#RedSox Reportedly Sign Former Chicago White Sox Reliever Zach Putnam to Minor League Contract.

On the same day they signed RHP Erasmo Ramirez to a minor league deal, the Red Sox made another minor move on Tuesday, as they signed former White Sox reliever Zach Putnam to a minor league contract as well, according to MassLive.com’s Chris Cotillo. It is not clear if this deal includes a Major League invitation to spring training at the time this is being written.

Putnam, 31, missed the entire 2018 season after undergoing Tommy John Surgery while with Chicago in early 2017.

A former fifth round draft pick of the Cleveland Indians back in 2008, Putnam provided the White Sox with stability out of the bullpen over the course of his four-year tenure with the club.

In 139.1 innings of relief from 2014 to 2017, the right-hander posted a 2.71 ERA and 1.18 WHIP to go along with a solid 9.6 K/9 ratio.

A native of Michigan, Putnam also, “posted a gaudy 16.1 percent swinging-strike rate,” and limited hard contact to the tune of an 27.2 opponents’ hard-hit rate in his time on the South Side, according to MLBTradeRumors.com

Given the circumstances, I would say this move has the makings to be a low risk-high reward signing for Dave Dombrowski and the Red Sox.

According to FanGraphs, Putnam was the 48th best reliever in the American League  in terms of fWAR (1.6) from 2014 to 2017.

I understand that he is older now than he was in that span and is coming off major shoulder surgery, but it would not be a surprise to me at all that come June or July, Putnam is up and contributing to the Red Sox’ cause out of the bullpen.

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#RedSox Reportedly Agree to Terms on a Minor League Deal with RHP Erasmo Ramirez.

On Tuesday afternoon, MLB.com’s Jesse Sanchez reported that the Boston Red Sox and free agent RHP Erasmo Ramirez were ”nearing’ an agreement on a minor league contract for the 2019 season.

A few hours later, SoxProspects.com updated their transactions log with the news that the two sides had agreed to a contract. Although nothing has been confirmed by the Red Sox themselves, I’m going to go ahead and run with this deal being official.

Ramirez, 28, had spent the last season and a half with the Seattle Mariners, the team that originally signed him as an international free agent out of El Salvador back in 2007.

A native of Nicaragua, Ramirez posted a 6.50 ERA and 1.40 WHIP over 10 games started and 45.2 innings pitched with Seattle in 2018.

Those numbers may not look promising, but one positive from the right-hander’s 2018 campaign was a three-start stretch in August where he surrendered just three total earned runs in 16 innings of work. The Mariners went unbeaten in those three games.

Electing free agency after being outrighted from Seattle’s 40-man roster in November, Ramirez is capable of providing the Red Sox with both rotation and bullpen depth in the minors. He also received an invitation to Major League spring training.

I can’t imagine the chances of seeing Ramirez up with Boston in 2019 are all that high, but I do believe that this is a solid depth signing nonetheless.

It also looks like the veteran hurler got married on Tuesday, so congratulations to him on that.

Rough translation: Congratulations were married || to Erasmus Ramirez, who just the day he reached an agreement with the Boston Red Sox, also marries. An interesting coincidence. Greetings and blessings.

Envisioning a Scenario Where Craig Kimbrel Returns to the #RedSox.

According to several media outlets, Craig Kimbrel is reportedly seeking a six-year contract worth up to $100 million in free agency this winter.

That would be a record deal for a closer, one fit for, “the best closer of all time,” according to Kimbrel’s agent David Meter.

Seven weeks after winning the World Series, the Red Sox find themselves in need of some help out of the bullpen in 2019, even more so now with Joe Kelly reportedly inking a three-year deal with the Los Angeles Dodgers.

The market for Kimbrel remains to be seen thus far into the offseason. The Philadelphia Phillies seem like the ideal suitor based on their need for a closer and their willingness to spend big, but nothing has formulated on that front to this point outside of some speculation.

If the Phillies were not to splurge on the flame-throwing right-hander and pursue an alternative, then that could ultimately give the Red Sox a chance to retain the services of their three-time All-Star.

Use JD Martinez as a prime example in this case. Prior to signing with Boston this past February, the Miami native was reportedly seeking a mega-deal in free agency for months.

Granted, Martinez still got paid, but the terms agreed upon were more team friendly than initially thought.

So, with that in mind, let’s say Kimbrel remains a free agent through the winter months, holding out in hopes of receiving a hefty contract offer.

Red Sox President of Baseball Operations Dave Dombrowski has already stated that the club will wait the reliever market out.

“At this time of year, if you’re going to sign somebody, you’re going to be aggressive and try to make it happen with big dollars,” Dombrowski said at the Baseball Winter Meetings last week. “We’re not at that point in the reliever market.”

Given the fact that Dombrowski has already doled out $68 million to RHP Nathan Eovaldi earlier in the month, a reunion with Kimbrel for a steep price seems unlikely now, but things could change once Spring Training begins to loom.

Take into consideration that the 30-year-old presumably knows the Red Sox organization inside and out. The city, the culture, the media. That’s all covered if Kimbrel remains in Boston

Having been with the club since 2016, Kimbrel, albeit shaky at times, has posted quality numbers in Boston and has maintained his status as one of the more elite relievers in all of baseball.

If the demand for the Alabama native is not as hyped as initially thought, then perhaps Craig Kimbrel will be taking the mound in a Red Sox uniform once again in 2019.

