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05/02/2012 - 5:02pm
Youkilis to DL with back injury

As part of a flurry of transactions, the Red Sox placed third baseman Kevin Youkilis on the 15-day disabled list due to a lower back injury. The stint will be retroactive to April 29.

Youkilis said that he is showing significant improvement on Wednesday after being virtually unable to do anything but stand in the on-deck circle as a decoy pinch-hitter on Tuesday. He said that the condition was one that "has been happening for a little bit of time now. Basically, what we've done, the last couple days have been bad. Trying to get through it. I've made great strides from yesterday to today. Things are going well, but they want to get a step ahead of it and try to get me as healthy as possible."

Youkilis said that he needed at least three or four additional days of no baseball activity, which helped lead to the decision to place him on the disabled list and replace Youkilis on the roster with Will Middlebrooks, who will bat eighth and play...

05/02/2012 - 4:54pm
Report: Gaffney returning to Patriots

Wide receiver Jabar Gaffney, who played in New England from 2006 through 2008, is close to signing a deal that would send him back to the Patriots. According to ESPN reporter Josina Anderson, Gaffney texted her Wednesday afternoon saying: "I'm going to the Patriots." Anderson added that Gaffney said he was "planning on signing a deal soon." (UPDATE, 5:12 p.m.: Jason LaCanfora of the NFL Network reports that Gaffney has agreed to a two-year deal.) The 31-year-old Gaffney, who was released by the Redskins last month, caught 85 passes for 1,059 yards and eight touchdowns in three seasons with New England.

For more Patriots news, check out weei.com/patriots.
 


05/02/2012 - 4:23pm
Source: Red Sox sign Mark Prior

The Red Sox have signed pitcher Mark Prior to a minor league deal, according to an industry source. The agreement was first reported by Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com.

The 31-year-old Prior finished third in NL Cy Young balloting for the Cubs in 2003 following a season that saw the right-hander post an 18-6 record with a 2.43 ERA and 245 strikeouts in 211 innings pitched. A series of shoulder injuries quickly followed, however, and Prior hasn't thrown a pitch in the major leagues since 2006. He didn't pitch at any level from 2007 through 2009 and threw only 12 innings in each of the last two seasons while pitching for the Rangers and Yankees at the minor-league level.   

Prior worked out for the Red Sox in Fort Myers in April. The pitcher will remain in extended spring training for a few weeks while building arm strength before an assignment to an affiliate would be...

05/02/2012 - 4:22pm
Red Sox promote Middlebrooks, Mortensen

The Red Sox have promoted highly regarded third base prospect Will Middlebrooks to take the place of the ailing Kevin Youkilis. Middlebrooks was penciled in at eighth in the batting order and willl make his major league debut Wednesday night against the A's. 

"Unbelievable. This is something you work toward your whole life so it feels really good to be here," Middlebrooks told reporters in the Red Sox clubhouse Wednesday afternoon. "I worked to be here. I was ready when they called so I'm ready to go."

Middlebrooks batted .333 with nine homers and 27 RBIs in 24 games this season for Triple-A Pawtucket before Wednesday's call-up. 

"I was having a really productive year. I thought I had a lot of positive output, not only me but my teammates. We were playing really good baseball." 

The Red Sox have also called up righthander Clay Mortensen and he will be available in the bullpen. Mortensen was...

05/02/2012 - 4:10pm
Patriots 'shocked, saddened' by Seau's death

The Patriots issued a statement Wednesday afternoon regarding the death of linebacker Junior Seau, who played in New England from 2006 to 2009.

“We were shocked to hear of the initial reports regarding Junior Seau earlier today and are deeply saddened by the news of his death. We were fortunate to have had Junior join the Patriots in 2006 and are thankful for his many contributions to the team over the next four years. He had a legendary NFL career and his unrivaled passion for the game quickly made him a fan favorite here in New England. This is a sad day for the entire Patriots organization, our coaches and his many Patriots teammates. Our heartfelt thoughts and prayers go out to his family and his many friends who will mourn this loss.”

Seau was a 12-time Pro Bowler and veteran of 20 NFL seasons, including four with the Patriots. He originally joined the Patriots on Aug. 6, 2006 and played through 2007 before having two...

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