Masataka Yoshida homers twice in 9-run eighth inning as Red Sox take series from Brewers with 12-5 win

The Red Sox rode a nine-run eighth inning to a series-clinching victory over the Brewers on Sunday afternoon. Boston capped off the first leg of its road trip by defeating Milwaukee by a final score of 12-5 at American Family Field to get back over .500 at 12-11 on the season.

With Corbin Burnes starting for the Brewers, the Sox drew first blood in their half of the first inning. Alex Verdugo led off with a single and went from first to third on a Justin Turner base hit that was aided by a Bryce Perkins fielding error in right field. Masataka Yoshida then got his productive day at the plate started by driving in Verdugo on a sacrifice fly.

An inning later, Triston Casas drew a leadoff walk off Burnes and Jarren Duran followed with a single. A successful bunt single from Connor Wong then filled the bases with one out for Verdugo, who worked a six-pitch walk to bring in casas. With the bases re-loaded, Rafael Devers made it a 3-0 game by plating Duran on a sacrifice fly to right field.

Brayan Bello, meanwhile, was making his second start of the season for Boston. The young right-hander made relatively quick work of Milwaukee through the first three innings of Sunday’s contest before running into some trouble in the fourth.

After punching out Rowdy Tellez, Bello served up an opposite field home run to Brian Anderson to get the Brewers on the board. In the fifth, Joey Wiemer led off with a double and moved up to third on a sacrifice bunt before cutting the deficit to one by scoring on a Christian Yelich RBI single. Yelich then went from first to third before coming into score on a game-tying sacrifice fly from Willy Adames.

Adames was the last batter Bello faced. The 23-year-old hurler finished with 82 pitches (52 strikes) and induced 12 swings-and-misses in the process of lowering his ERA on the season to 9.82. Richard Bleier received the first call out of the Red Sox bullpen in relief of Bello. The lefty fanned Tellez to end things in the fifth and then worked his way around a leadoff walk in a scoreless sixth inning.

Kaleb Ort took over for Bleier in the seventh and had a difficult time finding the strike zone. The hard-throwing righty put runners on the corners with one out on a pair of walks and a sacrifice bunt. He then spiked a wild pitch while Jesse Winker was up to bat. As a result, Wiemer came in to score the go-ahead run, thus giving the Brewers their first lead of the day at 4-3.

Despite only throwing 10 of his 26 pitches for strikes, Ort avoided any further damage in the seventh by retiring Adames and Tellez. The Red Sox, in turn, wasted no time in re-taking the lead in their half of the eighth as reliever Matt Bush entered the game for the Brewers.

Turner greeted Bush by crushing a game-tying, 388-foot solo shot to left field on the second pitch he saw. Moments later, Yoshida went back-to-back with Turner by clubbing a go-ahead home run 374 feet into the right field seats. An Enrique Hernandez double and one-out walk from Duran knocked Bush out of the game and brought Javy Guerra in.

Duran promptly stole second base before both he and Hernandez scored on a 104.4 mph two-run single from Wong. Following a Yu Chang single and intentional walk of Devers, Turner took ball four with the bases loaded to bring Yoshida to the plate yet again.

Yoshida took full advantage of the opportunity by going deep for the second time in the same inning. The left-handed hitter unloaded on an 0-2, 84.5 mph slider on the inner half of the plate from Guerra and deposited it 407 feet into the second deck in right field for his first career grand slam. Yoshida’s second big fly of the eighth (and third of the season) capped off a nine-run frame and put Boston up, 12-4.

From there, John Schreiber served up another home run to Anderson in the bottom of the eighth before Ryan Brasier retired the side in order in the ninth to end it. With the win, the Red Sox have now won three series in a row and are 7-3 in their last 10 games.

Yoshida makes some history

Masataka Yoshida became the first Red Sox player to homer twice in the same inning since David Ortiz did it in August 2008. Prior to Ortiz, only three players in team history (Nomar Garciaparra in 2002, Ellis Burks in 1990, and Bill Regan in 1928) had accomplished the feat, according to The Boston Globe’s Alex Speier.

All told, Yoshida went 2-for-4 with the two home runs, six RBIs, and two runs scored on Sunday.

Next up: Sale vs. Kremer

The Red Sox will open a three-game series against the 14-7 Orioles in Baltimore on Monday night. Left-hander Chris Sale will get the ball for Boston in the opener opposite right-hander Dean Kremer.

First pitch from Orioles Park at Camden Yards is scheduled for 6:35 p.m. eastern time on NESN and MLB Network.

