Jake Romanski

Jake Romanski

Jake Romanski’s career has hit a bump in the road.

The Red Sox’ minor-league catcher has been suspended by Major League Baseball for 50 games after testing positive for amphetamine use.

Romanksi spent the entire 2016 season with Double-A Portland, hitting .308 with a .751 OPS in 90 games.

The 26-year-old was a 14th-round selection in the 2013 draft by the Red Sox after spending his collegiate career at San Diego State.

The 5-foot-11, right-handed hitter was named an Eastern League All-Star in 2016. He is rated as the Red Sox’ 36th overall prospect by SoxProspects.com, and tops among catchers in the minor league system.

Blog Author: 
Rob Bradford

Curt Schilling tips his caps to Red Sox fans during Game 2 of the 2007 World Series. (Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)Each Hall of Fame ballot contains difficult choices.



When it came to trading Clay Buchholz, there were some realities the Red Sox were learning to deal with.

Josh Tobias (Steven Branscombe)

Josh Tobias (Steven Branscombe)

When it came to trading Clay Buchholz, there were some realities the Red Sox were learning to deal with.

For instance, if a team was going to take on the pitcher’s entire $13.5 million for 2017, the return was not going to be as great as if the Red Sox ate some of the money. In other words, the Phillies weren’t going to trade their top prospect, J.P. Crawford, straight up for the starting pitcher.

So once it was determined that this was the dynamic the Red Sox would be dealing with when it came to a potential trade with Philadelphia, a list was made up. Using the feedback of the international, professional and amateur scouting departments, about 10 names were surfaced to president of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski to work from.

One of those names belonged to a 24-year-old named Josh Tobias.

“He’s definitely not just another body,” said Red Sox director of professional scouting Gus Quattlebaum. “We see him as having potential as a versatile, switch-hitting guy with make-up and a feel to hit. Whenever you can find someone who can hit that guy is going to standout.”

Tobias, who didn’t start switch-hitting until the tail end of his career at the University of Florida, was by no means one of the Phillies’ top prospects. There were some doubts about the second baseman’s ability to play his position long-term, with a perceived lack of athleticism serving as one of the reasons he slid to the 10th round of the 2015 draft.

But the Red Sox had enough of Tobias’ back-story that they saw him in a positive light.

Quattlebaum, for one, had seen Tobias a few times throughout the 2016 season, having been responsible for scouting the Phillies’ system. And his reports matched up with longtime scout (and former Tigers and Cardinals general manager) Joe McDonald, who was working the Florida State League for the Red Sox.

And, finally, a phone call was made to Red Sox’ first base coach Ruben Amaro, who was serving as general manager of the Phillies when Philadelphia selected Tobias.

“What stood out is he was always on time at the plate,” said Quattlebaum of Tobias, who combined to hit .294 with a .784 OPS and nine home runs between two Single-A clubs in 2016. “I was impressed by the fearlessness and the confidence he pursued some stuff tough pop-ups near the stands, and I liked his actions near the second base bag. I do think he can bounce around the field. Some scouts have seen him play a little bit of left field.

“At the end of his college career began switch-hit. Definitely more pop from the right side. He just has a simple approach where he was on time a lot, and squared put the ball. He was someone our scouts had liked, and our analytics group liked, so whenever you can find multiple likes on a player that’s a good thing.”

If all breaks right in spring training, Tobias will most likely start at Single-A Salem. And while the priority in this deal will always be perceived as using Buchholz’s contract to get under the luxury tax threshold, the Red Sox believe the other piece of the puzzle bears watching.

“We like him a lot,” Quattlebaum said.

Blog Author: 
Rob Bradford

Part of playing for the Red Sox is dealing with usually more Sunday Night Baseball games than most. That doesn’t appear to be changing.

Fenway Park fans better get ready for some more night games. (David Butler II/USA Today Sports)

Fenway Park fans better get ready for some more night games. (David Butler II/USA Today Sports)

Part of playing for the Red Sox is dealing with usually more Sunday Night Baseball games than most. That doesn’t appear to be changing.

ESPN has announced it’s list of Sunday Night games for the upcoming season, with the Red Sox right now slated to participate on April 30 for their game against the Cubs at Fenway Park, and July 16, when they host the Yankees.

The schedule is only listed up through July 23, and there four dates yet to be designated.

It could be a lot worse for the Red Sox, with the Cubs and Cardinals each getting four Sunday Night appearances. The Yankees and Mets also have three, apiece.