 

Ian Kinsler Reportedly Agrees to Two-Year Deal with San Diego Padres.

On Friday, The Athletic’s Ken Rosenthal reported that the San Diego Padres had agreed to a two-year, $8 million deal with free agent second baseman and 2018 World Series Champion Ian Kinsler.

Acquired via trade by the Red Sox from the Los Angeles Angels in late July, the 36-year-old infielder slashed .242/.294/.311 to go along with one home run and 16 RBI over a span of 37 games with Boston.

Regularly manning second base with Dustin Pedroia on the 60-day disabled list, Kinsler provided the Red Sox with stable defense on the right side of the infield en route to picking up his second career Gold Glove Award.

October was certainly not a month to remember in terms of numbers for the Arizona native, but he still contributed with his glove and got himself a shiny World Series ring.

From the perspective of the Red Sox, it was not expected that Kinsler’s services were going to be retained.

Essentially, Dustin Pedroia is Plan A at second base for 2019, and if he’s not able to stay healthy over the course of a full regular season, then you have players such as Brock Holt, Tzu-Wei Lin, and the expected return of Marco Hernandez in the mix to man second base when necessary.

 

 

#RedSox Select Two Right-Handed Pitchers in Rule 5 Draft.

With the Baseball Winter Meetings wrapping up in Las Vegas on Thursday, the last key event to take place was the annual Rule 5 Draft.

Made up of players who were left off their club’s 40-man roster and have been playing baseball professionally for the last four to five years depending on their age, the Rule 5 Draft pool may not consist of the most popular names among prospects, but it is an event worth paying attention to.

The Boston Red Sox did not make a selection in the Major League phase of the draft, but had a pair of picks to make in the Triple-A phase, both of which they used.

First, selected with the 25th pick in the first round of the Triple-A portion of the draft was former Yankees pitching prospect Anyelo Gomez.

A 25-year-old right-hander out of the Dominican Republic, Gomez had spent the majority of his first six professional seasons in baseball with New York, who he signed with as an international free agent in 2012.

A Rule 5 selection of the Atlanta Braves at last year’s Winter Meetings, Gomez was returned to the Yankees prior to the start of the 2018 campaign and battled injuries throughout his season with Triple A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, eventually opting for shoulder surgery in May.

Only appearing in a total of seven games in 2018, the right-hander posted a 2.45 ERA and 1.36 WHIP over 7.1 frames of relief.

Next up, the Red Sox selected RHP Andrew Schwaab of the Detroit Tigers organization with the 36th overall pick of the Triple-A portion of the draft.

A native of Missouri, Schwaab spent this past season with both the Yankees and Tigers and was originally signed by New York as an undrafted free agent in 2015.

In 41 relief appearances between two minor league levels and three different teams in 2018, the 25-year-old surrendered 31 earned runs over 52 total innings pitched. That’s good for a 5.37 ERA in addition to a high 1.62 WHIP.

In addition to these selections, the Red Sox also lost outfielder Tyler Hill, who was selected by the Detroit Tigers with the fourth overall pick in the Triple-A phase of the 2018 Rule 5 Draft and then traded to the New York Yankees.

Hill, 22, slashed .254/.348/.312 with one home run and 38 RBI in 124 games with High A Salem in 2018.

Brock Holt Reportedly Receiving Trade Interest at Winter Meetings.

On Tuesday, The Boston Globe’s Nick Cafardo reported that, along with a handful of other Red Sox, Brock Holt has been a target of other teams in potential trade talks at the Baseball Winter Meetings in Las Vegas.

(Source $) “There’s also interest in Brock Holt again this offseason. However, Holt remains the Red Sox’ backup plan at second base in case Dustin Pedroia can’t return from knee injuries that limited him to just three games in 2018.”

As Cafardo says, it’s hard to imagine a scenario where the Red Sox would feel comfortable moving Holt in a potential trade.

Holt, 30, is under team control for one more season, where, according to MLB Trade Rumors, he is set to earn $3.4 million in arbitration before hitting free agency in 2019.

A member of the Red Sox since 2013 and an All-Star in 2015, the Fort Worth native slashed .277/.362/.411 to go along with seven home runs and a career high 46 RBI this past season.

Capable of playing six defensive positions, especially second base, holding on to Holt as a utility man once again makes all the sense in the world, especially when you consider Dustin Pedroia’s shaky industry as of late.

So, unless Red Sox President of Baseball Operations Dave Dombrowski is blown away by any offers within the next day or so, I would expect Holt to stay right where he is with Boston.

#RedSox Reportedly Sign Former San Francisco Giants Outfielder Gorkys Hernandez to Minor League Deal.

On Tuesday night, The Boston Globe’s Alex Speier reported that the Boston Red Sox have agreed to terms on a minor league contract with former San Francisco Giants outfielder Gorkys Hernandez.

Hernandez, 31, has spent the last three seasons with the Giants, where he slashed a measly .244/.303/.370 to go along with 17 home runs and 66 RBI over 296 total games played.

An original international signee of the Detroit Tigers in 2005, back when Dave Dombrowski served as the General Manager for Detroit, Hernandez was non-tendered by San Francisco in late November and was granted free agency.

Known more for his glove than his bat, Hernandez will provide the Red Sox with solid outfield depth behind the likes of Mookie Betts, Andrew Benintendi, and Jackie Bradley Jr.

As the above tweet reads, the native of Venezuela would make $1 million in 2019 if he cracks Boston’s major league roster.