(Picture of Masataka Yoshida: Patrick McDermott/Getty Images)


Garrett Whitlock gives up another home run to Rowdy Tellez as Red Sox fall to Brewers, 5-4

The Red Six threatened late, but they could not come through with another come-from-behind win over the Brewers on Saturday night. Boston instead fell to Milwaukee by a final score of 5-4 at American Family Field to drop back to .500 on the season at 11-11.

Garrett Whitlock, making his third start of the year for the Sox, took a step backwards after tossing seven innings of one-run ball against the Angels last Sunday. This time around against the Brewers, the right-hander allowed five earned runs on eight hits, one walk, and one hit batsman to go along with just one strikeout over four-plus innings of work.

Milwaukee first got to Whitlock in the bottom of the second. William Contreras led off with a double and quickly came into score the first run of the game on a blooper of a ground-rule double off the bat of Brian Anderson. An inning later, with two outs Christian Yelich already on base, Whitlock served up a 412-foot two-run blast to noted Red Sox killer Rowdy Tellez.

Tellez’ second homer of the series and 14th in 37 career games against the Red Sox gave the Brewers an early 3-0 lead. It took until the top of the fifth inning for the Boston bats to respond.

After getting shut out by old friend Wade Miley for four innings, Christian Arroyo reached on a one-out single. Two batters later, Yu Chang continued his power surge by taking the lefty 399 feet deep to left field to cut the deficit to one at 3-2. Chang’s third home run (and fourth hit) of the season left his bat at a blistering 107.3 mph.

It did not take the Brewers long to retaliate, however. In the bottom of the fifth, Blake Perkins led off with a single and promptly scored all the way from first on a line-drive RBI double from Yelich that sailed over the head of center fielder Enrique Hernandez. Whitlock then plunked Jesse Winker and gave up a single to Willy Adames to fill the bases with no outs.

Having already thrown 81 pitches (54 strikes), Whitlock was given the hook by Red Sox manager Alex Cora in favor of Richard Bleier. Bleier, in turn, officially closed the book on the 26-year-old’s night by allowing one of the runners he inherited to score when he got Tellez to ground into a 3-6-1 double play. But the left-hander avoided any further damage and kept the Brewers at five runs by getting Contreras to ground out to end the fifth.

Another old friend, Joel Payamps, took over for Miley in the sixth. Justin Turner led off with a single and remained at first after the pinch-hitting Jarren Duran struck out. Rafael Devers then unloaded on a 3-2, 93.2 mph fastball at the top of the zone and deposited it 416 feet into the right field seats for his eighth big fly of the year already.

Devers’ 110 mph laser brought Boston back to within one run of Milwaukee at 5-4. After John Schreiber and Kutter Crawford put up zeroes in the sixth and seventh innings, the Sox threatened again in the eighth when Turner laced a one-out double. But Turner was stranded at second as newly-inserted Brewers reliever Hoby Milner (a lefty) fanned both Duran and Devers to escape the jam.

Crawford retired the side in the bottom of the eighth, taking the Red Sox down to their final three outs in the ninth. Masataka Yoshida made it somewhat interesting by reaching on a one-out single off Devin Williams, but the Brewers closer rebounded and sat down both Raimel Tapia and Reese McGuire to end it.

All told, the Red Sox went 0-for-4 with runners in scoring position and left four runners on base as a team. Whitlock was charged with the loss and now carries a 6.19 ERA through his first three starts. Turner, Devers, and Yoshida accounted for six of Boston’s eight hits.

More history for Devers

With his sixth-inning homer, Rafael Devers became just the third Red Sox player to have eight-plus home runs and 20-plus RBIs in the team’s first 22 games since the turn of the century. Carl Everett accomplished the feat in 2000 and Hanley Ramirez was previously the last to do it in 2015.

McGuire’s X-rays come back negative

Reese McGuire, who pinch-hit for starting catcher Connor Wong in the seventh inning, took a foul ball off his throwing hand in the bottom of the eighth. He was able to stay in the game, but was clearly in discomfort as he had issues throwing the ball back to Kutter Crawford.

Following the loss, McGuire had X-rays taken on his right hand. Fortunately for him, those X-rays came back negative.

Next up: Bello vs. Burnes in rubber match

The Red Sox still have a chance to take this three-game series from the Brewers on Sunday afternoon. Brayan Bello will get the start for Boston in the rubber match opposite fellow righty Corbin Burnes for Milwaukee.

First pitch from American Family Field is scheduled for 2:10 p.m. eastern time on NESN+.

