Will Middlebrooks’ hometown team is taking a chance on him.

The native of Texarkana, Texas has agreed to a minor-league deal with the Rangers with an invitation to major league spring training.

Middlebrooks most recently had been with the Brewers organization, hitting just .111 in 27 at-bats with the big league club. He hit .286 with 10 homers and an .816 OPS in 68 games with Triple-A Colorado Springs.

The 28-year-old’s wife, former NESN sideline reporter Jenny Dell, took to Twitter to congratulate her husband.

Middlebrooks, who has played four infield positions, was traded by the Red Sox to San Diego prior to the 2015 season for catcher Ryan Hanigan.

Blog Author: 
WEEI

One option just went off the board.

According to multiple reports, free agent designated hitter Kendrys Morales has agreed to a three-year, $33 million with the Blue Jays.

Kendrys Morales

Kendrys Morales

One option just went off the board.

According to multiple reports, free agent designated hitter Kendrys Morales has agreed to a three-year, $33 million with the Blue Jays.

Morales, a switch-hitter, figures to fill in for free agent Edwin Encarnacion, who now figures to be a longshot for a return to Toronto.

The three-year deal for the 33-year-old would seem to be a year longer than the Red Sox might have been comfortable with. President of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski stated numerous times at the GM meetings that the club was looking for a short-term deal to fill the spot vacated by the retiring David Ortiz.

The Morales deal might push along the market for Carlos Beltran, who is one of the options also being considered by the Red Sox. The 39-year-old Beltran is appreciably older than Morales, but does offer slightly more offensive consistency and potential defensive flexibility.

In 151 games, the switch-hitting Beltran totaled a .850 OPS with 29 home runs. Morales played in 154 games, hitting 30 homers while finishing with a .790 OPS. The Astros and Rangers are known to also have serious interest in Beltran.

Complicating things somewhat for the Red Sox is their uncertainty when it comes to the new competitive balance tax threshold, which has yet to be set due to the impending new collective bargaining agreement. Dombrowski noted Thursday that the Red Sox were trending toward filling their need for an eighth-inning reliever before the DH spot due to the difference in money to be allocated for each position.

Blog Author: 
Rob Bradford

It didn’t take long to fill the Red Sox’ vacant bench coach position.

According to Gerry Callahan of the Kirk & Callahan show, the Red Sox will hire Gary DiSarcina to be their new bench coach. The position was open after Torey Lovullo left to manage the Diamondbacks last week.

It didn’t take long to fill the Red Sox’ vacant bench coach position.

According to Gerry Callahan of the Kirk & Callahan show, the Red Sox will hire Gary DiSarcina to be their new bench coach. The position was open after Torey Lovullo left to manage the Diamondbacks last week.

DiSarcina is no stranger to the Red Sox as he managed the Lowell Spinners from 2007-09 and was the organization’s infield coach in 2010. The former big leaguer then went out West to be a GM assistant with the Angels, the team his spent his entire 12-year major league career with, from 2011-12 before coming back to Boston to manage the PawSox in 2013.

The Massachusetts native has spent the last three season on-field with the Angels, as he was their third base coach in 2014 and 2015, before shifting to first base this past season.

Having managed the PawSox in 2013, he’s familiar with a few of the Red Sox’ young players, including Xander Bogaerts.

Blog Author: 
WEEI

Mookie Betts had a tremendous 2016 season and he did it while not being 100 percent healthy.

Mookie Betts

Mookie Betts

Mookie Betts had a tremendous 2016 season and he did it while not being 100 percent healthy.

The team announced Friday morning Betts underwent successful right knee arthroscopy, chondroplasty, and a loose body removal yesterday. The procedure was performed by Head Team Orthopedist Dr. Peter Asnis at Massachusetts General Hospital.

He is expected to make a full recovery and be ready for spring training.

Betts finished the season hitting .318 with 31 homers and 113 RBI.

The right fielder also won a Gold Glove this week and is a finalist for the AL MVP award.

For more Red Sox news, visit weei.com/redsox.

Blog Author: 
Ryan Hannable

PARADISE VALLEY, Ariz. — As the morning unfolded at the Scottsdale Omni, baseball executives followed each other out, finishing off their three-plus days at the GM meetings with a trip to the airport.

Dave Dombrowski. (Mark J. Rebilas/USA Today Sports)

Dave Dombrowski. (Mark J. Rebilas/USA Today Sports)

PARADISE VALLEY, Ariz. — As the morning unfolded at the Scottsdale Omni, baseball executives followed each other out, finishing off their three-plus days at the GM meetings with a trip to the airport.

Dave Dombrowski, who exchanged quick pleasantries with former Red Sox general manager Ben Cherington as both exited, will now fly to Oklahoma to visit with his daughter before heading back to his 4 Yawkey Way office.

The question now is how quick Dombrowski will act on his to-do list?

The president of baseball operations said he has talked to every team in major league baseball while in Arizona, but still doesn’t know if the Red Sox will be getting their two targets — eighth-inning reliever and designated hitter — via trade or free agency.

But one reality that surfaced is the timetable for filling in the two positions. Because the new collective bargaining agreement hasn’t been finalized, the Red Sox don’t know what the new competitive balance tax threshold will be. What that means is that Dombrowski doesn’t know the level to which the team can spend before being taxed.

With that in mind, Dombrowski insinuated that finding the reliever might be first in line.

“Perhaps, because I think you’re talking about perhaps a different financial situation where it may not be the same impact on the CBT,” he said when asked if the relief pitcher would be the first acquistion.

Dombrowski also cited the unknown tax threshold when talking about being able to find his DH candidate on a preferred short-term deal.

“I do think it’s possible, but I also don’t know if it’s necessarily going to be a short, immediate type of situation,” he said in regards to finding the right player at the preferred price. “There might have to be some patience involved in that because a lot of guys fit that type of description. I also am not really pushing that as much because of the simple situation, we don’t know what the CBT situation is and the rules we’re playing under in the basic agreement. It’s really hard to push this some of those things until you really know what rules you’re playing under.”

As for how the Red Sox will acquire these players, Dombrowski said he doesn’t have a read on which route might be more realistic for either position. Last year he flat-out said his top-of-the-rotation starter would be coming via free agency after trading for closer Craig Kimbrel just a few days after the GM meetings.

“We aren’t aggressively looking to move any of our players,” Dombrowski said. “It’s not one of those situations where you’re sitting there and you’re saying, ‘I have to make this move, I have to make that move.’ We do have depth, but the depth we have we like, too.”

Blog Author: 
Rob Bradford

PARADISE VALLEY, Ariz. — The names have been out and about throughout the GM meetings. Carlos Beltran. Kendrys Morales. Somebody in a trade.