Red Sox make Trevor Story signing official, designate Jeisson Rosario for assignment

The Red Sox have officially signed free-agent infielder Trevor Story to a six-year contract, the club announced on Wednesday morning. In order to make room for Story on the 40-man roster, outfielder Jeisson Rosario was designated for assignment.

Story, 29, was among this winter’s top free agents after spending the first six years of his major-league career with the Rockies. Although he was a shortstop throughout his time in Colorado, the two-time All-Star will shift to second base with Boston in order to accommodate Xander Bogaerts.

According to The Boston Globe’s Alex Speier, Story will earn $20 million in 2022 and 2023, $22.5 million in 2024 and 2025, and $25 million in 2026 and 2027. There is also a $25 million club option in 2028 that includes a $5 million buyout. He has the ability to opt out of the deal after the 2025 season, but the Red Sox could then exercise an option to retain him through his option year and pay him $25 million per season from 2026 to 2028.

All told, Story is guaranteed to earn at least $140 million and at most $160 million through 2028 if the option is picked up. As noted by MassLive.com’s Chris Cotillo, it is the largest deal the Red Sox have given out since they signed left-hander David Price to seven-year, $217 million contract in December 2015.

Originally selected by the Rockies in the first round of the 2011 draft out of Irving High School, Story broke in with Colorado in 2016 and has since hit 158 home runs in 745 big-league contests.

A two-time Silver Slugger Award winner, the right-handed hitting Story batted .251/.329/.471 with 34 doubles, five triples, 24 homers, 75 RBIs, 88 runs scored, 20 stolen bases, 53 walks, and 139 strikeouts across 142 games (595 plate appearances) for the Rockies last season.

Story, who will wear the No. 10 with the Red Sox, only took the field as a shortstop in his time with Colorado but will make the transition to second base with Boston. The 6-foot-2, 213 pounder represents an upgrade there and could also take over at shortstop next year in the event that Bogaerts opts out of his deal and signs elsewhere at the conclusion of the 2022 campaign.

Rosario, 22, was one of two prospects the Red Sox acquired from the Padres in the August 2020 trade that sent veteran first baseman Mitch Moreland to San Diego. The other player Boston got in that deal was Hudson Potts, who was designated for assignment on Tuesday.

Coming into the 2021 season, Rosario was regarded by Baseball America as No. 21 prospect in Boston’s farm system. The speedy outfielder spent the entirety of the year with Double-A Portland and struggled to the tune of a .232/.335/.307 slash line to go along with 15 doubles, one triple, three home runs, 36 RBIs, 48 runs scored, 11 stolen bases, 50 walks, and 113 strikeouts over 98 games (405 plate appearances) for the Sea Dogs.

As was the case with Potts, the Red Sox now have the next seven days to either trade, release, or waive Rosario. If he clears waivers, the club can retain him as a non-40-man roster player.

(Picture of Trevor Story: Boston Red Sox)

Red Sox agree to six-year, $140 million deal with Trevor Story, per report

It is Story time in Boston. The Red Sox have reached an agreement on a multi-year deal with free-agent infielder Trevor Story, as was first reported by USA Today’s Bob Nightengale.

According to The Athletic’s Ken Rosenthal, it’s a six-year contract worth at least $140 million. The New York Post’s Joel Sherman adds that Story has the ability to opt out of the deal after the fourth year, but the Red Sox can negate that by picking up a seventh-year option for $20 million. That would take the total value of the deal up to $160 million over seven years.

Story, 29, is expected to become the Sox’ everyday second baseman despite appearing exclusively as a shortstop in his six seasons with the Rockies. Xander Bogaerts, who can opt out of his contract after the 2022 season, will remain at shortstop for Boston.

In agreeing to such a deal with Story, the Red Sox have finally made a big splash in free agency this off-season. Since Chaim Bloom took over as Boston’s chief baseball officer in October 2019, the largest contract the Sox had given out was to Enrique Hernandez, who inked a two-year, $14 million deal with the club last winter.

Story’s deal will surpass Hernandez’s by at least 900%, if not more. He will also be under contract through the end of the 2025 season at the very earliest and through the end of the 2028 season at the latest.

A former first-round (45th overall) draft selection of the Rockies out of Irving High School in 2011, Story broke in with Colorado in 2016 and immediately established himself as a power threat from the right side of the plate by hitting 27 home runs his rookie season.

