Join’s Rob Bradford for another Hot Stove live chat, starting at noon Tuesday. Ask questions and discuss all things Red Sox offseason (and anything else on your mind) leading into Tuesday night’s Hot Stove Show, which airs at 9 p.m. on WEEI. This week’s guest on the show will be Red Sox manager John Farrell.

Live Blog Hot Stove live chat, noon

Blog Author: 
Rob Bradford

Rich Hill is about to get the best contract of his career.

Rich Hill is about to get the best contract of his career.

According to a major league source, the free agent lefty is expected to sign with a team this week. It is not expected the Red Sox will be a candidate for Hill’s services.

Hill became one of the more intriguing starting pitchers on the free agent market thanks to his late-season performance with the Red Sox. In his four starts, he allowed runs in just two of his 29 innings, resulting in a 1.55 ERA. The 35-year-old also struck out 36 while walking just five.

During the three-week span, Hill was second only to Washington’s Stephen Strasburg in terms of runs allowed. Immediately after Hill on the ERA list over the September stretch? Max Scherzer, Clayton Kershaw, Jon Lester, Gerrit Cole and Justin Verlander. It’s a group of five pitchers who made up the top four highest-paid pitchers in the game, and another (Cole) who ultimately would join the elite club.

Hill faced all American League East teams with the Red Sox, going up against Rays, Blue Jays, Yankees, and Orioles, whom he pitched a complete game, two-hitter against.

“I’ve never spoke like this before in the past because for me to be humble is extremely important. But in this part of the game you have to go out and stand up for yourself and that’s something I’m looking forward to doing in the offseason,” Hill told after his last start of the 2015 season, at Yankee Stadium.

“It’s confidence. It’s going out there and saying, ‘I can pitch for anybody, against anybody, anytime, anywhere.’ I feel very [full of conviction].”

The most Hill has ever made in one season is $1 million, when he inked a minor-league deal with the Indians in 2013.

Hill was signed by the Red Sox after trying out in his hometown of Milton. He would go on to start for the Independent League Long Island Ducks, where the 11-year big leaguer experienced success as a starter after moving to the third base side of the pitching rubber, while also altering his arm angle.

“I’m looking forward to it,” the pitcher regarding the offseason after his final 2015 start. “It’s just that body of work. You can’t look at that and deny what’s going on. Anybody in baseball who knows the game, if you’re looking at it you have to acknowledge there’s a lot there. I think for me, I have to be a proponent of myself and go out there and continue to fight off the field as much as I did off the field.

“The four games I pitched aren’t four games you look at and say, ‘That was just dumb luck.’ I faced the best hitters in the American League, and doing it in the American League East is something that can’t be denied.”

Blog Author: 
Rob Bradford
PIcard and Bradford break down the trade between the Red Sox and Padres that brought Craig Kimbrel to town - what they like about, what they don't like, who the Sox gave up and what the future looks like for the Sox bullpen and pitching staff as a whole.
Ryan Hannable and Ken Laird discuss the Boston Red Sox trading away the 25th and 76th best prospects in baseball ( plus Logan Allen and Carlos Asuaje to San Diego for closer Craig Kimbrel.

[0:00:30] ... part a little bit. Similarity it would then yeah I'd done comes Brian Campbell maligned Red Sox reporter this Patriots season we get Ryan on the road to. Meadowlands he saw that without the cover Patriots ...
[0:10:07] ... really finished hot. And I don't know that he's going to be Kenny Lofton. Table setter necessarily but that's his seal raising season profiles as a really good all around player who can be it's not ...
[0:15:43] ... signed. And I think he pitched well being it's tree in the Gulf Coast League at one our law at one point one you're. Good Smart strike outs you know heart or so any parent your art ...

Mustard & Johnson

Craig Kimbrel will have plenty to shout about if he shuts down the ninth for the Red Sox.</p>
<div class=

Manuel Margot was one of the prospects the Red Sox gave up to acquire Craig Kimbrel. (Elsa/Getty Images)

Manuel Margot was one of the prospects the Red Sox gave up to acquire Craig Kimbrel. (Elsa/Getty Images)

Dave Dombrowski‘s first big move as Red Sox president of baseball operations is complete.

On Friday the Red Sox made a deal with the Padres to acquire All-Star closer Craig Kimbrel and in exchange gave up four prospects — outfielder Manuel Margot, infielders Javier Guerra and Carlos Asuaje and left-handed pitcher Logan Allen.

The initial thought is the Red Sox gave up a lot for Kimbrel.

Our end of the year Red Sox minor league power rankings had Margot at No. 5 and Guerra No. 6, while Allen would have likely been in the No. 11-13 range. So, the Red Sox gave up three of their top 15 prospects and then another solid player in Asuaje for one player in Kimbrel.

