The Red Sox have the benefit of experience with left-hander Jon Lester. Does that matter?</p>
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Milton native Alex Hassan got to realize a childhood dream by making his big league debut at Fenway Park in 2014.

Alex Hassan

Alex Hassan

Milton native Alex Hassan got to realize a childhood dream by making his big league debut at Fenway Park in 2014. Now, caught behind a raft of outfielders in the Red Sox farm system, Hassan will head elsewhere to see if he can claim an opportunity to be a more lasting opportunity in the big leagues.

The A’s were awarded a waiver claim on Hassan on Monday. Though he has a minor league option remaining, the 26-year-old is expected to get an opportunity to compete for a big league platoon role.

Hassan was originally taken by the Red Sox as a pitcher out of Duke in the 20th round of the 2009 draft. However, the two-way college player proved so impressive as a hitter in the Cape League that summer that the Sox ended up signing him as an outfielder. In six pro seasons, he was one of the most consistent hitters in the system, hitting .291 with a .396 OBP and .436 slugging mark while demonstrating excellent pitch recognition and strike zone awareness. His lack of power and the fact that he was a corner (both outfield corner spots and first base) limited his ceiling, but his consistent approach led to a sense that he stood a good chance of being a big league contributor in the right role.

Hassan made his big league debut on June 1 at Fenway, describing the experience as a dream come true. He went 1-for-3 with a single and a walk that day, and ended up going 1-for-8 with a walk and five strikeouts in three big league games this year. After his big league callup — the first of his career — Hassan excelled in Triple-A over the duration of the year, hitting .327/.411/.498 in 70 games with Pawtucket, for whom he was playing for the third straight year.

However, with the Sox’ additions of Yoenis Cespedes and Rusney Castillo, the emergence of Mookie Betts, and the presence of Shane Victorino, Daniel Nava, Allen Craig and Bryce Brentz as outfield corners, Hassan’s place as a 40-man depth option — particularly given that he was down to one remaining option (as opposed to Brentz, who has two) — became difficult to sustain, resulting in his placement on waivers.

Hassan hit .328 with a .409 OBP and .492 slugging mark against lefties in Triple-A in 2014. If he proves capable of translating that kind of success to the big leagues, then the A’s — who use platoons aggressive — may be able to give him a longer look at the big league level.

Blog Author: 
Alex Speier

The courtship of the Panda is officially underway.

Pablo Sandoval is reportedly in Boston to meet with the Red Sox. (Getty Images)

Pablo Sandoval is reportedly in Boston to meet with the Red Sox. (Getty Images)

The courtship of the Panda is officially underway.

Joe Amorosino of WHDH Sports caught up with free agent third baseman Pablo Sandoval at Logan Airport. According to Amorosino (via twitter), Sandoval arrived with both agent Gustavo Vasquez and Sandoval’s brother in anticipation of the 28-year-old’s meeting with Red Sox officials.

The Sox have made little effort to hide their interest in Sandoval, acknowledging that their struggles at third base in 2014 combined with their need for more left-handed lineup balance make the switch-hitting Sandoval an obvious subject of the team’s interest. Vasquez, Sandoval’s agent, recentlly suggested that the third baseman would like a six-year deal, a goal that seemingly is in line with recent free agent history given Sandoval’s relatively young age.

Blog Author: 
WEEI

According to a major league source, the Red Sox‘ ownership group will have met with Jon Lester and his representatives prior to the Cubs’ get-together with the pitcher, which is slated for Tuesday.

According to a major league source, the Red Sox‘ ownership group will have met with Jon Lester and his representatives prior to the Cubs’ get-together with the pitcher, which is slated for Tuesday.

According to another source, Lester has drawn “significant interest” from six clubs, which includes the Red Sox, Cubs and Blue Jays (as was reported by WEEI.com Monday).

For more updates, go to the Red Sox page at weei.com/redsox.

Blog Author: 
Rob Bradford
Amiel Sawdaye

Amiel Sawdaye

A considerable amount of shuffling has taken place within the Red Sox front office.

