Nine Teams, Including the #RedSox, Are Reportedly Interested in Free Agent RHP Nathan Eovaldi.

On Sunday, The Boston Globe’s Nick Cafardo reported that up to eight teams not named the Boston Red Sox are interested in acquiring the services of free agent RHP Nathan Eovaldi.

Nathan Eovaldi, RHP, free agent — The early suitors are the Brewers, Phillies, Braves, Angels, Red Sox, White Sox, Blue Jays, Padres, and Gianrts. There’s likely to be more. Eovaldi would love to stay in Boston and the Red Sox will take their best shot.”

Given that Eovaldi will only be 29 next season and no compensatory draft pick will have to be given up to sign him, it makes sense that the right-hander has a high volume of suitors this early in the offseason.

Out of the clubs listed above, I would venture to say that about five are intending to contend for a World Series title in 2019.

The Brewers, Braves, and defending champion Red Sox are all coming off postseason appearances this October, while teams like the Phillies and Angels may have come up short this year, but have the resources to bounce back in 2019.

On the other side of this spectrum, the White Sox, Blue Jays, Padres, and Giants all finished with losing records this past season, but seem keen on at least making things interesting next year.

Take for instance the reports that the White Sox appear to be in on a number of big-money free agents this winter, such as Bryce Harper and Manny Machado, or the reports that the Padres have been interesting in adding a high-end starter, such as Noah Syndergaard, for some time now.

As for the Blue Jays and Giants, well, neither club seems to be in the best position to compete in 2019, but both were in the postseason as recently as 2016, so there’s that.

In terms of what the Red Sox should do, that depends on how much they truly value Eovaldi.

Like Cafardo reports above, the Texas native has made it clear that he would like to remain in a Red Sox uniform for the forseeable future, but that will obviously come at a decently hefty price.

There are other starting pitching options, internal and on the free agency market, but Eovaldi has already proven that he can do what others can’t, pitch on the biggest stage in the biggest market with the spotlight on him. A 1.61 postseason ERA is quite evident of that.

If retaining Eovaldi equates to moving on from free agent reliever Joe Kelly, then I believe that is a move Dave Dombrowksi has to be willing to make in order to round out what should be one of the best starting rotations in the American League.

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Craig Kimbrel Rejects $17.9 Million Qualifying Offer from #RedSox.

Red Sox President of Baseball Operations Dave Dombrowski announced on Monday that Craig Kimbrel has officially rejected his qualifying offer, making him a free agent.

This news may not come as a surprise to some, but it does leave the World Series champions without a closer, for now.

If Kimbrel does choose to sign elsewhere this winter, such as with the Atlanta Braves or Philadelphia Phillies, that particular club will owe Boston a compensatory pick in next year’s draft, which is set to land somewhere after the fourth round.

The Red Sox extended the QO with a value of $17.9 million to Kimbrel on November 2nd, giving the seven-time All-Star 10 days to either accept or reject.

With this rejection, Kimbrel will more than likely become one of the highest paid relievers in all of baseball, joining the likes of Dodgers closer Kenley Jansen and Yankees ninth-inning man Aroldis Chapman, whose current deals have a combined worth of $166 million over 10 total years, per Spotrac.

Over the course of the GM meetings in Carlsbad, Calif. this past week, Kimbrel’s agent, David Meter, pitched his client as, “the best closer of all-time,” so you can expect the Alabama native to seek out a hefty pay-day in the coming weeks.

Given the very real possibility the Red Sox decide to not commit that much to their closer for the past three seasons, we could be looking at Matt Barnes, or even Ryan Brasier as ninth inning options in 2019.

Dombrowski made clear on Nov. 1st that if Kimbrel were to leave, “We do think that we do have a situation where internally we have a couple of candidates to do that – Matt Barnes and Ryan Brasier are the top candidates.”

That remains to be seen, as there is still a slight possibility that the Red Sox retain the services of Kimbrel to remain their closer. But, given the way relief pitching appears to be trending, it would not be surprising if Dombrowski and/or Alex Cora would prefer a closer who could come on and pitch multiple innings in order to lock up wins.

In his three-year tenure with Boston, the 30-year-old Kimbrel seemed to struggle with this task regularly, as well as securing saves in tight, late-game situations at times.

If this is it for Kimbrel in a Red Sox uniform, it was certainly a memorable run. Three seasons, three All-Star team selections, an elite 2017, and a World Series championship in 2018.

#RedSox Extend Qualifying Offer of $17.9 Million to Craig Kimbrel.

On Friday, NBC Sports Boston’s Evan Drellich reported that the Red Sox had extended a qualifying offer to Craig Kimbrel.

The qualifying offer, which has a value of $17.9 million, also has an expiration date, as the right-handed Kimbrel now has 10 days or either accept or decline it.

Regardless of the decision the flame throwing closer makes, this moves seems to be a win-win for the Red Sox. Either they get their All-Star reliever back for another season on a rather expensive deal, or, if Kimbrel declines the QO and chooses to sign elsewhere, the Red Sox will receive a compensatory pick in next year’s MLB draft from that club.

According to MLB.com’s Anthony Castrovince, “only five of the 73 players who have been extended qualifying offers since this system began in 2012 have accepted the offers.”

With that statistic in mind, I’m going to go ahead and Say Kimbrel will turn down the QO and opt for a long-term deal with a team willing to splurge on a closer.

Whether or not the Red Sox are willing to spend that much on a ninth-inning man has yet to be determined. But, from what I have gathered recently, and sound more and more likely that the club likes their internal options to take over that spot, such as Matt Barnes or Ryan Brasier.