From the time he made his big-league debut in 2016, Story has hit a total of 158 home runs over 745 games in the process of being recognized as a two-time All-Star and two-time Silver Slugger Award winner who has finished in the top-12 of National League MVP voting on three separate occasions.

Most recently, the right-handed hitter slashed .251/.329/.471 with 34 doubles, five triples, 24 home runs, 75 RBIs, 88 runs scored, 20 stolen bases, 53 walks, and 139 strikeouts across 142 games (595 plate appearances) with the Rockies in 2021.

Colorado extended Story a qualifying offer in November, which the Excel Sports Management rejected to remain a free-agent. This means that the Red Sox now have to surrender their second-highest pick in this year’s draft while also having their international signing bonus pool reduced by $500,000.

In addition to the qualifying offer, the Rockies apparently offered Story more than the $140 million he received from the Red Sox, per MLB Network’s Jon Heyman. Story, though, chose Boston over Colorado for competitive reasons.

On that note, Story coming to Boston changes the team’s positional outlook drastically. Although all 6,304 2/3 defensive innings in the majors have come at shortstop, Story — as previously mentioned — will see the lion’s share of his playing time with the Red Sox come at second base.

With Story at second base, Christian Arroyo will likely shift into a utility role and may even see time in the outfield. Hernandez, on the other hand, will presumably see the majority of his defensive reps come in center field, as was the case last year.

Bogaerts, of course, has the ability to become a free-agent next winter if he chooses to opt out of the final three years of the six-year, $120 million contract extension he signed with Boston in April 2019. If Bogaerts elects to go that route and winds up with another team, the Red Sox would have a viable replacement at shortstop in the form of Story for 2023 and beyond.

Story, who does not turn 30 until November, is set to earn an average annual value of $23.33 million with the Sox — making him the highest-paid position player on the team and the second-highest player overall behind only left-hander Chris Sale ($25.6 million).

The Red Sox have yet to make the signing of Story official. Their 40-man roster is currently at full capacity, so they will need to create an opening there before doing so.

(Picture of Trevor Story: Dustin Bradford/Getty Images)

Red Sox make signing of Jake Diekman official, place James Paxton on 60-day injured list

The Red Sox have officially signed left-hander Jake Diekman to a two-year deal that also includes a team option for 2024, the club announced on Wednesday. In a corresponding move to make room on the 40-man roster, fellow southpaw James Paxton was unsurprisingly placed on the 60-day injured list as he continues to recover from Tommy John surgery

Diekman, 35, first agreed to a multi-year contract with the Sox over the weekend and was spotted at the Fenway South Complex with Matt Strahm on Monday. He then passed his physical on Wednesday, leading to his signing becoming official.

According to MassLive.com’s Chris Cotillo, Diekman’s deal includes $8 million in guaranteed money. He will earn a base salary of $3.5 million over the next two seasons with the chance to earn an additional $4 million in 2023. If the Red Sox decline his club option, Diekman will net $1 million in the form of a buyout.

A former 30th-round draft choice of the Phillies out of Cloud County Community College in 2007, Diekman has pitched for five different teams over the course of his 10-year big-league career. The Nebraska native became a free agent this winter after spending the last 2 1/2 seasons with the Athletics.

In 67 appearances (third-highest on the team) out of Oakland’s bullpen in 2021, Diekman posted a 3.86 ERA and 4.46 FIP to go along with 83 strikeouts to 34 walks over 60 2/3 innings of work. His splits against left-handed hitters were similar to his splits against right-handed hitters, as he yielded a .716 OPS against the former and a .711 OPS against the latter.

There were 14 left-handed relievers across Major League Baseball who tossed at least 60 innings last year. Among them, Diekman ranked first in strikeouts per nine innings (12.3), first in strikeout rate (31.7%), 11th in walks per nine innings (5.0), 11th in walk rate (13%), ninth in batting average against (.211), 13th in WHIP (1.34), and ninth in xFIP (4.09), per FanGraphs.

Throughout his career, Diekman has primarily been a four-pitch pitcher who operates with a four-seam fastball (averaged 95.3 mph in 2021), a slider, a sinker, and a changeup. Based off the data available on Baseball Savant, the 6-foot-4, 195 pound hurler had one of the top whiff rates (35.1%) in all of baseball last season.

