Yoenis Cespedes

Yoenis Cespedes

PHOENIX — Upon the signing of free agent outfielder Michael Cuddyer Monday, murmurs throughout the Arizona Biltmore Hotel circulated regarding what it might mean for the Red Sox.

The Mets, with all their young starting pitching, were thought to be a good fit in a potential deal with the Red Sox considering New York’s need for a corner outfielder. It was believed that Yoenis Cespedes might be an outfielder the Mets had their eye on prior to inking Cuddyer to a two-year, $21 million deal.

But according to a major league source, the Mets had little interest in trading for Cespedes even before locking up Cuddyer. Among the reasons given was the desire to acquire a player for more than just the year left on Cespedes’ contract.

Multiple executives at the general managers’ meetings did, however, believe that the likelihood is that Cespedes will be dealt at some point this offseason. In an interview with MLB Network Radio over the weekend, Red Sox general manager Ben Cherington said that he has been receiving calls on all of the teams outfielders, without a particular emphasis on any one player.

Blog Author: 
Rob Bradford

According to a report from Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports (via twitter), the Red Sox are among the teams that Phillies left-hander Cole Hamels has listed among those from whom he has no-trade protection.

According to a report from Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports (via twitter), the Red Sox are among the teams that Phillies left-hander Cole Hamels has listed among those from whom he has no-trade protection. That “protection” does not rule out the possibility of a trade. Instead, it gives Hamels the right to veto a trade.

Typically, players use the opportunity to apply no-trade protection to extract something of value from teams that would be interested in trading for them. Sometimes that comes in the form of a bonus (as when the Red Sox traded for Mark Kotsay in 2008). In other instances, players will use their no-trade protection either to negotiate an extension (Curt Schilling after the 2003 season). In the case of Hamels, Rosenthal notes (via twitter) that the left-hander likely would want to have his 2019 option for $20 million (with a $6 million buyout) guaranteed.

Hamels, 30, went 9-9 with a 2.46 ERA, 8.7 strikeouts per nine innings and 2.6 walks per nine innings in 2014. The three-time All-Star owns a career 108-83 record with a 3.27 ERA in 1801 1/3 innings. He’s made at least 30 starts in each of the last seven seasons.

Blog Author: 
WEEI

PHOENIX — Listen to Jay Alou — agent for free agent outfielder Yasmany Tomas –€“ for his first two sentences and you’€™ll come away with a dose of reality.

PHOENIX ‘€“ Listen to Jay Alou ‘€“ agent for free agent outfielder Yasmany Tomas ‘€“ for his first two sentences and you’€™ll come away with a dose of reality.

‘€œI don’€™t see a need. They have their outfielders,’€ Alou said when asked at the general managers’€™ meetings Monday about the Red Sox‘€™ interest in the 23-year-old slugger.

But then, in mid statement, came the push.

‘€œI mean, he could play third base. Everybody could use some pop,’€ Alou added.

Alou was simply doing his job when talking to a small group of Boston-area reporters ‘€“ building up his client for the rest of the baseball world.

Sure, the Red Sox had viewed Tomas during both a showcase and a private workout (held at the team’€™s facility in the Dominican Republic). But their interest has never been at the level of other teams, citing a concern over the outfielder’€™s swing-and-miss ratio while playing in Cuba, along with the Sox’€™ glut of outfielders.

The wheels did start turning a bit when Alou mentioned the prospects of playing third base, a need for the Red Sox. (‘€œHe caught some ground balls (at the workout). He wants to work everywhere. He’€™ll take ground balls anywhere. He just wants to play,’€ the agent said.)

But, unless there is a change of course, no matter what the position, it doesn’€™t appear as the though the Red Sox view Tomas as valuable an investment as the seven-year, $72.5 million they paid Rusney Castillo.

If that is the case, the interest in Tomas from Red Sox fans’€™ point of view should be in regards to what the outfielder might become.

When told Castillo compared Tomas’€™ power to that of Jose Abreu (he of 35 home runs), Alou immediately shot back, ‘€œHe’€™s got more power than Abreu. He’€™s got a lot more power. Abreu’€™s a little older, more mature with his bat. Sometimes it takes guys longer to figure things out. And the last couple of weeks, a lot of things have clicked for Yasmany. I can tell you he’€™s got a lot more power than anyone I’€™ve ever seen. A lot.’€

For multiple reasons, Tomas will be linked to Abreu. The Red Sox (and other teams who are shying away from the outfielder) just have to wait and see if the youngster will spawn the same wave of regrets.

