Wilmer Flores

Wilmer Flores

As the trade deadline gets closer and closer teams are beginning to make their final efforts to get things done before Friday’s deadline.

— The Pirates acquired pitcher Joe Blanton from the Royals on Wednesday for cash considerations.

— On Thursday morning, the Indians and Cardinals made a one-for-one swap with right fielder and first baseman Brandon Moss heading to St. Louis for pitcher Rob Kaminsky, per Ken Rosenthal.

— It was an interesting night Wednesday as a trade between the Mets and Brewers that involved Milwaukee center fielder Carlos Gomez going to New York in exchange for pitcher Zack Wheeler and infielder Wilmer Flores reportedly was going to happen until it fell through at the last minute.

Flores, who began crying on the field when he was informed of the trade, likely via a player who saw on social media, learned later that things had fallen through when Mets general manager Sandy Alderson said “there is no trade.” MLB.com reported the Mets backed out because of concerns with Gomez’s right hip, which he’s had soreness throughout the season.

According to Bob Nightengale of USA Today, “a high-ranking executive who spoke to Tigers twice this week says he’d be shocked if the Tigers don’t move David Price by Friday” and Buster Olney said later on Wednesday that the Cubs, Giants, Yankees, Giants, Dodgers and Astros could be in on the pitcher.

Nightengale then tweeted Thursday morning: MLB executives are absolutely convinced Tigers David Price will win up with the Dodgers, who likely will have to part with [pitching prospect Julio] Urias.

Now that Hamels is gone, CBS Sports’ Jon Heyman wrote the Yankees will talk to the Tigers about Price, though they are not necessarily considered a favorite to get him. New York had turned down a trade for Hamels when the Phillies asked for two of their top prospects in Luis Severino and Aaron Judge.

— The Tigers are also listening on closer Joakim Soria and former Red Sox outfielder Yoenis Cespedes and could field offers for their other impending free agents, according to ESPN.com’s Jayson Stark. They will likely focus on Price, Cespedes and Soria though, Stark wrote.

Blog Author: 
Judy Cohen

A look at the action in the Red Sox farm system on Wednesday:

A look at the action in the Red Sox farm system on Wednesday:

Henry Owens

Henry Owens

TRIPLE-A PAWTUCKET RED SOX (42-62): L, 2-0, vs. Norfolk (Orioles)

— LHP Henry Owens (Boston’€™s No. 2 prospect at MLB.com) once again pitched well enough to win, but without run support took the loss (3-8, 3.16 ERA) with a final line of: 6 IP, 5 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 1 BB, 3 SO (97 pitches, 64 strikes). In Owens’€™ seven losses this season, Pawtucket has scored a combined six runs.

The lone run charged to Owens Wednesday came after an RBI double in the second inning, with a single and passed ball charged to catcher Humberto Quintero preceding the run. Owens, 23, retired 13 of the final 17 batters he faced, with two of those that reached doing so via errors on the PawSox infield.

The 36th overall selection in the 2011 draft, Owens has thrown quality starts in eight out of his past nine outings, giving him an ERA of 2.85 (20 ER/63 IP) over that span with 54 strikeouts to 18 walks. In 2014 Owens went 17-5 over 26 starts split between Double-A Portland and Pawtucket, with an ERA of 2.94.

— RHP Pat Light (Boston’€™s No. 24 prospect at MLB.com) pitched 1 2/3 scoreless innings of relief, getting a double play to end the seventh after RHP Dayan Diaz had allowed a double and walked three batters. Light stayed on for the eighth and retired the side in order, striking out two. Light, 24, now has scoreless appearances in three of his last four after a rough stretch of eight outings that saw his ERA rise to 8.74. The 37th overall selection in the 2012 draft, Light had a terrific start to the year in Portland with 32 strikeouts in 29 2/3 innings over 21 appearances before his promotion.