Diekman, who will wear the No. 35 with the Sox, brings plenty of experience to his new team and should prove to be a versatile, high-leverage relief option for manager Alex Cora. He recorded seven of his 14 career saves last year and has otherwise made 479 lifetime appearances between innings seven through nine.

With the additions of Diekman and Strahm, chief baseball officer Chaim Bloom has bolstered the left side of Boston’s bullpen to complement the likes of Austin Davis, Darwinzon Hernandez, and Josh Taylor.

(Picture of Jake Diekman: Nic Antaya/Getty Images)

Red Sox sign reliever Dan Altavilla to two-year minor-league deal, per report; right-hander underwent Tommy John surgery last June

The Red Sox have signed free-agent reliever Dan Altavilla to a two-year minor-league contract, according to MLB Network’s Jon Heyman. The 29-year-old right-hander underwent Tommy John surgery last June and may miss most if not all of the 2022 season.

A former fifth-round draft selection of the Mariners out of Mercyhurst University (Erie, Pa.) in 2014, Altavilla debuted for Seattle in 2016. Four years later, the Pennsylvania native was traded to the Padres as part of a larger deal that also sent pitcher Austin Adams and catcher Austin Nola to San Diego.

In nine appearances out of the Friars’ bullpen down the stretch in 2020, Altavilla posted a 3.12 ERA and 2.61 FIP with 10 strikeouts to five walks over 8 2/3 innings of work.

Last season, Altavilla was limited to just two relief outings in April before being placed on the 10-day injured list due to right elbow inflammation. The righty was then transferred to the 60-day injured list on May 28 — approximately one month before he ultimately went under the knife.

The Padres outrighted Altavilla off their 40-man roster in November, allowing him to become a free agent in the first place.

Since Altavilla is still recovering from Tommy John, it feels safe to assume that the Red Sox made this move with either the second half of the 2022 season or the beginning of the 2023 season in mind.

Listed at 5-foot-11 and 226 pounds, Altavilla is a two-pitch pitcher who works primarily with a slider and a high-octane four-seam fastball. For his big-league career, which spans six seasons between the Mariners and Padres, Altavillia owns a 4.03 ERA and 4.39 FIP in 116 innings.

(Picture of Dan Altavilla: Tom Pennington/Getty Images)

Former Red Sox slugger Kyle Schwarber to sign with Phillies, per report

Kyle Schwarber will not be returning to the Red Sox in 2022. The free-agent slugger has instead reached an agreement with the Phillies, as first reported by NBC Sports Philadelphia’s Jim Salisbury.

According to The Athletic’s Jayson Stark, Schwarber and the Phillies have agreed to a four-year deal, pending a physical, with an average annual value of just under $20 million. MLB Network’s Jon Heyman relays that the total value of the contract is $79 million.

Schwarber came to the Red Sox from the Nationals last July in a trade that sent pitching prospect Aldo Ramirez back to Washington. At that time, the then-28-year-old was on the injured list due to a right hamstring strain he suffered earlier that month.

It took until August 13 for Schwarber to make his Red Sox debut, but he certainly made his impact felt and endeared himself to the fanbase quickly. Over 41 regular season games with Boston, the left-handed hitter slashed .291/.435/.522 with 10 doubles, seven home runs, 18 RBIs, 34 runs scored, 33 walks, and 39 strikeouts across 168 plate appearances.

Traditionally an outfielder throughout his big-league career, Schwarber made 15 appearances in left field for the Sox and 10 appearances at first base, marking the first time he had played the infield position since 2017.

All told, Schwarber was a member of the Red Sox for just over three months before hitting free agency by declining his mutual option in November. It was reported several times throughout the off-season that Boston was interested in a reunion with the 29-year-old, though nothing came to fruition on that front.

Earlier Wednesday morning, chief baseball officer Chaim Bloom spoke with reporters from JetBlue Park just after Salisbury reported the details of Schwarber’s agreement with Philadelphia.

“I don’t need to tell you guys what he did here, what he meant here, how he fit here. We stayed in touch with him the whole way,” Bloom said of Schwarber. “Just ultimately, like I said, you want to make sure it actually aligns in terms of term, in terms of price with other things you might be able to do — not just now but over the whole time you might have him.

“Ultimately, we just thought it was to a level that didn’t make sense. As much as we love him, and we do,” he added. “In such a short time, he became an incredible part of this team. Very beloved in the region. And he’s a great fit for Philly.”