(Picture of Rafael Devers: John Fisher/Getty Images)

Alex Verdugo homers again as Red Sox open series against Brewers with 5-3 win

Playing at American Family Field for the first time since 2017, the Red Sox kicked off their road trip with a series-opening win over the Brewers. Boston defeated Milwaukee by a final score of 5-3 on Friday night to get back over .500 and improve to 11-10 on the season.

Matched up against Freddy Peralta out of the gate, the Sox drew first blood against the Brewers in their half of the third inning. Jarren Duran led off with a hard-hit single and advanced to second on a successful sacrifice bunt from Yu Chang. As the lineup flipped over, Alex Verdugo delivered with a 366-foot two-run home run down the right field line.

Verdugo’s third homer of the season — and second in as many days — had an exit velocity of 98.3 mph. It also gave his side an early 2-0 lead as Nick Pivetta was in the midst of his fourth start of the year for Boston.

After stranding one runner, who Reese McGuire helped pick off, in the first and putting up another zero in the second, Pivetta ran into some trouble in the bottom of the third. There, the right-hander gave up a one-out single to Owen Miller, who stole second base and came into score from second on a two-out RBI single off the bat of Christian Yelich.

Milwaukee then leapfrogged Boston in the fourth. With one out in the inning, Pivetta served up a game-tying solo shot to noted Red Sox nemesis Rowdy Tellez. William Contreras followed by making some more hard contact in the form of a line-drive double. Two batters later, Brice Turang provided the Brewers with their first lead of the night by plating Contreras on a groundball single through the right side of the infield.

Despite falling behind, 3-2, the Sox were able to respond in the top of the sixth. Enrique Hernandez and Triston Casas drew back-to-back two-out walks to knock Peralta out of the game. With left-handed reliever Hoby Milner set to take over for the Brewers, Red Sox manager Alex Cora dipped into his bench by having the right-handed hitting Rob Refsnyder pinch-hit for McGuire, a left-handed hitter

Refsnyder made the most of the opportunity, as he greeted Milner by lofting a game-tying single to right field. Hernandez came into score from second to knot things up at three runs apiece. Moments later, Duran broke the tie by driving in Casas on a 100.4 mph liner that could not be handled cleanly by Miller.

As a result, the Red Sox went up, 4-3, going into the latter half of the sixth. Pivetta then recorded the first two outs of the inning before issuing a four-pitch walk to Brian Anderson, which marked the end of his night. The 30-year-old hurler wound up allowing just the three earned runs on seven hits and one walk to go along with seven strikeouts over 5 2/3 innings of work. He finished with exactly 100 pitches (65 strikes) and induced 12 swings-and-misses before ultimately picking up his first winning decision of the year.

In relief of Pivetta, Josh Winckowcki received the first call out of the Red Sox bullpen from Cora. The righty stranded the lone runner he inherited in the sixth by getting Turang to fly out to left fielder Masataka Yoshida. A half-inning later, Yoshida provided Boston with an important insurance run by pushing across Justin Turner on a 107.3 mph RBI double off Bryse Wilson.

Yoshida’s clutch two-base hit gave the Red Sox a 5-3 lead at stretch time. Winckowski picked up where he left off by tossing a 1-2-3 seventh inning. The Brewers threatened in the eighth when Tellez drew a two-out walk and Contreras followed with a single to put runners on the corners, but Winckowski did not falter. Instead, he fanned Anderson on a 95.1 mph fastball to escape the jam.

That paved the way for Kenley Jansen to enter in the ninth. The veteran closer made quick work of the Brewers, punching out two and getting Joey Wiemer to pop out into foul territory to notch his fifth save of the season and secure the 5-3 victory.

Next up: Whitlock vs. Miley

Winners of six of their last eight games, the Red Sox will look to take this series from the Brewers on Saturday night. Right-hander Garrett Whitlock is slated to take the mound for Boston while former Sox left-hander Wade Miley is expected to do the same for Milwaukee.

First pitch from American Family Field is scheduled for 7:10 p.m. eastern time on NESN.

(Picture of Alex Verdugo: Larry Radloff/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

Red Sox acquire veteran outfielder Abraham Almonte from Brewers and assign him to Triple-A Worcester

The Red Sox have acquired veteran outfielder Abraham Almonte from the Brewers in exchange for cash considerations, per the club’s transactions log.

Almonte, 33, should provide the Sox with experienced outfield depth at Triple-A Worcester. The WooSox were likely in need of some outfield help anyway with Jaylin Davis, Jarren Duran, and Rob Refsnyder all currently up in Boston.

A veteran of nine major-league seasons who appeared in 64 games for the World Series champion Atlanta Braves in 2021, Almonte signed a minor-league contract with Milwaukee last October.