— The PawSox offense was held to just five hits, with DH Garin Cecchini (Boston’€™s No. 6 prospect at MLB.com), shortstop Deven Marrero (Boston’€™s No. 7 prospect at MLB.com), and center fielder Quintin Berry each reaching base twice (each with a single and a walk). Pawtucket was 0-for-8 with runners in scoring position, and the team fell to 4-20 in July.

— Center fielder Jackie Bradley Jr. was promoted to Boston with Mookie Betts heading to the disabled list. In 71 games in Triple-A Bradley has slashed .305/.382/.472, with five home runs in July to bring his season total to nine.

Infielder Mike Miller was reassigned from Portland back to Pawtucket, and catcher Matt Spring was added off the temporary inactive list.

Sam Travis

Sam Travis

DOUBLE-A PORTLAND SEA DOGS (39-66): L, 4-2, at Trenton (Yankees)

— First baseman Sam Travis (Boston’€™s No. 12 prospect at MLB.com), in the DH spot on Wednesday, doubled and scored a run in the first and singled home a run in the seventh, finishing 2-for-4 to raise his average to .306 in 32 games with the Sea Dogs. Travis, 21, extended his hit streak to six games, which he’€™s hit .375 (9-for-24) with three RBIs. Selected by Boston in the second-round of the 2014 draft out of Indiana University, Travis has put together an excellent July as he’€™s hit .347 with 16 RBIs and 12 runs scored over 26 games this month, to go with a .412 on-base percentage.

— Catcher Tim Roberson went 2-for-3 with an RBI single, his sixth multi-hit game in his last seven as he’€™s raised his season-long average to .359. Over those last seven games, Roberson is hitting .500 (14-for-28) with eight RBIs. Roberson, 26, was on the disabled list from May 23-July 6 with a fractured finger. Signed by the Red Sox as a non-drafted free agent out of Florida Gulf Coast University in 2011, Roberson played mostly at first base in 2014 and hit .231 with 10 home runs split between Greenville and Salem.

— LHP Williams Jerez took the loss, allowing two runs in the bottom of the eighth to decide a game that was tied 2-2. Jerez walked the first three batters he faced before surrendering an RBI single and an RBI groundout. The 23-year-old Jerez has now walked 12 in 19 2/3 innings in Double-A since his promotion from High-A Salem, with seven earned runs allowed over those 11 appearances. Jerez started the season with Greenville, striking out 43 over 39 1/3 innings before ascending through the organization, stopping in Salem for just five outings prior to his Double-A debut. A converted position player, Jerez was selected by Boston in the second round of the 2011 draft out of high school in New York.

— Right fielder Aneury Tavarez led off the ninth inning with a triple pulled down the right field line, but was stranded as Manuel Margot (Boston’€™s No. 4 prospect at MLB.com), Carlos Asuaje (Boston’€™s No. 22 prospect at MLB.com) and Travis all struck out to end the game.

Kevin Heller

Kevin Heller

HIGH-A SALEM RED SOX (51-53): L, 4-0, and L, 8-2 in 7 innings, at Lynchburg (Indians)

— Game 1 of a doubleheader was a resumption of Tuesday’€™s suspended game, with Salem trailing 3-0 in the top of the fourth inning. RHP Ty Buttrey had started the game on Tuesday and despite not continuing Wednesday was saddled with the loss (7-4, 3.39 ERA) as he had allowed three runs (just one earned) on four walks and a hit.

— RHP Kyle Kraus took the mound to start Wednesday, in relief of Buttrey, and kept Salem within reach as he went five innings allowing an unearned run with three hits and two walks allowed while striking out two. Kraus, 25, has been working in long relief for much of the season and in his last ten appearances (six with Double-A Salem) he’€™s allowed just four earned runs over 33 2/3 innings, with 19 strikeouts to six walks.

Salem produced just four hits in the opener, with a double from catcher Danny Bethea the lone extra base hit and with right fielder Kevin Heller the only batter to reach base multiple times (single, walk, hit by a pitch).