‘€œI’m not the team owner. They have to decide when to pull the trigger,’€ said Alou regarding a timeline for Alou to sign. ‘€œAfter Jose Abreu did what he did this year, I’m sure there were plenty of teams out there that said, ‘Why didn’t I get that guy?’ What happened? What went wrong? Why didn’t I get him?’

‘€œYasmany Tomas is very very special. You don’t find that kind of power, and we might not find that kind of power for a while, because the guys with that build, they’re playing in the NFL.’€

Blog Author: 
Rob Bradford

Left-hander Eduardo Rodriguez could represent one of the Red Sox' foremost trade chips this winter.</p>
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Ben Cherington

Ben Cherington

PHOENIX — Want to know one of the rarest feats in Major League Baseball? An actual significant transaction during the general managers’ meetings.

Sure, it happens.

Last year, the Phillies signed Marlon Byrd to a somewhat sizable contract. The year before, David Ross agreed to a deal with the Red Sox on the final day of the meetings. In 2010, not only did two set-up guys (Joaquin Benoit, Scott Downs) agree to three-year deals during the three-day event, but catcher John Buck also was locked up by the Marlins.

It was also in ’10 at the GM meetings in Orlando that Red Sox chairman Tom Werner went on WEEI and proclaimed, “”We are going to sign a significant free agent. We are going to make a trade.” A few weeks later along came Adrian Gonzalez and Carl Crawford.

But the importance of the get-together at the Arizona Biltmore Hotel this week stretches beyond any sort of actual transactions. This is truly where the rubber meets the offseason road. In ’09, it was the commitment shown by the Red Sox (with then-manager Terry Francona joining GM Theo Epstein in Chicago) towards John Lackey at the GM meetings that was later identified as a difference-maker when wooing the starter.

The Red Sox will not be meeting with any players this week, just agents and teams — a lot of them.

Cherington will meet up with Gustavo Vasquez (Pablo Sandoval’s agent), Sam and Seth Levinson (Jon Lester‘s agents), Page Odle (James Shields‘ agent), Adam Katz (Hanley Ramirez‘s agent), and, yes, Scott Boras (Max Scherzer‘s agent). The list will be a lot longer, but you get the idea.

There will be a session in which all the general managers are put in a ballroom for the media to have at them for about 45 minutes. And, typically, the GMs might break off from their meetings to partake in some sort of outing (although this year that is supposedly consisting of simply checking out some Arizona Fall League action).

Last year served as a pretty good cheat sheet for how a big league offseason unfolds once the GM meetings’ meetings come to a close. The GMs filtered out of Orlando last year on Nov. 13. Exactly three weeks later, everything and anything of significance that was going to take place for the Red Sox (signings of Jacoby Ellsbury, Jarrod Saltamacchia, Mike Napoli) unfolded in a matter of just a few days.

About a week before, there was a smattering of activity throughout MLB, with David Murphy (Indians) and Jhonny Peralta (Cardinals) signing free agent deals. The Angels and Cardinals also made a deal Nov. 22, with World Series hero David Freese being sent to Anaheim.

Will this year be different? There’s a chance. Often times one signing and domino into a bunch. There are enough high-leverage bullpen arms, for instance, that an Andrew Miller decision could push things along. Or maybe one of the big ticket starters surprises and jumps early.

If nothing else, the tone of the coming month will be set in the coming days. Here’s a promise: it will be the biggest event in Arizona for Boston sports fans until some football game is played here Feb. 1.

(For some of Cherington’s thoughts heading into the meetings, click here.)

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Blog Author: 
Rob Bradford

PHOENIX — According to a major league source, the Red Sox are not expecting to meet with any players during the general managers meetings this week.

PHOENIX — According to a major league source, the Red Sox are not expecting to meet with any players during the general managers meetings this week.

There had been reports suggesting that the Sox might be not only meeting with Pablo Sandoval’s agent, Gustavo Vasquez, but also the free agent third baseman, himself. The Red Sox contingent — headed up by general manager Ben Cherington — is only scheduled to hold discussions with agents and teams during the three-day event at the Arizona Biltmore Hotel.

It would not be surprising if the Red Sox don’t conduct any get-togethers with players during the front office’s time in Arizona, with such get-togethers usually reserved for the winter meetings. (Even those such meetings aren’t common, with the Red Sox last conducting one with then-free agent Josh Hamilton following the 2012 season.)

The 28 year old Sandoval typically spends his offseason working out in his native Venezuela.

Blog Author: 
Rob Bradford

With the general managers meetings slated to kick off in Phoenix Monday, Red Sox Ben Cherington is preparing to hatch his team’s offseason plan.