After failing to make the Brewers’ Opening Day roster out of spring training, Almonte began the 2022 season at Triple-A Nashville. In 48 games with the Sounds, the switch-handed hitter batted .294/.380/.533 to go along with 11 doubles, 11 home runs, 42 RBIs, 36 runs scored, one stolen base, 25 walks, and 48 strikeouts across 213 trips to the plate.

Listed at 5-foot-10 and 223 pounds, Almonte originally signed with the Yankees as an international free-agent coming out of the Dominican Republic in 2005. The Santo Domingo native broke in with the Mariners in 2013 and has since played for the the Padres, Guardians, Royals, Diamondbacks, and Braves.

At the big-league level, Almonte owns a career slash line of .234/.302/.374 with 23 home runs, 116 RBIs, and 26 stolen bases over 440 total games. Defensively, Almonte unsurprisingly has experience at all three outfield positions. The majority of his playing time in the majors has come in center, though he had only played the corners while in Nashville this season.

With the addition of Almonte, the WooSox now have five outfielders listed on their active roster. The Red Sox made a similar sort of move last season when they acquired Delino DeShields Jr. from the Rangers in exchange for cash considerations. DeShields Jr. appeared in 18 games for Worcester in August before being dealt to the Reds at the end of the month.

(Picture of Abraham Almonte: Adam Hunger/Getty Images)

Red Sox infield prospect David Hamilton shines in organizational debut with Double-A Portland

Red Sox infield prospect David Hamilton made quite the first impression in his organizational debut for Double-A Portland on Friday night.

Batting leadoff and starting at second base in Portland’s opener against the New Hampshire Fisher Cats at Hadlock Field, Hamilton went 4-for-5 with a triple, two home runs, seven RBIs, three runs scored, and one stolen base while leading the Sea Dogs to a commanding 11-6 victory.

Matched up against Fisher Cats starter Elvis Luciano to begin things on Friday, Hamilton got his productive night at the plate started by ripping a leadoff triple to right field and scoring on an RBI double off the bat of Izzy Wilson.

An inning later, Hamilton followed up a leadoff double from Kole Cottam by taking Luciano deep to right field for a two-run home run and his first big fly of the young season.

In the third, Hamilton came through with runners on second and third base and greeted new Fisher cats reliever Parker Caracci by lacing a run-scoring single to right field that plated Hudson Potts and gave the Sea Dogs a 7-1 lead.

After Tyreque Reed, Potts, and Cottam loaded the bases with two outs in the fourth, Hamilton took a 1-1 pitch from right-hander Joey Murray and proceeded to deposit a bases-clearing grand slam into Portland’s bullpen in right field.

Hamilton’s second homer of the contest put the Sea Dogs up 11-1. It was also the last time on the night Hamilton reached base, as he came up short of completing the cycle by flying out to right field in his final at-bat in the bottom of the sixth.

Hamilton, 24, comes into the 2022 season ranked by Baseball America as the No. 25 prospect in the Boston’s farm system. The Red Sox acquired Hamilton, fellow prospect Alex Binelas, and Jackie Bradley Jr. from the Brewers in the trade that sent Hunter Renfroe to Milwaukee last December.

A former eighth-round draft pick of the Brewers coming out of the University of Texas in 2019, Hamilton missed the entirety of the 2019 minor-league season while recovering from a ruptured Achilles and the entirety of the 2020 minor-league season due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The speedy left-handed hitter finally made his professional debut last year and impressed, slashing .258/.341/.419 (110 wRC+) with 48 extra-base hits (eight home runs), 43 RBIs, and 52 stolen bases across 101 games (459 plate appearances) between High-A Wisconsin and Double-A Biloxi. He also participated in the Arizona Fall League and posted a .916 OPS in 14 games (53 plate appearances) with the Salt River Rafters.

Defensively, Hamilton is well-regarded for his skills as a middle infielder. In 2021, the 6-foot, 175 pounder logged 746 2/3 innings at shortstop and 112 2/3 innings at second base. He figures to see time at both positions with Portland in 2022.

Hamilton, who turns 25 in September, can become eligible for the Rule 5 Draft for the first time in his career this December. The Red Sox would need to add the native Texan to their 40-man roster between now and late November if they wish to protect him from the Rule 5 Draft.

With that being said, the 2022 campaign should prove to be an important one for Hamilton. He certainly did not waste any time in getting things off to a hot start on Friday.