The obvious question for Red Sox players would be what their commitment might entail the day after playing these games.

The day after the game against the Cubs, the Red Sox are home to play a night game against the Orioles. (It is also “Hanley Ramirez Chain Night.”) The July 17 game is also home, with the Blue Jays coming to town.

As for the possibility of the Red Sox playing on one of the “TBD” dates, there is always that chance. The first open date, May 21, wouldn’t seem likely because it’s at Oakland. June 18 is intriguing, with the Red Sox playing at Houston, with a series in Kansas City to follow. And then there is July 2, when the Red Sox play at Toronto. That would seem to be a good bet.

Apr. 2: Chicago Cubs at St. Louis Cardinals
Apr. 9: Miami Marlins at New York Mets
Apr. 16: St. Louis Cardinals at New York Yankees
Apr. 23: Washington Nationals at New York Mets
Apr. 30: Chicago Cubs at Boston Red Sox
May 7: New York Yankees at Chicago Cubs
May 14: Houston Astros at New York Yankees
May 21: TBD
May 28: New York Mets at Pittsburgh Pirates
June 4: St. Louis Cardinals at Chicago Cubs
June 18: TBD
June 25: TBD
July 2: TBD
July 9: Detroit Tigers at Cleveland Indians
July 16: New York Yankees at Boston Red Sox
July 23: St. Louis Cardinals at Chicago Cubs

Blog Author: 
Rob Bradford

Red Sox president of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski knew he needed to trade a starter this winter, and there was really only one option.

Dave Dombrowski

Dave Dombrowski

Red Sox president of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski knew he needed to trade a starter this winter, and there was really only one option.

So when the Philadelphia Phillies came calling, Dombrowski pulled the trigger, dealing right-hander Clay Buchholz for minor league second baseman Josh Tobias on Tuesday.

“I think in this case, the timing fit for us,” Dombrowski said. “When we looked at everything, we were in a spot where we had seven established big-league starters, we felt we had a little bit more depth there, we still have some guys that we feel are behind them in [Henry] Owens, [Roenis] Elias and [Brian] Johnson, we got a prospect that we liked, got a club where he can go and start for them, which he wouldn’t necessarily have that opportunity here, so I think everything tied together for us that it made sense doing it now rather than waiting.”

And how did Buchholz take the news?

“I did speak to him,” Dombrowski said. “He was very understanding, thankful. I thanked him for everything he did in the organization while with us. He was understanding of the situation. He was also thankful, appreciative of everything that was done for him throughout the years by everyone in the organization. Enjoyed his time here. He thought maybe it also was a spot where he gets a change of scenery, fresh opportunity. Not always a bad thing, as he mentioned. And that was basically it.”

Clearing Buchholz’s $13.5 million salary puts the Red Sox under the $195 million luxury tax threshold, a goal meant to assure they don’t incur further penalties that hamstring their efforts to rebuild the farm system.

“I think it’s advantageous to be below the CBT just based on the new basic agreement,” Dombrowski said. “It’s something that we were hopeful of doing. It fell into play here very well for us. It’s also a situation where it creates some flexibility for us as we go forward, staying below the CBT with areas we may want to address as the season progresses. Who even knows? Maybe even as the wintertime progresses”

Blog Author: 
John Tomase
Rob Bradford and John Tomase break down all aspects of the Clay Buchholz trade, dissecting what it means to the Red Sox and Buchholz. The guys also reflect on the Boston career of one of the most enigmatic pitchers the organization has ever seen.

[0:00:31] ... the breaking news days. Clay Buchholz no longer a member of the Boston Red Sox John was your first reaction Reese arbitrary. That bit boom that's just that it's not because I think Clay Buchholz was indispensable ...
[0:01:22] ... Roll of the Red Sox are Red Sox spent used to see Derrek Lee buckle meant he'd go on. If they stole a stalwart of our best spring training story lines right away from us. Know ...
[0:03:39] ... the enemy this this last season was his last season with the Boston Red Sox. It was a perfect example of what we're talking about and he'd gone through three or four of these sort of scenarios ...
[0:07:50] ... a discussion. Of the pit starter it would help but note that John Farrell they very highly of Steven Wright. But I think that would be great test I still think Wright gets that job and ...






Clay Buchholz has walked off the mound as a Red Sox pitcher for the last time. (Mark L.</p>
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