February 28, 2015

NYDN's Madden Whines About "Double Standard" With Red Sox

Bill Madden, Daily News:
It is really quite amazing how the Red Sox, after winning the Yoan Moncada sweepstakes for $63 million, are taking bows and being hailed for investing heavily in their farm system, even though they don't know what position the unproven 19-year-old Cuban prodigy is going to play any more than they know where their other $72.5 million Cuban import, Rusney Castillo, is going to play this season.

All told, the Red Sox spent $265 million this winter on Moncada, Pablo Sandoval, Hanley Ramirez and the contract of Wade Miley, who they acquired in a trade, in contrast to the $438 million the Yankees spent last winter on Masahiro Tanaka, Carlos Beltran, Jacoby Ellsbury and Brian McCann. Only the Yankees, who were labeled as cheapskates in some quarters for bowing out of the Moncada bidding at $25 million, were chided for grossly overpaying for Beltran, Ellsbury and McCann, and said to be "insane" and "desperate" for giving $155 million to a pitcher, in Tanaka, who had never thrown a pitch in the major leagues.

So what's with the double standard? The Red Sox, who, incredibly, are still trying to convince people they are not like the Yankees, are instead proclaimed as geniuses for all their spending, while the Yankees, whenever they spend big, are gluttonous over-reachers — and then "cheapskates" by those same critics when they restrain themselves from spending $200 million on Max Scherzer, $75 million on James Shields or $60 million on Moncada.

February 25, 2015

Ortiz In Camp, Looking Fit

NESN's Don Orsillo snapped the above shot of David Ortiz arriving at camp yesterday.

Rick Weber, ESPNBoston:
Whatever he did in the offseason, it worked. He looked ripped, wearing a sleeveless black shirt that exposed massive, chiseled biceps on his 39-year-old body. And he felt good enough about himself to toss a little dig in the direction of Pablo Sandoval, chiming, "My belly hasn't grown like Panda."
Ben Cherington:
David knows he's going to be a Red Sox [player] as long as he wants to be a Red Sox [player].
Also, the Red Sox's signing of Yoan Moncada has Daily News columnist John Harper suggesting there is a new Evil Empire in MLB!

February 23, 2015

Red Sox Sign Cuban Infielder Yoan Moncada


Jesse Sanchez, MLB.com:
Cuban top infield prospect Yoan Moncada has agreed to a record-setting bonus with the Red Sox, according to an industry source.

The agreement is pending a physical. The club has not confirmed the deal, which is worth $31.5 million -- a figure that smashes the $8.27 million bonus record for an international amateur under the current signing guidelines, which was given to right-hander Yoan Lopez by the D-backs in January.

It is believed Moncada [19 years old] considered offers from five teams before choosing Boston. He worked out privately for the Brewers, Cubs, D-backs, Dodgers, Giants, Padres, Rangers, Rays, Tigers and Yankees during the past six weeks, according to industry sources. ...

It's been quite a journey for Moncada. The teenager -- who plays second base, shortstop and third base -- starred for Cuba's top team of 15- and 16-year-olds, and he made a name for himself at the U-16 IBAF World Baseball Championships in Mexico.

Moncada made his debut for Cienfuegos in Cuba's Serie Nacional at age 17 and hit .277 during parts of two seasons. He played alongside White Sox slugger Jose Abreu and Dodgers infielder Erisbel Arruebarrena. Moncada was also teammates with Abreu, Arruebarrena and other notable players like Yulieski Gourriel, Alfredo Despaigne and Jose Miguel Fernandez on Cuba's national team during the 2013 World Port Tournament in the Netherlands. Raisel Iglesias, who signed a seven-year, $27 million deal with the Reds last June, was also one of Moncada's teammates.
Moncada may join the Red Sox in Fort Myers as early as tomorrow.

"Moncada signing big for Red Sox now and later" (Richard Justice, MLB.com)

"Moncada gives Red Sox bona fide star in the making" (Jim Callis, MLB.com)

"Sox great Tiant helped recruit Moncada" (Gordon Edes, ESPNBoston)

February 21, 2015

Red Sox Extend Farrell's Contract Through 2017

The Red Sox have extended manager John Farrell's contract through the 2017 season, with a club option for 2018.

Dustin Pedroia likes the decision:
John's awesome. He's always that guy you can go to and talk (to about) any kind of problems. He's there for you. He wants you to be the best you can be as a player, and if you have something going on off the field you can always go to him.
Hanley Ramirez's nickname for Pedroia? Smurf.

Earlier this week, Farrell said that if Shane Victorino is healthy, he will be the team's right fielder. Mookie Betts doesn't have a problem with that.

Today is also the day for pitchers and catchers to report to camp, but most of the Red Sox team is already in Fort Myers.

February 7, 2015

Babe Ruth Birthday Celebration Fact

Ace of MLB Stats had a fantastic tweet yesterday in honour of Babe Ruth's 120th birthday:

                Year    AVG   OBP   SLG
Babe Ruth       1920   .376  .532  .847
Babe Ruth       1921   .378  .512  .846
Babe Ruth       1923   .393  .545  .764
Babe Ruth       1924   .378  .513  .739
Babe Ruth       1926   .372  .516  .737
Babe Ruth       1927   .356  .486  .772 
Babe Ruth       1930   .359  .493  .732
Rogers Hornsby  1925   .403  .489  .756
Ted Williams    1941   .406  .553  .735
Ted Williams    1957   .388  .526  .731
Barry Bonds     2002   .370  .582  .799
Barry Bonds     2004   .362  .609  .812
Of Ruth's seven qualified seasons, six of them came in an eight-year span!

Some other Ruth-related tweets:
"Babe Ruth hit 71 HR over the span of 162 games from July 24, 1927 to July 30, 1928."

"Babe Ruth maintained a .401 batting average over the span of 255 games from April 24, 1923 to August 8, 1924."

"Babe Ruth would have to resurrect, return to baseball, and go 0 for 1,147 for his slugging percentage to drop below Barry Bonds's .6069."

February 6, 2015

Three Pre-Season Mags Pick Red Sox To Win East

Three pre-season baseball annuals have appeared on newsstands and all of them have good things to say about the Red Sox, who finished in last place in the American League East in 2014.

Lindy's, Athlon, and The Sporting News both pick Boston to go from worst-to-first and win the AL East. All three magazines also pick the Yankees to finish the season in fourth place.

Red Sox
Blue Jays
AL MVP: Robinson Cano
AL Cy Young: Chris Sale
AL Rookie: Rusney Castillo
AL West: White Sox
AL West: Angels
AL WC: Tigers, Mariners
World Series: Red Sox / Nationals
Red Sox
Blue Jays
AL MVP: Mike Trout
AL Cy Young: Chris Sale
AL Rookie: Rusney Castillo
AL West: Tigers
AL West: Angels
AL WC: Blue Jays, Mariners
ALCS: Angels over Mariners
World Series: Nationals over Angels
Top 50 Prospects: #15: Blake Swihart; #23: Henry Owens
The Sporting News
Red Sox
Blue Jays
AL MVP: Mike Trout
AL Cy Young: Chris Sale
AL Rookie: Rusney Castillo
ALDS: Mariners over Red Sox; Tigers over White Sox
ALCS: Tigers over Mariners
World Series: Cubs over Tigers

February 3, 2015

Players Have Begun Working Out In Fort Myers

Rick Porcello, Justin Masterson, Pablo Sandoval, Jackie Bradley, and Blake Swihart are in Florida and have begun working out. Pictures and video here.

The first official day of workouts in February 21.