(Picture of David Hamilton: Maddie Malhotra/Boston Red Sox/Getty Images)

Red Sox infield prospect Alex Binelas has plenty of raw power

Alex Binelas enters his first season with the Red Sox as the organization’s No. 17 prospect, according to Baseball America’s rankings.

After being selected by the Brewers in the third round of last year’s draft out of the University of Louisville, Binelas’ time with his hometown team came to an abrupt end when he (and fellow prospect David Hamilton) was traded to the Red Sox alongside outfielder Jackie Bradley Jr. for Hunter Renfroe in early December.

It was a move that evoked plenty of emotion for Binelas, a Wisconsin native who grew up in the suburbs of Milwaukee and less than 20 miles away from American Family Field.

When he was taken by the Brewers last July, Binelas had just recently wrapped up his third and final season with Louisville. In 50 games with the Cardinals, the 21-year-old junior slashed .256/.348/.621 with 19 home runs and 63 RBIs across 230 trips to the plate.

Regarded by Baseball America as the 77th-ranked draft-eligible prospect in the 2021 class, Binelas signed with Milwaukee for $700,000 and was assigned to the rookie-level Arizona Complex League Brewers Gold out of the gate. It took all of seven games for the left-handed hitting infielder to earn a promotion to Low-A Carolina on August 16.

Spending the rest of his debut season with the Mudcats, Binelas batted a stout .314/.379/.636 to go along with 11 doubles, nine homers, 27 RBIs, 29 runs scored, 12 walks, and 33 strikeouts over 29 games spanning 132 plate appearances.

Among all Low-A East hitters who made at least 130 trips to the plate in 2021, Binelas ranked ninth in batting average, 35th in on-base percentage, fourth in slugging percentage, fifth in OPS (1.014), third in isolated power (.322), and fifth in wRC+ (163), per FanGraphs.

Defensively, Binelas saw time at both corner infield positions in his first exposure to pro ball, as was the case throughout his college career. With Carolina in particular, the 6-foot-3, 225 pounder logged a total of 42 2/3 innings at first base and 167 innings at the hot corner.

Since he was unaffected by this off-season’s lockout, Binelas was one of several Red Sox minor-leaguers who participated in the team’s Winter Warm-Up program back in January. Spring training began shortly thereafter, allowing Binelas to see some action in one Grapefruit League game thus far.

Two days before making his Grapefruit League debut this past Thursday, Binelas was identified by Baseball America’s Geoff Pontes as one of the top raw power prospects in the game since he hit the ball hard and far on a consistent basis last year.

Binelas, who turns 22 in May, is projected by to make the jump to High-A Greenville for the start of the 2022 campaign. His first full season as a professional should be one worth watching.

What do the Red Sox have in infield prospect David Hamilton?

Red Sox infield prospect David Hamilton returned to his alma mater and played in the University of Texas’ alumni game over the weekend. He went 2-for-3 with an RBI and two runs scored on Saturday while propelling the Texas Exes to an 8-6 victory in Austin.

Hamilton, 24, was one of two prospects the Red Sox acquired from the Brewers in the shocking trade that sent Hunter Renfroe to Milwaukee and Jackie Bradley Jr. back to Boston in December.

Along with fellow infielder Alex Binelas, Hamilton led the Sox to believe that they were adding a pair of intriguing minor-leaguers who had plenty to offer to their new organization.

“David Hamilton has premium speed and he’s a really good middle infielder,” chief baseball officer Chaim Bloom said said at the time the trade was made. “Plays a good shortstop. Interesting trajectory. High-touted high school player who went to the University of Texas. Had a tough injury and recovered from it, and kept his speed. He has great speed and athleticism and is a very exciting player to add to our system.”

Originally selected by the Brewers in the eighth round of the 2019 amateur draft out of Texas, Hamilton entered the professional ranks having missed the entirety of his junior season due to a ruptured Achilles suffered in a scooter accident earlier that year.

The former Longhorn missed the remainder of the 2019 season while recovering from that Achilles injury, then fell victim to the fact that the 2020 minor-league season was ultimately cancelled because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Although Hamilton was unable to play affiliated ball in 2020, he did spend time with a team in the independent Constellation Energy League that was coached by Roger Clemens. He was able to use his experience there to impress at the Brewers’ fall instructional league and gain momentum heading into 2021.

After breaking minor-league camp with the High-A Wisconsin Timber Rattlers in the spring, Hamilton made his long-awaited pro debut on May 4. From there, the left-handed hitter batted .263/.351/.422 (114 wRC+) with 14 doubles, seven triples, five home runs, 31 RBIs, 50 runs scored, 41 stolen bases, 35 walks, and 58 strikeouts over 68 games (309 plate appearances) for the Timber Rattlers.