In his third and potential final season with Boston, Kimbrel notched 42 saves to go along with a 2.74 ERA and 96 strikeouts over 62.1 innings pitched. He also made his third consecutive All-Star team and became a World Series champion for the first time in his career.

MLB free agency is set to begin this weekend. Stay tuned.

JD Martinez Will Reportedly Be Introduced By the #RedSox Tomorrow.

 

After nearly a week of waiting, it looks like JD Martinez will finally be introduced to the media tomorrow at JetBlue. All this after nearly a week of waiting. By the time the press conference happens, we’re talking about just under a full week between the reported and official deal. I wrote on Friday about how odd this process has been. Given the injury history Martinez has, it’s understandable as to why things have moved so slowly. The Red Sox acted cautiously, gathering all the knowledge they need on what has affected the 30-year-old outfielder in the past. Since he joined the Detroit Tigers in 2014, the most games Martinez has played in a single season, excluding the postseason, is 158, which is a bit of an outlier because the second most games he has played in goes down to 123. In all honesty, I’m not expecting Martinez to play in more than 150 games with the Red Sox this season. Considering the fact he hit 45 home runs in only 119 games last season, I believe Martinez can still put up great numbers despite the number of missed games.

According to Jon Heyman, the terms of the contract will still be the same, $110 million over five years with multiple opt-outs. Can’t wait to put this behind us and see what JD Martinez can bring to the table for his new club. If I can catch it tomorrow, I should have a reaction post up sometime in the afternoon.

I Sincerely Hope the #RedSox Introudce JD Martinez Tomorrow.

This past Monday, news broke that the Red Sox had an agreement in place with JD Martinez on a five-year contract. Fast forward today, and nothing has been announced by the team yet. He reportedly had a physical on Wednesday, was expected to be introduced via press conference on Thursday, and things went sour from there. Here’s a timeline of tweets to clarify:

Monday:

Tuesday:

To create a spot on the 40-man.

Wednesday:

Thursday:

Today:

Four days since the news broke and JD Martinez is still technically unsigned. I can’t begin to imagine what the reaction would be like here if this deal somehow fell through. I’m not worried too much about it at this moment, but I for sure will be if nothing happens tomorrow. It’s just weird that the announcement has taken this long. Martinez does have health issues, but you would figure the Red Sox were made aware of that before negotiating a contract with him. Also, trading OF Bryce Brentz to the Pittsburgh Pirates to open a roster spot would look really dumb if they knew Martinez came with some concerns. I’m hoping that I will wake up to the official announcement in the morning and will have something to write later in the afternoon, presumably after a press conference.

JD Martinez and the #RedSox Have Reportedly Agreed to a Deal.

After a very long offseason, the Red Sox have finally got their guy. There were rumors, there was staring contests, there was a little drama, but at long last, JD Martinez found the team best fit for him with the Red Sox. The two sides reportedly came to terms on a five-year deal worth $110 million dollars this evening. As part of the deal, Martinez will have the option to opt out two seasons in after making $50 million. At 30 years old, it’s a bit strange that took a hitter with the abilities Martinez has to find a new home, but the Red Sox should be thrilled with the results. President of Baseball Ops. Dave Dombrowski had himself a strong offseason, and he capped it off by getting his guy for a reasonable price. Lest we forget, Dombrowski helped put Martinez on the map when both were employed by the Detroit Tigers. The $110 million dollar man was once but a fringe prospect with the Houston Astros to start his professional career, and was straight up released from the team in March of 2014. In that same month, the Tigers signed Martinez to a minor league deal and he made his big league debut for the club on April 21st. Since that day, the Miami native has transformed himself into one of the better hitters in baseball. In 520 games with both the Tigers and the Arizona Diamondbacks, Martinez has slashed .300/.362/.574 to go along with 128 home runs and has averaged 3.8 WAR per season.

Despite all the offensive struggles the Red Sox had as a team last season, they still finished tenth in runs scored. Adding Martinez to this lineup should only boost these numbers. Imagining Martinez in the same lineup as Mookie Betts, Andrew Benintendi, and Rafael Devers has been something I had been doing recently, but now it’s going to be a reality. This was the best move the Red Sox could make to counter the Yankees acquiring Giancarlo Stanton. It took two months, but these teams are going to be closer in the standings than people think. Over at FanGraphs.com, they have the Red Sox projected to finish five games better than the Yankees in 2018, and that was before the Martinez signing. Unlike last season, the Red Sox and Yankees will play each other more later in the season, and there will be a three-game series at Fenway to close out the season. Those games are way down the road, but they are clearly going to be vital to the AL East crown.

Since the Red Sox need to make room on the 40-man roster, expect a corresponding roster move to be made in the coming days. As it currently stands, this Martinez contract puts the Red Sox roughly $2 million dollars above the luxury tax threshold of $237 million. If they want to stay under that number, which I’m 99% sure they do, something will have to be done to trim this year’s salary.

 

Per Jon Heyman, The #RedSox Are “Closing In” On a Deal for JD Martinez.

Tweet:

Me:

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FINALLY, something concrete! It’s just not speculation, folks, we have some legit news from the Boras Corp. spokesman himself, Mr. Jon Heyman. Both sides appear to be moving towards a deal, according to Heyman. Nothing has been finalized YET, but it looks like an agreement will be coming into fruition soon. The stare down between Dave Dombrowksi and Scott Boras lasted the entire offseason, and now it seems it is coming to a close. Just the other night, Eric Hosmer, a Boras client, inked an eight-year deal with the San Diego Padres worth approximately $144 million dollars. I pray this potential deal for JD Martinez does not look like that, hopefully we’re talking about a five-year/$100-$125 million dollar contract. I will have more on this if the signing happens tonight.