(Picture of Kyle Schwarber: Billie Weiss/Boston Red Sox/Getty Images)

Potential Red Sox target Collin McHugh signs with Braves

Former Red Sox reliever Collin McHugh will not be taking his talents back to Boston this year. The free agent right-hander has instead signed a two-year deal with the Braves, the club announced on Tuesday evening.

Per a team release, McHugh’s contract includes $10 million in guaranteed money. The 34-year-old will earn $4 million this season and an additional $5 million in 2023. There is also a $6 million club option for 2024 that comes with a $1 million buyout.

A veteran of nine major-league seasons, McHugh originally signed a one-year deal with the Red Sox in March 2020 after a successful six-year stint with the Astros. At that time, however, the righty was still recovering from a Tenex procedure he underwent the previous December to treat a flexor strain in his elbow.

After the COVID-19 shutdown halted spring training and delayed the start of the 2020 campaign, McHugh reported to Fenway Park for summer camp but ultimately opted out of the season altogether since he was not progressing well from his elbow procedure.

The Rays then signed McHugh to another one-year deal last February and he made the most of it. Despite multiple trips to the injured list in 2021, the 6-foot-2, 191 pound hurler still bounced back by posting a 1.55 ERA and 2.12 FIP with 74 strikeouts to 12 walks over 37 appearances (seven starts) spanning 64 innings of work for Tampa Bay.

On the heels of such an effective campaign, McHugh was seen as a viable free agent target for the Red Sox since he is undoubtedly familiar with the organization and can pitch in a variety of roles.

As recently as last Friday, MassLive.com’s Chris Cotillo reported that the Sox were indeed “among the teams with interest” in McHugh. How interested Boston was in McHugh remains unclear, but it obviously was not enough in the end for any sort of reunion.

While chief baseball officer Chaim Bloom and Co. will now have to continue to look elsewhere for bullpen help, McHugh is heading back to his home state of Georgia to pitch for the team he grew up watching.

(Picture of Collin McHugh: Douglas P. DeFelice/Getty Images)

Red Sox officially sign Matt Strahm to one-year deal; left-hander will earn $3 million in 2022

The Red Sox have officially signed left-hander Matt Strahm to a one-year deal for the 2022 season, the club announced on Tuesday. A corresponding move was not needed since Boston’s 40-man roster was previously at 39 players.

Strahm, who first agreed to a contract with the Sox over the weekend, was seen at the JetBlue Park complex in Fort Myers earlier Tuesday morning and must have passed his physical. The lefty reliever will wear the No. 55 for Boston.

As MLB Network’s Jon Heyman reported on Sunday, Strahm will earn $3 million with the Red Sox in 2022. He became a free agent this off-season when the Padres did not tender him a contract back in November.

The 30-year-old southpaw had spent the last four seasons with San Diego, though he was limited to just six appearances (one start) and 6 2/3 innings last year after undergoing surgery to repair the patellar tendon in his right knee in October 2020.

Before that, Strahm proved to be an important bullpen piece for the Friars, posting a 2.61 ERA with 15 strikeouts to just four walks over 19 relief outings and 20 2/3 innings pitched during the pandemic-shortened 2020 campaign.

A former 21st-round draft pick of the Royals out of Neosho County Community College in 2012, Strahm debuted for Kansas City in 2016 and was traded to San Diego the following summer. He is one of the few major-leaguers who was born in the state of Nebraska.

Listed at 6-foot-2 and 190 pounds, Strahm’s arsenal includes a four-seam fastball, slider, curveball, sinker, and changeup. He does not turn 31 until November and joins a Red Sox bullpen that includes fellow lefties Austin Davis, Darwinzon Hernandez, and Josh Taylor.

(Picture of Matt Strahm: Ralph Fresco/Getty Images)

Former Red Sox reliever Adam Ottavino agrees to one-year deal with Mets, per report

Former Red Sox reliever Adam Ottavino is returning to the Big Apple, as the free agent reliever has reportedly agreed to a one-year, $4 million deal with the New York Mets that includes an additional $1 million in performance bonuses. The New York Post’s Joel Sherman was the first to report the details of the contract.

Ottavino, 36, spent just one season with the Sox after being acquired from the Yankees alongside pitching prospect Franklin German in a surprising trade made last January.