On August 3, the Brewers promoted Hamilton to Double-A Biloxi. With the Shuckers, the speedy middle infielder slashed .248/.322/.414 (104 wRC+) to go along with five doubles, four triples, three homers, 12 RBIs, 16 runs scored, 11 stolen bases, 15 walks, and 32 strikeouts across 33 games spanning 150 trips to the plate.

Among all qualified minor-league hitters last season, Hamilton ranked fifth in total triples (11), sixth in total stolen bases (52), 25th in speed score (8.9), and seventh in weighted stolen base runs (5.8), per FanGraphs.

Upon completing the conventional minor-league season with Biloxi, Hamilton headed out west to suit up for the Salt River Rafters of the Arizona Fall League, where he hit an impressive .293/.453/.463 in 14 games while swiping four additional bags.

Defensively, Hamilton was drafted and signed out of Texas as a shortstop. Last year, however, the 5-foot-10, 175 pounder saw time at both shortstop and second base. He logged 112 2/3 innings at second and a much more substantial 746 2/3 innings at short between High-A and Double-A before logging 59 innings at second and 38 innings at short in Arizona.

A native of San Marcos, Hamilton was regarded by Baseball America as the No. 15 prospect in Milwaukee’s farm system at the time the Red Sox acquired him from the Brewers. He, like Binelas, was one of 28 minor-leaguers who participated in the Sox’ Winter Warm-Up program in Fort Myers last month.

The weeklong minicamp gave Red Sox brass an opportunity to see Binelas and Hamilton in-person for the first time, and it is safe to say they liked what they saw from both prospects and are excited about what is to come.

“I think somewhat different dynamic between Hamilton — more of a speed guy, more of a middle infield threat — “whereas Binelas is more of a power-orientated corner bat,” said director of player development Brian Abraham. “But I think from the short time we’ve seen them, the physicality we’ve seen even out of both them has been exciting to see. They seem like great kids and very excited about coming here to camp.”

As for Hamilton, who does not turn 25 until September, he is projected by to begin the 2022 minor-league season with Double-A Portland.

With the Sea Dogs, it seems likely that Hamilton will be used in a variety of ways around the infield since the Red Sox view him as a versatile player. That being said, the speedster can become eligible for the Rule 5 Draft for the first time in his career later this year, so he would need to be added to Boston’s 40-man roster by the November deadline if the club wants to prevent that from happening.

(Picture of David Hamilton via his Instagram)

Red Sox add intriguing infield prospects Alex Binelas, David Hamilton in trade with Brewers: ‘We’re excited about the minor-league players that we got,’ Chaim Bloom says

The Red Sox may have traded Hunter Renfroe for Jackie Bradley Jr. on Wednesday night, but they did so while also acquiring two intriguing prospects from the Brewers.

As highlighted by’s Chris Cotillo, the Sox basically dealt Renfroe and took on Bradley Jr.’s $9.5 million salary for 2022 (plus an $8 million buyout in 2023) in order to add infield prospects Alex Binelas and David Hamilton.

“Having two premium defensive center fielders is a huge boost to our roster,” Red Sox chief baseball officer Chaim Bloom said Wednesday. “And we’re also excited about the minor-league players that we got. So we felt like this was something that made sense for us right now and also had a chance to pay dividends down the road.”

Binelas was recently selected by the Brewers in the third round of the 2021 amateur draft out of the University of Louisville, where he belted 19 home runs and posted a .968 OPS in his final season with the Cardinals.

Going into this summer’s draft, Binelas was ranked by Baseball America as the No. 76 draft-eligible prospect and was assigned to Milwaukee’s Arizona Complex League affiliate upon signing with the organization for $700,000.

After just seven games in the rookie-level complex league, Binelas was promoted to Low-A Carolina on August 16. In 29 games with the Mudcats to close out the year, the left-handed hitter slashed .314/.379/.636 (163 wRC+) with 11 doubles, nine home runs, 27 RBIs, 29 runs scored, 12 walks, and 33 strikeouts over 132 plate appearances.

Among hitters who accrued at least 130 plate appearances in the Low-A East this season, Binelas ranked fifth in OPS (1.014), third in isolated power (.322), and fifth in wRC+, per FanGraphs.

Listed at 6-foot-3 and 225 pounds, the 21-year-old is capable of playing both corner infield positions. At the midway point of the 2021 season, he was regarded by Baseball America as the 20th-ranked prospect in Milwaukee’s farm system.