A package involving what the Red Sox parted ways with may have been able to get a bigger return than just Kimbrel. Not only are Margot and Guerra high in the Red Sox organization, they are high in the prospect ranks in general. Margot is ranked the 25th-best prospect in baseball at, while Guerra is No. 76.

Margot, 21, was one of two Red Sox players to represent the organization at the Futures Game where the best prospects in baseball played prior to the All-Star Game. The center fielder started the year in High-A Salem and was promoted midway through the season and finished with Double-A Portland. Between the two levels he hit .276 with six home runs and 50 RBIs to go along with 39 stolen bases.

Guerra, 20, may have made the most progress of any Red Sox prospect this season. The shortstop spent the entire year with Single-A Greenville where his offensive surprised almost everyone in the organization. Most known for his defense, Guerra batted .279 with 15 home runs and 68 RBIs. He was named the Red Sox Minor League Defensive Player of the Year.

“€œHe’€™s a special player defensively,” his manager Darren Fenster said during the year. “€œI know people have referred to him as possibly the best defensive shortstop in all of minor league baseball and I have the pleasure of seeing him every night and I am right there along those same lines.”

Said Fenster: “[His offense] was outstanding. He was a huge part of what we were able to do as a team. He basically hit anywhere from five to seven in our lineup. That’€™s incredible production out of any spot in the lineup, yet alone the bottom half of the lineup. We didn’€™t have any player make more progress from an approach standpoint than Javier did over the course of the year.”

Allen was an eighth-round pick in the 2015 draft out of IMG Academy. He forgoed his scholarship to the University of South Carolina and signed with the Red Sox for fourth-round money. Allen appeared in seven games with the Gulf Coast Red Sox and one game with short-season Single-A Lowell and had a 1.11 ERA over 24 1/3 innings over the eight appearances.

The left-hander is only 18 years old, so it is hard to predict exactly what he will become, but he showed he has the talent to one day be a big league starter.

“You don’t ever like to give up young talent,” Dombrowski said on a conference call Friday night. “We think they’re very talented individuals. But I do think with the good job that the people in player-development, scouting, international operations have done, we do have some depth at those positions and we also have some other quality young players that we were asked about repeatedly.”

Dombrowski is right in the fact the Red Sox dealt away players who likely don’t have a long-term fit with the organization, specifically Margot and Guerra.

Margot, who will likely be major league ready in a year or two, has Rusney Castillo, Mookie Betts and Jackie Bradley Jr. all ahead of him on the depth chart and by all accounts they aren’t going anywhere. And with Xander Bogaerts in a Red Sox uniform for years to come as well as Dustin Pedroia and also Yoan Moncada at second base, Guerra would have had a difficult path to the majors.

The Red Sox still have their top prospects in Moncada, Andrew Benintendi, Anderson Espinoza and Rafael Devers and it appears they will stay with the organization going into 2016.

“We’€™re in a spot where this is probably our major acquisition for the wintertime as far as the trade market is concerned,” Dombrowski said, while adding the team plans on acquiring a starting pitcher via free agency.

While the Red Sox were able to hang on to their most coveted prospects, it still seems like the organization could have got more for the prospects they traded than it did. But, when the team needs to improve the bullpen as badly as it did (4.24 ERA, 26th in baseball in 2015), and has the number of talented prospects as it does, it was a deal that could be made and not have a long-term negative effect on the organization.

Blog Author: 
Ryan Hannable

As if the acquisition of Craig Kimbrel on Friday night for four prospects wasn’t enough, Red Sox president of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski also dropped this nugget — the Red Sox a

As if the acquisition of Craig Kimbrel on Friday night for four prospects wasn’t enough, Red Sox president of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski also dropped this nugget — the Red Sox are likely to fill the vacancy atop their rotation in free agency.

Speaking on a conference call, Dombrowski said he expected Kimbrel to count as the team’s big trade of the offseason, with starting pitching being addressed elsewhere.

“Well, my guess would be — and again, these are only guesses at this time — going into the wintertime and with conversations we’ve had with clubs over the last month, my thought process is most likely any acquisition we’d make in the starting pitching would first happen as far as the free-agent field is concerned,” Dombrowski said. “You never know, but that would be my guess. I thought that our acquisition of the relief pitching aspect would more likely come through a trade. We’re in a spot that this is probably our major acquisition for the wintertime as far as the trade market is concerned. You never can tell, but that’s what my instincts tell me.”

If that’s the case, then the names immediately jumping to the top of everyone’s list will once again be Toronto’s David Price, Los Angeles’s Zack Greinke, Kansas City’s Johnny Cueto, and Washington’s Jordan Zimmermann.

Blog Author: 
John Tomase