— Salem’€™s offense didn’€™t fare much better in Game 2 of the doubleheader, producing just five hits as Salem lost their fifth straight game.

Heller was again the only Salem batter with multiple on-base appearances, finishing 1-for-1 with a solo home run and two walks. Playing left field in the nightcap, Heller led off the second inning with his fourth homer of the season to bring Salem with a run at 2-1. The 25-year-old Heller is now slashing .311/.430/.446 in 59 games in High-A this year, after being demoted from Portland 13 games into the season. Selected by Boston in the 40th round of the 2012 draft out of Amherst College, Heller is now hitting .347 in July with two homers, four doubles, 14 RBIs, 10 runs scored, and 16 walks over his last 24 games.

— RHP Teddy Stankiewicz (Boston’€™s No. 17 prospect at MLB.com) made his first start since being partially hit in the head with a line drive on July 20, taking the loss Wednesday (3-10, 3.86 ERA) with a final line of: 5 IP, 9 H, 5 R, 3 ER, 3 BB, 5 SO. Stankiewicz, 21, allowed back-to-back RBI doubles in the first and then single runs in the second, third, and fifth innings. A throwing error by catcher Carlos Coste in the third, as well as a run-scoring passed ball charged to Coste in the fifth, contributed to Stankiewicz’€™s problems. Selected by Boston in the second round of the 2013 draft out of Seminole Junior College, Stankiewicz was 11-8 with a 3.72 ERA last year in 25 starts with Greenville.

SINGLE-A GREENVILLE DRIVE (52-50): Scheduled off day. Next action Thursday vs. Lexington (Royals)

Luis Alexander Basabe

Luis Alexander Basabe

SHORT-SEASON SINGLE-A LOWELL SPINNERS (19-19): W, 10-7, at Williamsport (Phillies)

— Right fielder Tate Matheny drove in four runs, including the go-ahead marks in the ninth inning with a single that scored Jhon Nunez and Luis Alexander Basabe, as Matheny finished 2-for-4 with a walk and two runs scored. Matheny, 21, also highlighted a seven-run fourth inning for Lowell with a leadoff walk and later in the inning a two-RBI single as ten batters came to the plate. Selected by Boston in the fourth round of this year’€™s draft out of Missouri State, Matheny picked up his first multi-RBI game and the second multi-hit game of his now 19-game professional career.

— Left fielder Luis Alexander Basabe walked all five times he came to the plate, scoring two runs and raising his on-base percentage to .364. Basabe, 18, became the first player for Lowell to walk five times in a game since 2008 and yet also saw his eight-game hitting streak come to an end. Signed along with his twin brother Luis Alejandro Basabe for a $450,000 bonus out of Venezuela during the 2012 international signing period, Basabe is hitting .363 (12-for-33) over his last nine games with 10 runs scored, a homer, triple, four doubles, and six steals.

— RHP Taylor Nunez closed out the final two innings, picking up the victory (2-1, 1.37 ERA) while allowing no runs, no hits, two walks, and striking out one. A 6-foot-4 23-year-old selected by Boston out of Southern Mississippi in the 27th round in 2014, Nunez has compiled six straight appearances without allowing an earned run. Nunez had 11 outings last year in the Gulf Coast League, allowing four earned runs over 15 2/3 innings while striking out 13.

Yoan Aybar

Yoan Aybar

ROOKIE GULF COAST LEAGUE RED SOX (20-10): W, 3-1 in 7 innings, vs. GCL Orioles. Game 2 of scheduled doubleheader postponed due to rain.

— Center fielder Yoan Aybar (Boston’€™s No. 29 prospect at MLB.com) doubled home a run in the second inning and finished 2-for-2. The 18-year-old Dominican native also was caught stealing on an attempted swipe of third base. Through 24 games this year Aybar is slashing .333/.358/.414 with two triples and three doubles, with eight of his last 15 games mutli-hit affairs. Aybar, a 6-foot-2 lefty bat, was signed by Boston for a $450,000 bonus in the 2013 international signing period.

