Red Sox Reportedly ‘Monitoring’ White Sox’ Jose Abreu’s Availability as Trade Deadline Looms

The Red Sox are reportedly among a handful of clubs monitoring the availability of Chicago White Sox first baseman Jose Abreu as the trade deadline nears, per Forbes’ Phil Rogers.

Abreu, 32, is set to become a free agent at the conclusion of the 2019 season and is slashing .273/.309/.500 with 21 home runs and 66 RBI through 92 games this year.

As things stand right now, the White Sox are about halfway through a five-year rebuild, and with a record of 42-51, currently sit 11 games back of the Minnesota Twins for first place in the American League central.

Abreu and the Red Sox have been linked since the Cuba native defected from his country back in 2013.

Boston did make a lucrative offer to the then-26-year-old infielder, but ultimately came up short of the six-year, $68 million proposal from Chicago.

Now, the White Sox are in a position to deal Abreu for prospects and perhaps re-sign him in the winter.

Against left-handed pitching this season, Abreu owns an OPS of .947 to go along with four homers and 15 RBI. His OPS falls by nearly 200 points when facing off against right-handed pitching, but the power numbers go up as well.

With those splits in mind, would it necassarily make sense for the Red Sox to pursue a right-handed first baseman? Probably not, because Michael Chavis is already holding things down and Steve Pearce should be able to make his return from the injured list at some point this season.

Sure, going after a vaunted slugger like Abreu, who owns a career 1.063 at Fenway Park, would be nice, but given how financially pressed president of baseball operations Dave Dombrowsk and the Red Sox seem to be, the main objective heading into July 31st should be to acquire bullpen help.

Advertisements

Vladimir Guerrero Jr. Collects First Big League Hit in Blue Jays Debut

While the Red Sox were getting rained out for the second time this week before their series opener against the Tampa Bay Rays, the rest of the American League was much abuzz to kick off the weekend thanks to Vladimir Guerrero Jr., baseball’s top prospect, making his big league debut for the Toronto Blue Jays north of the border Friday.

Son of hall of famer Vladimir Guerrero, the 20-year-old had himself a day to remember, starting with an electric round of BP.

Batting out of the five-hole against the Oakland Athletics, Guerrero may not have filled up the box score, but he provided Blue Jays fans with an atmosphere that hadn’t been experienced at Rogers Centre since the club last made the postseason in 2016. That much was evident by the ovation he received just from fielding a foul ball and tossing it into the stands in the early innings.

In the top half of the fourth of this one, the Dominican native’s defensive abilities were put to the test on a 94 MPH grounder off the bat of A’s outfielder Stephen Piscotty. Guerrero fielded it on the hop and made the out at first with the leaping throw.

Speaking of his arm, Guerrero showed that tool off once again later in the seventh, this time fielding a grounder from Chad Pinder. The 2015 international signee fielded it cleanly, collected the ball, and rocketed it across the diamond just in time to nab the runner at first to preserve Marcus Stroman’s seven shutout inning performance.

On the other side of things, Guerrero did not get on the board until his final at-bat of the night, although he did come close to going bridge twice.

Anyway, in the ninth, with his team knotted up with Oakland at two runs a piece, Vladito got what would end up being the winning rally started with a leadoff opposite field double down the right field line on a 2-2 count to put the go-ahead run in scoring position. First career hit, with many more to come.

Guerrero, who would have represented the winning run, was replaced by Alen Hanson to run in his place, but that wouldn’t really matter with Brandon Drury giving the Blue Jays their 12th win of the year on a two-run walkoff home run.

At the end of the day, Guerrero went 1-for-4 with a double in his major league debut. He faced 17 total pitches, took eight balls, two called strikes, and did not swing and miss once. It’s safe to say it was a debut to remember for the city of Toronto and the country of Canada as a whole.

As for how this relates to the Red Sox, well, the two clubs don’t see each other again until the Red Sox travel north of the border for a four-game series in late May. The Blue Jays do not visit Fenway Park again until June 21st.

So, it will be awhile before we see this phenom up close and personal, but until then, I’m just going to go ahead and enjoy the show.

Happy Vladimir Guerrero Jr. Day, everyone.

 

#RedSox Activate Dustin Pedroia from 10-Day Injured List, Option Tzu-Wei Lin to Triple-A Pawtucket

The Red Sox have activated second baseman Dustin Pedroia from the 10-day injured list ahead of their home opener against the Toronto Blue Jays on Tuesday. To make room on the 25-man roster, utility man Tzu-Wei Lin was optioned to Triple-A Pawtucket in a corresponding move.

The club made the transaction official earlier Tuesday morning.

Pedroia, 35, completed his three-game rehab stint with the Class A Greenville Drive this past Sunday, where he went 3-for-9 with one double, one run scored, and a pair of walks to go along with a handful of defensive plays as well.

President of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski said Monday that whether or not Pedroia would be activated for Boston’s home opener would be dependent on how the infielder was feeling Tuesday morning.

Now, with Pedroia being activated from the injured list, it appears that all systems are a go, as the four-time All-Star bats seventh and starts at second for the Red Sox in their 12th game of the 2019 season.

Having only played in a total of three games since the end of the 2017 campaign, it wouldn’t be too surprising if Pedroia is out for vengeance this year in what will be his 14th season in the majors. Whether or not he can stay on the field, though, is also something to pay attention to.

Again, first pitch Tuesday against the Blue Jays is scheduled for 2:05 PM EDT.