“A left-handed hitter with power,” Bloom said of Binelas. “He plays both infield corners. But the bat is really his calling card. A good hitter with really special power. Obviously it’s just early in his professional journey but he had a tremendous debut and really showed a lot in his acclimation to pro ball. A really nice power left-handed bat to bring into the system.”

Hamilton, on the other hand, was selected by the Brewers in the eighth round of the 2019 amateur draft out of the University of Texas at Austin despite suffering a ruptured Achilles in a scooter accident that resulted in him missing the entirety of the 2019 season at both the college and pro levels.

With the 2020 minor-league season being cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Hamilton did not make his professional debut as a member of the Brewers organization until this spring.

The 24-year-old, who is also a left-handed hitter split the 2021 season between High-A Carolina and Double-A Biloxi. He batted .258/.341/.419 (110 wRC+) with 19 doubles, 11 triples, eight homers, 43 RBIs, 66 runs, 52 stolen bases, 50 walks, and 90 strikeouts in 101 games spanning 459 total plate appearances.

Formerly regarded by Baseball America as the No. 15 prospect in Milwaukee’s farm system, Hamilton just wrapped up a solid campaign in the Arizona Fall League by slashing .293/.453/.463 with three doubles, two triples, five RBIs, five runs scored, four stolen bases, 12 walks, and six strikeouts over 14 games (53 plate appearances) for Salt River.

Listed at 5-f00t-10 and 175 pounds, Hamilton is obviously well-regarded for his speed and athleticism, which were his carrying tools coming out of college. The middle infielder’s 52 stolen bases were the sixth-most in the minor-leagues this season.

“David Hamilton has premium speed and he’s a really good middle infielder,” Bloom said. “Plays a good shortstop. Interesting trajectory. Highly-touted high school player who went to the University of Texas. Had a tough injury and recovered from it, and kept his speed. He has great speed and athleticism and is a very exciting player to add to our system.”

Unlike Binelas, Hamilton can become eligible for the Rule 5 Draft for the first time in his career in 2022. The Red Sox will need to add the speedster to their 40-man roster by next November if they want to prevent that from happening.

(Picture of Alex Binelas: Michael Clevenger/Courier Journal via Imagn Content Services, LLC)

Red Sox trade Hunter Renfroe to Brewers for package including Jackie Bradley Jr.; Boston also acquires prospects Alex Binelas and David Hamilton in deal

In a stunning turn of events, the Red Sox have traded outfielder Hunter Renfroe to the Brewers for infield prospects Alex Binelas and David Hamilton and a familiar face in Jackie Bradley Jr, the club announced late Wednesday night.

Renfroe, who turns 29 next month, originally signed a one-year deal with the Sox shortly after being let go by the Rays last December.

In his debut season with Boston, the right-handed hitter slashed .259/.315/.501 with 33 doubles, 31 home runs, 96 RBIs, 89 runs scored, 44 walks, and 130 strikeouts over 144 games spanning 572 relief appearances.

While seeing the majority of his playing time come in right field, Renfroe finished the year tied with Rangers rookie Adolis Garcia for the most outfield assists in the American League (16), but also led all big-league outfielders in errors committed with 12.

Upon signing with the Sox last winter, Renfroe earned $3.1 million in what was his first season of arbitration eligibility. MLB Trade Rumors projected that the 28-year-old would receive $7.6 million in his second year of arbitration eligibility in 2022, which obviously represents a significant raise from the amount he earned in 2021.

Red Sox chief baseball officer Chaim Bloom must have felt that this price was too steep to pay, leading the club to deal Renfroe to the Brewers for a pair of prospects and an established veteran such as Bradley Jr.

Regarding the two prospects Boston acquired from Milwaukee, Binelas and Hamilton were regarded by Baseball America as the No. 20 and No. 15 prospects in the Brewers’ farm system, respectively.

Binelas, 21, was selected by the Brewers in the third round of this summer’s amateur draft out of the University of Louisville.

A Wisconsin native, Binelas appeared in just seven Arizona Complex League games before earning a promotion to Low-A Carolina on August 16. He batted a stout .314/.379/.636 (136 wRC+) to go along with 11 doubles, nine home runs, 27 RBIs, 29 runs scored, 12 walks, and 33 strikeouts across 29 games (132 plate appearances) with the Mudcats.

Listed at 6-foot-3 and 225 pounds, the left-handed hitter can play both corner infield positions and well regarded for his power, as evidenced by his .322 ISO at Low-A this year.

Hamilton, 24, was also selected by Milwaukee in the eighth round of the 2019 amateur draft out of the University of Texas at Austin.