— Leadoff hitter Andy Perez reached base twice as the DH, coming around to score after a leadoff single in the sixth inning on an RBI single by first baseman Jerry Downs. Perez, 22, is hitting .400 (8-for-20) to start his professional career through seven games, adding five walks, five RBIs, and five runs scored while just striking out once. Perez played four years of college baseball at Duke University and was picked up by Boston this year as an undrafted free agent.

— RHP Josh Pennington picked up the victory (2-1, 1.00 ERA) with a final line of: 5 IP, 4 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 4 BB, 4 SO. Wednesday’€™s earned run allowed was just the second that Pennington has allowed in six appearances (18 innings) to start his professional career. Pennington stranded six runners in the game, utilizing a double play and a pickoff at first to his advantage. Selected by Boston in the 29th round of the 2014 draft out of high school in New Jersey, Pennington has struck out 20 on the season while walking nine in his 18 innings of work.

Blog Author: 
Ken Laird
Steven Wright

Steven Wright

After losing the first three games of the series with the White Sox, the Red Sox hope to avoid a sweep on Thursday as they send Steven Wright to the hill opposite Chris Sale.

The knuckleballer Wright has amassed a 3-4 record and 4.78 ERA this season in 13 appearances. He has made six starts for the Red Sox and also pitched out of the bullpen. His ERA is perhaps artificially low, considering his 5.45 FIP. Wright has totaled a WHIP of 1.329.

Wright is one of a handful of Red Sox pitchers to have their roles shift numerous times throughout the 2015 season. Due to unimpressive results from the likes of Justin Masterson and Joe Kelly, as well as the injury to Clay Buchholz, spots have opened up in the rotation at various points in the season.Wright spent a month with Triple-A Pawtucket before being called up and reintroduced to the rotation against the Angels on July 20. He got the loss in the contest, allowing six runs over five innings pitched.

In his most recent start, Wright got another loss, this coming at the hands of the Tigers on Saturday. He lasted just 4 1/3 innings and allowed four runs (two earned) on five hits. He and catcher Blake Swihart had trouble connecting with the knuckleball, as Swihart allowed four passed balls.

“I thought he had some decent violence to the pitch,” Red Sox manager John Farrell said of Wright. “Then there were a few that he left up in the strike zone, particularly to [Yoenis] Cespedes and [Jose] Iglesias for two of the extra-base hits. Where Blake has handled him relatively cleanly in his previous starts, he had difficulty with receiving him clean today, which allowed [runners] to advance 90 feet on a couple of occasions. Felt like where we were in the order in the fifth inning, needed to try and get a ground ball double play and Ramirez gets out of the inning with no further damage, but probably not as consistent of a knuckleball we’ve seen from Steven previously.”

Chris Sale

Chris Sale

Wright will have his work cut out for him, as his opponent is one of the best pitchers in the American League. Sale owns a 9-5 record and 2.85 ERA. The lanky left-hander boasts a 0.995 WHIP and an American-League-leading 2.32 FIP. He also owns a league-leading K-rate with 11.5 strikeouts per nine innings.

Due in part to the struggles of the White Sox this season (49-50, 12 games behind the Royals in the AL Central), the team is considering trading away some of its veterans. Fans across the country have salivated over the prospect of trading for Sale, but it seems likely the White Sox will hold on to their ace. According to Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports, Tuesday’s starter at Fenway, Jeff Samardzija, is the more likely pitcher to be dealt from the South Side.

In his last outing, Sale got a win over the Indians in Cleveland on Saturday. He pitched seven innings and allowed two runs on seven hits. He struck out seven and did not walk a batter. The White Sox took a 10-3 decision.

“You get out in front. Especially with Sailor going it’s nice to have,” White Sox manager Robin Ventura said of his ace. “You know you’re going to have him going out there. He gives you what he usually does, he gives you pretty close to unhittable stuff.”

