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GreatsavebyGerber

MLB Thread: Opening Day 2014

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I personalty hope they stay away from Baldelli. Think he is to much of a helth risk to take a chance on. Think he is a good player when he is on the field but really do not think they should not take a chance.

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well we're banking on the former

I'll be curious if we continue to pursue Burnett. This would seem to indicate a move of Masterson back to the rotation, putting it at Beckett-Lester-DiceK-Masterson-Wake. Throw Buchholz and Michael Bowden into the mix and there's no room without making another move, which would presumably be our oft-rumored trade for a catcher.

I think Id rather see DLowe rather than Burnett signed. Burnett cant stay healthy and DLowe hasnt missed a start. Plus, they already love him in Boston. :)

If Theo goes after Burnett, I swear its just to drive up the price for the Yanks.

While a contract offer might not be imminent for the former Blue Jays righthander, the Red Sox do have interest in pitcher A.J. Burnett.

Sox general manager Theo Epstein had a conversation with Burnett's agent, Darek Braunecker, yesterday on the free agent pitcher, according to a major league source. Burnett became a free agent when he opted out of the remainder of his contract with Toronto this offseason.

Burnett, of course, is not the only pitcher the Sox are exploring. Derek Lowe, who has made no secret of a desire to return to Boston, is also on the list for the Sox. Both pitchers have had success in the American League, and specifically the AL East, which increases their potential value to the Sox.

A number of New York media outlets have reported that the Yankees are also out in front in the Burnett sweepstakes, which could lead to a showdown between the rivals for his services.

With the acquisition of Ramon Ramirez today for Coco Crisp, that means the Sox have more options in terms of how they deploy Justin Masterson, whether in the rotation or out of the bullpen. The Sox already have Josh Beckett, Jon Lester, Daisuke Matsuzaka, and Tim Wakefield as starters. But, as the team well knows, too much starting pitching is never a problem.

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Masterson needs to start imo. I wouldn't go out and blow money on another starter, we have a fine rotation. Beckett, Matsuzaka, Lester, Masterson, Wakefield is a fine rotation. If we get Lowe, even better. I agree with what TSA said, injury free would be a huge plus.

Interesting thought here, sign Texeira, move Youk to third, trade Lowell for prospect/4th OF, trade Lugo to Detroit for D Train. That'd put the lineup like this: LF Bay, CF Ellsbury, RF Drew, 3rd Youk, SS Lowrie, 2nd Pedroia, 1st Texeira, C Varitek. Pitching staff: Beckett, Matsuzaka, Lester, Masterson, Willis, Wakefield ( open competition for the last two spots). I'm liking that.

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I do not think they should trade Lowell at all. He has been a decent player for the Sox. He has won a World Series MVP. He is one of the best fielding third basemen in the game. Why would you want to trade him.

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BOSTON -- Ramon Ramirez, the newest member of the Boston Red Sox, can easily flash back to May 20, the only time he's ever pitched at Fenway Park.

"I was discussing the very same thing with my father a little while ago -- how, when I first got out there, you felt the history of the stadium," Ramirez said through interpreter Eddie Romero. "It was packed."

Acquired from the Royals in a trade for Coco Crisp, Ramirez thinks back to that night in May -- a scoreless inning of work -- and envisions what will become commonplace.

"You have all these fans there. It was like a Major League moment," Ramirez said. "You look around and you're at Fenway and you recall the level of players that have played on this field. It was really something that caused a great amount of joy. A very proud moment for me."

And now that the right-handed reliever is a member of the Boston Red Sox?

"I couldn't be happier right now. I'm ecstatic," Ramirez said.

Ramirez, who is 27 years old, should become a vital member of the Boston bullpen.

Backed by his changeup, which has the action of a splitter, Ramirez became a force for the Royals in 2008, evolving into their eighth-inning setup man. He posted a 2.64 ERA, striking out 70 over 71 2/3 innings.

The Fenway faithful should become very familiar with Ramirez's split-change in 2009.