Following a two-year run in the Bronx, Ottavino played out the final season of his three-year, $27 million contract in Boston. Across a team-leading 69 relief appearances in 2021, the veteran right-hander posted a 4.21 ERA and 3.96 FIP with 71 strikeouts and 35 walks over 62 innings pitched. In postseason play he yielded just one run in four innings of work.

Though suiting up for the Red Sox allowed Ottavino to reconnect with his alma mater in nearby Northeastern University, it seems apparent that the Brooklyn native enjoys pitching close to home since he has signed with a New York-based club in his only two stints as a free agent thus far.

While the Sox may have lost a veteran presence like Ottavino in free agency, they did reportedly add two other free agent relievers in left-handers Matt Strahm and Jake Diekman on Sunday.

(Picture of Adam Ottavino: Carmen Mandato/Getty Images)

Red Sox to sign left-handed reliever Jake Diekman, per report

The Red Sox have reportedly agreed to sign free-agent reliever Jake Diekman, pending a physical, according to MassLive.com’s Chris Cotillo. The details of the contract are not yet known, though Cotillo reports it is believed to be a multi-year deal.

Diekman, 35, has spent the last 2 1/2 seasons with the Athletics after getting traded from the Royals in July 2019. Most recently, the left-hander posted a 3.86 ERA and 4.46 FIP to go along with 83 strikeouts to 34 walks across 67 appearances (60 2/3 innings pitched) for Oakland in 2021.

A former 30th round draft pick of the Phillies out of Cloud County Community College in 2007, Diekman has previously played for five different teams in the Phils, Rangers, Diamondbacks, Royals, and A’s. The Red Sox have been linked to the Nebraska native in the past and now acquire his services via free agency.

Listed at 6-foot-4 and 195 pounds, Diekman operates with a four-pitch mix that consists of a four-seam fastball, a slider, a sinker, and a changeup. His 31.7% strikeout rate and 35.1% whiff rate were among the top marks in the majors last year.

Against right-handed hitters in 2021, Diekman held opponents to a .200/.289/.421 slash line. Against left-handed hitters, he yielded a slash line of .229/.379/.337.

By adding Diekman, the Sox have truly bolstered the left side of their bullpen after reportedly inking fellow southpaw Matt Strahm to a one-year deal earlier on Sunday.

Beyond those two, Boston currently has three other left-handed relievers on their major-league roster in Austin Davis, Darwinzon Hernandez, and Josh Taylor. That being said, it’s likely that chief baseball officer Chaim Bloom and Co. are not yet done when it comes to adding bullpen depth ahead of Opening Day.

(Picture of Jake Diekman: Kathryn Riley/Getty Images)

Red Sox agree to one-year deal with former Padres reliever Matt Strahm, per report

The Red Sox have reportedly agreed to sign free agent reliever Matt Strahm to a one-year deal that is pending a physical, according to FanSided’s Robert Murray.

Per MLB Network’s Jon Heyman, the contract is worth $3 million.

Strahm, 30, is coming off a 2021 season with the Padres in which he appeared in just six games (one start) and pitched a total of 6 2/3 innings due to multiple stints on the injured list. The left-hander initially underwent surgery to repair the patellar tendon in his right knee in October 2020 and did not make his 2021 debut until August 3. He was then placed on the injured list again two weeks later because of right knee inflammation, which prematurely ended his year.

The Padres non-tendered Strahm in late November, allowing him to hit the open market right before the lockout began.

A former 21st round draft pick of the Royals out of Neosho County Community College in 2012, Strahm made his major-league debut for Kansas City in July 2016. The lefty spent parts of two seasons with the Royals before being traded to the Padres in 2017.

Prior to his injury-riddled campaign last year, Strahm had proven to be a key piece of the Friars’ bullpen picture. Across 106 outings (21 starts) from 2018-2020, the North Dakota native posted a 3.66 ERA and 4.14 FIP to go along with 202 strikeouts to 47 walks over 196 2/3 total innings of work.

Listed at 6-foot-2 and 190 pounds, Strahm operates with a five-pitch arsenal that consists of a four-seam fastball, a slider, a curveball, a sinker, and a changeup. He held opponents to a .080 batting average against with his sinker in 2020, per Baseball Savant.

In reaching an agreement with Strahm, who does not turn 31 until November, the Red Sox have added an intriguing southpaw to their bullpen mix. Of course, Strahm was not the only left-handed reliever Boston reportedly signed on Sunday.

(Picture of Matt Strahm: Denis Poroy/Getty Images)