Former #RedSox Closer Craig Kimbrel Will Not Be in Attendance for Tuesday’s Ring Ceremony, Says Team President and CEO Sam Kennedy

Earlier last week, Red Sox president and CEO Sam Kennedy extended a formal invitation to former closer Craig Kimbrel to attend the club’s Opening Day festivities at Fenway Park on Tuesday.

Fast forward to Monday, the day before Boston’s home opener, and Kennedy told reporters that Kimbrel will in fact not be in attendance, as he does not want to cause any distractions.

MassLive.com’s Chris Cotillo has the full quote from Kennedy:

Kimbrel, who of course won a World Series with the Red Sox in 2018, has yet to sign a contract with a big league club and remains a free agent.

When the report first popped up that the 30-year-old hurler could make an appearance at Fenway to receive his World Series ring, my initial reaction was that if you’re Dave Dombrowski, you can’t let that man leave without a contract offer.

Now, as we talk about the Red Sox bullpen 11 games into the new season, things do not as dire as many expected them to be. That much is highlighted by both Matt Barnes and Ryan Brasier owning an ERA of 0.00 in eight combined appearances so far this year.

Still, one of the more elite relievers baseball has seen should be contributing in a major league bullpen right about now. We’ll have to wait and see if that happens anytime soon though, especially with a compensatory draft pick potentially on the line for the Red Sox.

Any way, first pitch against the Toronto Blue Jays is scheduled for 2:05 PM EDT on Tuesday at Fenway Park, with pregame festivities kicking off the day at 1 PM EDT.

Mitch Moreland Comes Through in Clutch yet Again as #RedSox Cap 11-Game Road Trip with Narrow Win over Diamondbacks

The Red Sox improved to 3-8 on Sunday afternoon following a 1-0 win over the Arizona Diamondbacks. Somehow, that news is very encouraging as the club makes the trek back to Boston.

Wrapping up their 11-game west coast road trip to start the 2019 season, it was more of a bullpen day pitching-wise for the Sox, with Hector Velazquez making his first start of the year in this one.

Having already appeared in three games as a reliever before Sunday, the right-hander really impressed in a short sample size in the desert.

Tossing three full innings, Velazquez held Arizona scoreless while yielding just one hit and zero walks to go along with three strikeouts on the evening.

Pitching at Chase Field for the first time in this three-year career, the 30-year-old hurler sat down nine of the 10 hitters he faced and finished with a final pitch count of 39, 26 of which went for strikes.

Unable to pick up the winning decision due to the number of innings he pitched, Velazquez is still the first Red Sox starter to not give up at least one run 11 games into the 2019 season.

In relief of Velazquez, the Red Sox bullpen was almost equally impressive, as Brandon Workman, Marcus Walden, Matt Barnes, and Ryan Brasier combined to work six innings of shutout ball, giving up just one walk and two hits in the process.

Workman, who was responsible for the fourth, retired all three hitters he faced while fanning one in a perfect frame of relief. He has yet to give up a run through five appearances out of the ‘pen so far.

Walden, meanwhile, made his first relief outing since being recalled from Triple-A Pawtucket on Saturday. He, like Matt Barnes, pitched two scoreless innings, which made sense given the circumstances of why he was called up in the first place: to provide the bullpen with a fresh arm. Walden was also credit with his first winning decision of the season.

Going back to Barnes, the UCONN product made his first appearance since Wednesday in this one, and he collected a pair of punch outs over two perfect innings while featuring a four-seamer that topped out at 97.2 MPH en route to the hold.

And finally, Brasier, pitching for the second straight day, worked his way around a two-out double from David Peralta to notch his second career save.

On the other side of things, the Red Sox lineup was matched up against Diamondbacks rookie right-hander Merrill Kelly, who had never faced Boston before in his career, as you may have guessed.

Surprisingly, the 30-year-old Kelly held his own in his second career big league start, limiting the Red Sox to just four hits over eight innings.

As a matter of fact, it wasn’t until the top half of the seventh when Boston’s bats finally got going a little bit.

Entering the inning already 0-for-2 against Kelly, Mitch Moreland came through in the clutch for the Red Sox yet again, leading off the seventh by blasting the first pitch he saw that barely landed out of Adam Jones’ reach in right field.

Still, a home run is a home run, and Moreland’s third of the young season gave the Sox the only lead they would need to secure their third win of the year in this one.

Some notes from this slim 1-0 victory:

From Red Sox Notes (@SoxNotes):

JD Martinez’s 10-game hitting streak may have came to a close following an 0-for-3 day at the plate on Sunday, but an intentional walk in the ninth inning means the Red Sox slugger has now reached base in 11 straight contests to start the new season.

Outside of that ninth inning double given up by Brasier, the Red Sox pitching staff only gave up one extra-base hit to the D-backs on Sunday.

Next up for the Sox, it’s a well-deserved off day back in Boston on Monday following 11 straight on the road before the home opener on Tuesday.

At 3-8, things could certainly be better, but with six games at Fenway Park over the next eight days, this club has the chance to show that they still should be taken seriously as defending World Series champions.

Ace left-hander Chris Sale will get the ball for Boston on Tuesday, while the visiting Toronto Blue Jays, now under new manager Charlie Montoyo, will go with former Los Angeles Angel Matt Shoemaker.

First pitch Tuesday is scheduled for 2:05 PM EDT with plenty of pregame festivities with plenty of special guests set to take place beforehand.

Have a good week, everyone.

Image