"I've been working on the pitch for about three years now and really, the combination with improved fastball command has allowed me to have more success with it," Ramirez said. "It's become a better pitch as I've improved my fastball command and I've gotten healthier. That's what's allowed it to become a plus pitch. Obviously it's one of my better pitches."

Last year, Ramirez made his nasty offerings for the Royals, deprived of the opportunity to pitch in a pennant race.

"I think it's a new experience for me to be able to be on a contending club," Ramirez said. "I know that Boston is going to be in it this upcoming season and that they have been the past couple of years. It's just an exciting opportunity to be able to be on a winning club."

How will Ramirez fit into a Boston bullpen which also includes Manny Delcarmen and Hideki Okajima and perhaps Justin Masterson?

"It doesn't matter what inning it is, that's for the team to decide," Ramirez said. "It's not up to me. I'll do whatever they want me to do. As far as my demeanor, I like being aggressive. I like attacking the strike zone, it doesn't matter what the count or what situation I'm being brought into. I just want to be as aggressive as possible and go right after hitters."

That type of mentality will suit him well in Boston, a place which can carve up a player not accustomed to the pressure.

"Other players have discussed those type of things," Ramirez said. "But I feel aside from the pressure, it's a great place to play. The fans give the team so much support. I'm human, sometimes you do feel some pressure. But I'm just going to go out there and give 200 percent of what I can for the team and do what I can to ignore that pressure. I don't think it will be an issue."

What kind of pitcher did the Red Sox acquire for Crisp?

"He's a pitcher that stays on the attack with his fastball," said Royals general manager Dayton Moore. "He's got a very good changeup and he commands the down-and-away strike very good, with power. He fields his position well, has some deception. He's a very poised person, an extremely confident person, a very diligent worker. In fact, our people felt he might be a closer sometime in his career."

http://boston.redsox.mlb.com/news/article....sp&c_id=bos

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I do not think they should trade Lowell at all. He has been a decent player for the Sox. He has won a World Series MVP. He is one of the best fielding third basemen in the game. Why would you want to trade him.

Age, injuries, and Youkilis is younger and just as good defensively.

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I do not think they should trade Lowell at all. He has been a decent player for the Sox. He has won a World Series MVP. He is one of the best fielding third basemen in the game. Why would you want to trade him.

Age, injuries, and Youkilis is younger and just as good defensively. It was just a thought.....

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Yeah he is getting up there in age and as far as I can remember that hip injury was the only serious injury he had with the Sox. But other than that he is still performing well I think. I personaly would not trade him unsell he starts proving he can not do the job any more.

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Sanspo.com in Japan is reporting that the Boston Red Sox have made a $6 million contract offer to right-handed pitcher Junichi Tazawa.

The report indicated that the 22-year-old Tazawa met with Craig Shipley, the Red Sox's vice president of international scouting, for nearly two hours.

It's not known if the offer is for a Major League or Minor League contract.

Tazawa, who has attracted attention from several Major League teams, skipped the Japanese draft in order to sign with a Major League team. Because of this, he will not require a posting fee.

The Atlanta Braves and Seattle Mariners have reportedly offered Tazawa contacts recently as well.

http://boston.redsox.mlb.com/news/article....sp&c_id=bos

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BOSTON -- If the Red Sox did offer free agent catcher Jason Varitek a one-year contract, as Web site WEEI.com reported on Monday morning, it is news to agent Scott Boras.

Boras, who has represented Varitek for his entire pro career, told the Boston Globe on Monday that he knows nothing of a one-year contract offered by the Red Sox to Varitek.

In addition, Boras told the newspaper that negotiations between Varitek and the Red Sox haven't even started.

The Red Sox have a blanket policy of not commenting on the status of negotiations with any free agents.

Initial efforts by MLB.com to reach Boras were unsuccessful.

WEEI.com, the Web site for the Red Sox's flagship radio station, cited "sources" in reporting that the one-year offer to Varitek wasn't in the same range as the $13.1 million per season that catcher Jorge Posada got from the Yankees last offseason.

Boras has said numerous times that he believes there will be a significant market for Varitek this winter.

