava, Mike Carp and Will Middlebrooks for first base.
Cherington said that the team wouldn’t want to go with prospect solutions at all of those positions. Read the rest of this entry »
|11.04.13 at 10:05 am ET|
According to multiple baseball sources, the Red Sox plan to make a one-year, $14.1 million qualifying offer to free agent center fielder Jacoby Ellsbury, shortstop Stephen Drew and first baseman Mike Napoli by the 5 p.m. deadline to do so today.
If any of those players accepts the qualifying offer (which represents the average of the top 125 salaries in baseball in 2013), then he would return to the Red Sox on a one-year deal in 2014. If any of them signs with a team other than the Sox, then because of the qualifying offer, the Sox would receive a compensatory draft pick between the first and second rounds of the draft.
Ellsbury is expected not to be impacted significantly by the qualifying offer, given that he is expected to command a long-term deal whose annual value exceeds the $14.1 million mark by a considerable amount. Napoli and Drew represent somewhat different cases for whom the impact of the qualifying offer is twofold.
Not only does it ensure that the Sox would receive a draft pick if the first baseman or shortstop leave; by virtue of the fact that a team that signs Napoli or Drew would need to give up a draft pick, it also could decrease the market for their services, thus potentially increasing the likelihood that the Sox will be able to bring one or both back, whether if either accepts a one-year qualifying offer or if either can negotiate a multi-year deal, much as David Ortiz did last offseason after turning down the Sox’ qualifying offer. (In that vein, it’s worth noting that the Sox were pleasantly surprised when Napoli didn’t receive a qualifying offer from the Rangers last offseason; the fact that he would not cost the team a draft pick made him a top priority with whom to negotiate in the free agent market, given the opportunity to acquire a player with considerable power and strong on-base percentages who could be acquired for just money, rather than any sacrifice of the team’s prospect pool.) Read the rest of this entry »
|11.03.13 at 12:30 pm ET|
According a major league source, the Red Sox have not been asked formal permission by any organization to interview any members of their major league coaching staff for a managerial position.
It was reported earlier Sunday that Torey Lovullo was slated to interview with the Cubs later this week. Lovullo has been a candidate for the managerial openings in both Seattle and the Cubs.
Check back for more information.
|11.02.13 at 5:58 pm ET|
On Friday, the Red Sox picked up the $13 million option on Jon Lester‘s contract to keep the left-hander in the same uniform in which he’s played his entire career. No surprise there, shortly on the heels of the pitcher’s historic run through October in which he matched the single-postseason record for wins while going 4-1 with a 1.56 ERA.
“That’s a foregone conclusion that option would be picked up,” said manager John Farrell. “The way he pitched through not only his entire career here but it’s almost like he took it to a whole another level this postseason. he remained strong. He remained calm in the moment, when, Game 5 was a pivotal moment, and he walked to the mound like it was just another game and pitched with a calmness, a relaxation, and it was dominant, and it was great to see.’
Lester, who signed a five-year, $30 million deal prior to the 2009 season that included the team option for the 2014 season, expressed his gratitude at knowing that he’ll be back in Boston next season. He remains hopeful that it will not be his last year.
“I haven’t had a chance to talk to [Sox GM Ben Cherington]. But to obviously be back for another year is awesome,” said Lester. “Hopefully that’s not the only one and we can be here for a long time. We’ll worry about that when the time comes.”
Like most of his teammates, Lester was more interested in thinking about celebrating his team’s title than contractual concerns on Saturday. The left-hander had been in a parade before when he was part of the 2007 World Series winners, but this time, the left-hander suggested, was different.
‘Everything then was such a whirlwind for me, being part of that situation, kind of getting thrown into it. I didn’t really get a chance to enjoy it,” he said. “This morning, I got here early with my family, just trying to really enjoy it and let everything soak in, and I think ‘07 was just for me thrown together. I was told where to go and sit on a duck boat and wave, and that’s about it. This year, we’ll definitely enjoy it a little bit more.”
|11.02.13 at 5:39 pm ET|
By his own account, Mike Napoli hasn’t had a lot of time to worry about his forthcoming foray into free agency. He’s been too busy enjoying the afterglow of Wednesday’s World Series victory, suggesting that he hadn’t slept since the Sox claimed their title and he had little intention of doing so in the immediate future.
“It’s pretty amazing. It’s been great. I can’t even explain the feeling,” said Napoli. “I won’t sleep for another, I don’t know, couple of days. I’m going to enjoy it, have fun, it’s been a great time.”
The Duck Boat rides on Saturday represented the culmination of what Napoli depicted as a tremendous experience with the Red Sox, with whom he agreed on a three-year, $39 million deal last winter that had to be renegotiated to a one-year, $5 million deal (with incentives that pushed the first baseman’s earnings back up to $13 million when he avoided the DL) once a degenerative hip condition was identified in the routine contract physical. He performed much to his career norms in 2013, and with no evidence that the hip condition had limited him, the 32-year-old is well-positioned for this offseason. But that was hardly his focus as he prepared to take part in the Sox’ victory parade.
“This is great. People here have been great. It’s been fun,” said Napoli. “I’d like to stay here but it is what it is. I’m pretty sure we’re going to talk and go from there.”
Napoli has, however, made one important decision about his future: The beard stays.
“It’s part of me now,” he said. “I’m going to keep it.”
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