Amiel Sawdaye, the Red Sox’ director of amateur scouting for the last five drafts, has been promoted to vice president with a focus on domestic and international scouting, a role comparable to the one that current assistant GM Mike Hazen occupied (as VP of player development and amateur scouting) between his role as farm director and his promotion to his current position.

Under Sawdaye, the Sox’ drafts churned out prospects in volume. Among them:

2010: Bryce Brentz (supplemental first round), Anthony Ranaudo (supplemental first round),  Brandon Workman (second round), Sean Coyle (third round), Garin Cecchini (fourth round)

2011: Matt Barnes (first round), Blake Swihart (first round), Henry Owens (supplemental first round), Jackie Bradley Jr. (supplemental first round), Mookie Betts (fifth round), Travis Shaw (ninth round)

2012: Deven Marrero (first round), Brian Johnson (first round)

2013: Trey Ball (first round), Teddy Stankiewicz (second round), Joe Gunkel (18th round), Mauricio Dubon (26th round), Nick Longhi (30th round)

2014: Michael Chavis (first round), Michael Kopech (first round), Sam Travis (second round), Jake Cosart (third round), Kevin McAvoy (fourth round)

With Sawdaye moving up, Mike Rikard — who had served as a national cross-checker for the last five drafts — has been elevated to the director of amateur scouting. Rikard has been working closely with the entire scouting department over the last five years since moving up to national crosschecker. He joined the Sox from the Padres in 2005 as an East Coast crosschecker.

The changes to the domestic amateur scouting department go beyond Sawdaye and Rikard, as assistant director of amateur scouting Gus Quattlebaum is moving to serve as assistant director of international and professional scouting. Like Rikard, Quattlebaum is considered not only a skilled evaluator in his own right but also a valuable teacher of other scouts, and so by diversifying Quattlebaum’s skill set, the Sox saw an opportunity to add to their front-office and scouting depth. With Quattlebaum changing departments, Steve Sanders (previously a scouting coordinator) will be the new assistant director of amateur scouting.

Some trusted evaluators have left the organization. Dave Finley, who had been serving as director of player personnel, and Galen Carr, a special assignment scout whose time in the front office predates the current Sox ownership group, have both been hired by the Dodgers, Finley as VP of scouting and Carr as director of player personnel.

While the Sox largely felt comfortable promoting personnel from within to address the departures, the organization has added another voice to its evaluation team, hiring Paul Fryer from the Dodgers. Fryer had served as L.A.’s global cross-checker, a capacity in which he was part of the team that signed outfielder Yasiel Puig and elite left-handed pitching prospect Julio Urias.

The team’s player development staff also reconfigured, as assistant director of player development Duncan Webb left the organization to explore new career opportunities. In his place, Brian Abraham — a Worcester native who had been the Sox’ bullpen catcher for the last two years — will support farm director Ben Crockett.

Adrian Lozano, a baseball operations intern who had served as an interpreter for Yoenis Cespedes and Rusney Castillo, has been hired as a major league staff assistant.

Blog Author: 
Alex Speier

In some respects, it made some sense.

Even with a glut of outfielders, the Red Sox‘ rumored interest in Braves outfielder Jason Heyward seemed plausible. If there was some juggling to the roster, a case to trade for the lefty hitter could be made.

Heyward will be eligible for free agency following the 2015 season, but bringing along the 25 year old’s offensive and defensive skill-set at the right price seemingly deserved some consideration.

But, according to a major league source, the Red Sox never did go down that road.

Monday, Heyward was dealt to the Cardinals, along with Jordan Walden, for pitcher Shelby Miller and prospect Tyrell Jenkins. The Red Sox, according the source, never engaged in trade talks with the Braves for the outfielder.

Heyward is a two-time National League Gold Glove winner (having claimed the award for ’14), while hitting .271 with 11 homers and a .735 OPS in 149 games last season.

Blog Author: 
Rob Bradford

The Blue Jays evidently aren’t messing around this offseason.