"Obviously, there are teams that are looking at a catcher that can win 60 percent of your games. There are teams interested [in Varitek]," Boras told the Boston Globe last week.

Varitek, acquired by the Red Sox on July 31, 1997, has been the team's starting catcher for the last 10 seasons. Prior to the 2005 season, the Red Sox made Varitek their first captain since Jim Rice's retirement in 1989.

While speaking to reporters at the General Managers Meetings in Dana Point, Calif., earlier this month, Boras said that his client is worthy of a deal comparable to the four-year, $52.4 million pact Posada signed less than a year ago.

Varitek, who will turn 37 in the first month of the 2009 season, is coming off a career-worst season offensively, in which he hit .220 with 13 homers and 43 RBIs.

But Varitek, even when he is not hitting, brings more to the table. He is a leader of the pitching staff and still very effective on defense.

Red Sox general manager Theo Epstein has noted as much.

"We need to get the catching situation right," Epstein said in late October. "Jason's an important guy here, and we'll sit down and explore if there's a way for him to come back that will help be a positive solution for our catching situation. If there is, I'm sure he'll end up coming back. If there are obstacles we can't overcome, sometimes that's beyond our control. It's an important one. He brings a lot to the table here, despite not having one of his most productive years. We'll sit down and talk about it."

One scenario the Red Sox are said to favor is one in which Varitek comes back, but doesn't play quite as much as he has in past years. Ideally, the Red Sox would be able to acquire a young catcher this offseason, one who could perhaps thrive under the tutelage of Varitek.

Fellow free agent Curt Schilling thinks that situation could be good for both Varitek and the Sox.

"I talked to Tek very briefly over the last couple of days, and I think that he understands he's at that point of his career where he's not going to catch 135 games," Schilling said last week. "I'm not sure he's mad about that. It's a great situation, if you can work it out, where he spends the next two years here at a minimum and brings along the kid you want to fill that role. I think they're out trying to find that kid right now. They're kind of running parallel, talking to Tek and trying to make that move [for a younger catcher]. I don't know that, but that's what I would guess."

Four years ago, when Varitek was a free agent, he wound up re-signing with the Red Sox on Christmas Eve.

http://mlb.mlb.com/news/article.jsp?ymd=20...8&fext=.jsp

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I like it. Id rather ease a youger kid into that starting role and have him mentored by TEk because he knows this pitcing staff the best. That would allow Tek a multi year deal and let him retire a Red Sox player, as it should be.

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I like it. Id rather ease a youger kid into that starting role and have him mentored by TEk because he knows this pitcing staff the best. That would allow Tek a multi year deal and let him retire a Red Sox player, as it should be.
I agree. I also have a hard time thinking the Red Sox would let Vartiek go any where else. He is to important to this team to just let him go some place else.

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Tazawa set to choose Red Sox

BOSTON -- The Red Sox appear poised to add to their recent track record of landing Japanese pitchers, as right-hander Junichi Tazawa has reportedly decided to join the franchise that already has Daisuke Matsuzaka and Hideki Okajima.

According to two Japanese news organizations -- Mainichi Daily News and Nikkan Sports -- Tazawa will reveal by the beginning of next week that he has chosen the Red Sox over the other Major League teams that were interested in his services.

The list also included the Texas Rangers, Atlanta Braves, Seattle Mariners, Detroit Tigers and perhaps a few others.

Just as in their pursuit of Matsuzaka and Okajima, the Red Sox were stealth all the way in their scouting and courting of Tazawa.

The club has yet to say anything publicly with regard to the right-hander, acknowledging only that it made him a contract offer.

Nikkan Sports reported that Tazawa ended negotiations with all other teams and that the official announcement of his deal with the Red Sox will occur on Dec. 1.

Unlike Matsuzaka and Okajima, who had both put together impressive and sustained careers in Japan, the 22-year-old Tazawa is a much more untapped commodity.

Tazawa asked Japanese pro teams not to draft him so that he could go straight to the Major Leagues.

He spent 2008 pitching for the Nippon Oil of the Japan Industrial League, which is for amateur players only.