In seven career outings against the Red Sox, Sale has a ridiculous 0.89 ERA and .689 WHIP across 20 1/3 innings pitched. Just two of those appearances were starts, the others coming in relief roles.

White Sox vs. Wright (RHP)

No White Sox hitters have faced Wright.

Red Sox vs. Sale (LHP)

Mike Napoli (11 plate appearances): .091 AVG/.167 OBP/.091 SLG, 1 walk, 5 strikeouts

David Ortiz (10): .200/.200/.200, 2 strikeouts

Xander Bogearts (6): .200/.333/.800, 1 home run, 1 RBI, 2 strikeouts

Pablo Sandoval (6): .000/.000/.000, 1 RBI, 2 walks

Brock Holt (6): .000/.000/.000, 2 strikeouts

Jackie Bradley Jr. (5): .000/.000/.000, 2 strikeouts

Daniel Nava (4): .000/.000/.000, 2 strikeouts

No other Red Sox have faced Sale.

Blog Author: 
Josh Slavin

The mystery regarding where Cole Hamels might end up has been solved. And it should be no surprise that his new landing spot isn’t with the Red Sox.

Cole Hamels

Cole Hamels

The mystery regarding where Cole Hamels might end up has been solved. And it should be no surprise that his new landing spot isn’t with the Red Sox.

The 31-year-old lefty was traded from the Phillies to the Rangers Wednesday night in an eight-player deal. Heading to Texas will be Hamels, reliever Jake Diekman and $9.5 million. In return, Philadelphia receives veteran pitcher Matt Harrison along with pitching prospects Jake Thompson, Alec Asher, Jerad Eickhoff, catching prospect Jorge Alfaro, and outfield prospect Nick Williams.

Thompson and Alfaro are considered two of the top 50 prospects in the game according to Baseball America. The Rangers didn’t, however, have to part with their top prospect, Joey Gallo, whom — according to a major league source — the Phillies stopped asking for early on in the negotiations.

The Rangers weren’t one of the 20 teams Hamels had the right to veto a trade to. According to sources, the belief in recent days was that the Phillies were steering negotiations toward any of the nine teams not on the pitcher’s no-trade list who were showing significant interest.

With the Red Sox on Hamels’ no-trade list, sources confirmed that the organization didn’t view itself as a serious contender for the pitcher’s services in the days prior to Wednesday’s trade. Houston, which also had significant interest in the pitcher, found itself in a similar position as the Red Sox.

The Dodgers, who were not on Hamels’ no-trade list, were believed to be the Rangers’ most serious competitor for the southpaw’s services.

Hamels will be paid $82.1 million through the 2018 season, with a team/vesting $20 million option for ’19.

Blog Author: 
Rob Bradford

Pablo Sandoval was down and out on Wednesday after getting erased at home. (Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)In the interests of full disclosure, I loved the Pablo Sandoval signing last winter.



First innings have become the Red Sox‘ worst nightmare of late.

Rick Porcello gave the Red Sox his best start in quite some time Friday night. (Rich Gagnon/Getty Images)

Rick Porcello struggled mightily Wednesday, making just 68 pitches before getting pulled. (Rich Gagnon/Getty Images)

First innings have become the Red Sox‘ worst nightmare of late. For the third consecutive game, they gave up at least two runs in the initial frame, harpooning their chances the rest of the way.

The misery may have begun in the first, but it didn’t end until just after 11 p.m. Wednesday when the White Sox, sealed their 9-2 victory. The Red Sox have now dropped the first three games of their four-game set with Chicago, and 13 of their last 16 dating back to July 10.