After not playing any affiliated baseball in 2019 and missing out on the 2020 season due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Hamilton made his professional debut for High-A Wisconsin this spring and ultimately made his way to Double-A Biloxi by early August.

In 33 games with the Shuckers, the left-handed hitting infielder produced a .248/.322/.414 slash line (104 wRC+) with five doubles, four triples, three homers, 12 RBIs, 16 runs, 11 stolen bases, 15 walks, and 32 strikeouts over 150 plate appearances while seeing playing time at second base and shortstop.

Unlike Binelas, Hamilton is not known for his power, but for his speed, as the 5-foot-10, 175 pounder has already stolen 52 bases through his first 101 games in the minor-leagues.

Neither Binelas nor Hamilton were immediately added to Boston’s 40-man roster, though the latter can become eligible for the 2022 Rule 5 Draft if he is not added to the 40-man by next November.

Finally, we arrive at what is the most fascinating aspect of this deal in Bradley Jr., who the Red Sox, of course, took with the 40th overall pick in the 2011 draft out of the University of South Carolina.

After spending the first eight years of his big-league career with the Sox, Bradley Jr. became a free agent last winter and effectively signed a two-year, $24 million contract with the Brewers in March.

Bradley Jr.’s first season with a new team did not go as swimmingly as it did for Renfroe. Despite remaining an elite defender in center field, the 31-year-old struggled at the plate to the tune of a .163/.236/.261 slash line with 14 doubles, three triples, six home runs, 29 RBIs, 39 runs, seven stolen bases, 28 walks, and 132 strikeouts in 134 games (428 plate appearances) with the Brewers.

By swapping Renfroe’s projected 2022 salary of $7.6 million for Bradley’s 2022 salary of of $9.5 million (plus an $8 million buyout in 2023), Red Sox chief baseball officer Chaim Bloom and Co. — per’s Chris Cotillo — took on about $10 million in additional salary to add Bradley Jr. and two promising prospects in Binelas and Hamilton.

In addition to acquiring Bradley Jr., the Red Sox also announced the signings of left-handers James Paxton and Rich Hill to one-year deals for the 2022 season, meaning their 40-man roster is now up to 39 players.

(Picture of Jackie Bradley Jr: Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)

Red Sox to hire Mike Groopman as new assistant general manager, per report; Former Brewers executive will oversee Boston’s analytics department

The Red Sox are hiring Brewers vice president of international scouting and player personnel Mike Groopman to become one of the team’s new assistant general managers, according to The Athletic’s Chad Jennings and Ken Rosenthal.

Groopman, 36, is a native of Brookline, Mass. He spent the last four years with the Brewers after initially being hired as the club’s director of international scouting in November 2017.

Under Milwaukee general manager/president of baseball operations David Stearns, Groopman oversaw the Brewers’ “international scouting efforts, focusing on player evaluation and acquisition, as well as the management of the international scouting staff, infrastructure and process.”

He also provided “international player personnel leadership and [worked] closely with staffs involved in Dominican Republic Academy player development,” per the team’s media guide.

A graduate of Columbia University, Groopman’s career in baseball began when he served as a baseball operations intern within the Reds’ front office in 2006. He undertook the same role with the Mets a year later and also interned for Major League Baseball’s labor relation department in 2008.

That same year, Groopman joined the Royals organization as a baseball operations intern and wound up spending 10 years with Kansas City as an intern, baseball operations administrative assistant, assistant to baseball operations, director of baseball analytics, and director of baseball operations/analytics.

It is worth noting that Groopman was a member of the Royals’ front office when the club won back-to-back American League pennants in 2014 and 2015 and won its second World Series title in franchise history in 2015.

According to’s Adam McCalvy, Groopman oversaw Kansas City’s analytics department in his role as the club’s director of baseball operations and applied the skills he obtained there “to the international arena” while with Milwaukee.

Like Red Sox chief baseball officer Chaim Bloom, Groopman once wrote for Baseball Prospectus and attended an Ivy League school, so the two have something in common there.

Groopman, per Jennings and Rosenthal, will officially join the Sox’ front office “soon after the holiday,” though it’s unclear if that means after Thanksgiving or after Christmas.

The Boston Globe’s Julian McWilliams reports that in his new role, Groopman will oversee Boston’s analytics department. He will become the third assistant general manager on Bloom and general manager Brian O’Halloran’s staff by joining the likes of Raquel Ferreira and Eddie Romero.

UPDATE: For what it’s worth, Groopman has officially joined the Red Sox front office. His formal title is senior vice president/assistant general manager.

(Picture of Chaim Bloom: Billie Weiss/Boston Red Sox/Getty Images)