Tazawa dominated for Nippon, pitching a complete-game shutout in his final start, which was on Nov. 21.

His fastball, according to a Major League source, is generally in the low 90s. Some reports suggested that Tazawa threw 97 mph. If so, it appears that was a rarity.

Because of Tazawa's lack of professional experience, there's a chance he will pitch in the Minor Leagues in 2009.

It isn't known if the offer from the Red Sox -- reportedly worth as much $6 million over three seasons -- was a Major League contract.

The Red Sox already have a quality starting rotation, including Josh Beckett, Jon Lester, Matsuzaka and Tim Wakefield. Talented young pitchers Justin Masterson and Clay Buchholz could also be in the mix for a rotation spot. That could allow Tazawa time to get more seasoning.

The Rangers, according to reports, were believed to have offered Tazawa slightly more money than the Red Sox.

However, the presence of Matsuzaka might have paid big dividends for the Red Sox. Tazawa went to a different high school than Matsuzaka, but in the same city (Yokohama) where Dice-K built his legend.

Like many young pitchers in Japan, Tazawa is said to view Matsuzaka in high esteem.

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That's pretty interesting. The scouts must have seen a lot of untapped talent that they could develop themselves like Lester, Masterson and hopefully Bucholtz. Wasn't one of the problems with DiceK that he had to adjust his whole way of pitching when he got here? This might alleviate the whole adjustment period if they can develop him as an MLB player instead of a Japanese player from the start.

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http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2008/base...x.html#?eref=T1

Interesting piece on si.com about the impact Tazawa could have Japanese amateur players skipping out on the Japanese major leagues altogether, regardless of whether he actually pans out over here.

He'd have to prove himself before we hand him a major league roster spot, imo, but it'd be good if we got him.

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Looks like the Tazawa deal is done per the AP:

Junichi Tazawa - INT

According to the Kyodo News agency out of Japan, Junichi Tazawa contacted the Rangers, Mariners, and Braves Friday to reject their offers and plans to sign with the Red Sox early next week. A few other teams dropped out of the race in the fear of angering Japanese clubs. Tazawa is reportedly taking less guaranteed money in his deal with the Sox, but wants to pitch alongside his idol, Daisuke Matsuzaka.

I guess Japanese is going to be the official 2nd language of Baaaaston.

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Theo must be doing something right. When guys like Jay Payton want to come back after leaving on shaky terms, you have be running your team right. Now, if I hear that Manny wants to come back.......ummmm no.

Jay Payton- Free agent Jay Payton, who forced a trade out of Boston in 2005 because he was unhappy with his role, says he's open to returning to the Red Sox as a fourth outfielder.

"When I talked to my agent recently, Boston was the first team I mentioned," he said. "I don't know if it's in the cards or if I squished my chances of ever returning there. I know the circumstances of my departure from there a few years back were blown out of proportion. I've talked to Tito [Terry Francona] several times since then and we're OK. I'd love the chance to go back there because that's a winning organization and they're committed to winning. They do things the right way."

Derek Lowe- Free agent Derek Lowe said he's yet to talk money with any club.

Lowe is reportedly asking for $16 million per season, but he says he's not going to sign with a lesser team to get that money. "It's pretty easy to figure them out if you just sit back and go over the teams in baseball who win on a consistent basis," said Lowe. "If your No. 1 goal is to win, I would say there's only a handful of teams year in and year out that have a chance to win." The Red Sox are at the top of his list. "If you're looking four or five years down the line, they fit the criteria of what I'm looking for. It's not just the fact I played there - but, yeah, there were a lot of things I enjoyed - but they're definitely a franchise that has a chance to win."

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I like the Tawaza deal because it bolsters our Minor League pitching with some of the other guys being on the MLB roster or being used for trade bait. Also it allows him to be accustomed to the USA way of baseball before playing in the Japanese leagues.

I wouldn't mind having Lowe return for the right price and number of years, but Jay Payton needs to be as far away from Boston as possible. Bring back Kapler or sign Baldelli (amount of risk involved with him though) for the 4th OF.

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