It didn’t take long for the White Sox to get started, as Adam Eaton planted his fourth leadoff home run of the season just inside the Pesky Pole on the sixth pitch of the game. Four batters later, Adam LaRoche lined a shot off the Monster sending Melky Cabrera to third and resigning Red Sox starter Rick Porcello to a troublesome, but manageable scoring threat. However, on the throw in to second from left fielder Hanley Ramirez, super-utility man Brock Holt missed the short hop and with no backup to be found, allowed Cabrera to cross home plate easily, spotting the White Sox a 2-0 advantage right from the get-go.

A 2-0 deficit quickly ballooned to 5-0 in the second inning. After retiring two of the first three batters he faced during the frame, Porcello allowed three consecutive base-knocks, leading to two more Chicago runs. By the end of the inning, the right-hander had loaded the bases with a walk and hit LaRoche, sending the game further out of reach.

Leading off the next inning, Alexei Ramirez mashed a shot over the wall in left after falling behind on an 0-2 count to Porcello. A double and a single later, and Red Sox manager John Farrell indulged the crowd, yanking his bemoaned starter.

Following 4-0 and 5-0 first-inning deficits overseen by Joe Kelly and Wade Miley respectively, the Red Sox certainly hoped for a better showing from Porcello. Coming into the game with a 2.50 ERA and a .641 opponent OPS over his last three starts, he was knocked around early and often in his 200th career start. Holt’s error started his night off on a sour note and he never recovered.

Porcello left the game with the Red Sox already entrenched in a 6-0 hole. He went two-plus innings, giving up 10 hits, his 19th and 20th home runs of the season and five earned runs.

In the wake of another meltdown by the rotation, the Red Sox offense could only offer chump change in pursuit of the White Sox. Surprise performer Mike Napoli deposited his 12th longball of the season towards Lansdowne Street in the seventh inning. He also got the scoring started for the Red Sox in the fourth inning when he shot a double high off the Monster in left, scoring Xander Bogaerts.

While the Red Sox labored throughout the game on the mound, Jose Quintana did anything but for the White Sox. Fresh off his first ever complete game and shutout, Quintana tamed a Red Sox lineup which had boasted 23 runs scored over their previous three games. He went 6 1/3 innings, allowed just two runs on six hits and issued one free pass.

Here is what went wrong (and right) in the Red Sox’ loss:

WHAT WENT WRONG

— Porcello reverted back to his old ways Wednesday, making his worst start since the two-inning, seven-run affair July 1 vs. the Blue Jays which nearly launched a crusade against the Red Sox front office. In the White Sox series, Red Sox starters as a whole sport a 13.09 ERA and a 2.82 WHIP.

— Once again, the Red Sox proved incapable of keeping the White Sox’ best third at bay, as Eaton, Cabrera and Jose Abreu collectively 6-for-14 with four runs scored and 10 total bases. For the series, the White Sox’ top three have combined to go 22-for-45 with 13 extra-base hits and 12 RBIs.

— The Red Sox had a chance to get on the board in the third inning when Ryan Hanigan doubled to the gap in right field following a leadoff walk from Pablo Sandoval. However, White Sox second baseman Carlos Sanchez delivered a perfect throw off the relay from Avisail Garcia to gun down Sandoval at the plate for the out.

WHAT WENT RIGHT

— Rumored trade bait Mike Napoli helped his stock Wednesday by accounting for both of the Red Sox’ runs.  The  marked the 11th time in Napoli‘s last 15 games in which he’s reached base.

— Thankfully for Porcello and the Red Sox, Craig Breslow relieved him admirably, stranding both runners he had left on base by setting down Eaton, Cabrera and Jose Abreu. Breslow would retire nine of 10 batters he faced out of the bullpen.

— New addition Josh Rutledge made a positive first impression with his new team after coming over from the Angels for Shane Victorino earlier this week. The utility infielder showed off his range when he charged a weak ground ball down the third base line, bare-handed it and turned it into an out on the speedy Sanchez.

Blog Author: 
Justin Pallenik

Red Sox third baseman Pablo Sandoval succumbed to the elements on Wednesday night, leaving a game against the White Sox<